Decision Support

Create and Publish Central Reports

This page contains essential information for creating and publishing central reports based upon institutional data available to the University. Learn how to:

  • Develop a report and manage expectations,
  • How to construct a report that conforms to central reporting standards, and
  • How to publish that report on the central report server.

For an overview of the entire create/publish process, with a high-level diagram and information about the primary players see:
Report Creation & Publishing Overview.

Before you begin, does a report already exist that meets your needs?

When a new report is ready to be developed, it is assigned to a report developer. (See What Happens Before the Report is Assigned to a Report Developer for more information.)

Develop the Report

Steps to take
What Happens
  1. Copy the BRD to Sharepoint:
    1. Save the BRD into the relevant subject area folder of the SharePoint site.
    2. Use this file naming standard – Report Code-FormType_ReportName.
    3. Learn how to obtain a report code here: Add Metadata to a Report.

 

The report developer receives a completed Business Requirements Document (BRD) from the local decision support center.

Report documentation is stored in this UW NetID-protected SharePoint site using a standard file naming convention.

  1. Develop your report:
    1. Read the Memo of Understanding, which outlines the necessary standards for central reporting, testing, publishing, project management, and production support responsibilities for central reports.
    2. Obtain a free copy of Business Intelligence Development Studio by downloading Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express.
    3. Refer to the Training page for suggested reference material on building Reporting Services reports.
    4. Use the Business Requirements Document referred to earlier to understand and further document report requirements.
    5. Determine the appropriate test database containing the data needed for your report and establish a connection to it.
    6. Construct a report using the central report template.
      Use the UW Report Template as a starting place in report creation. This template contains the standard components required to publish reports on UW’s central server, as set by the Data Management Committee. You may want to consider using XSLT files to format exported data.
    7. Add metadata to the report.
      Reports intended to be published centrally must contain certain metadata elements. Learn how to apply those elements to your report.
    8. Request access to publish the report on the central development report server.

A report is developed on the desktop. It is then promoted (or published) to an online Report Publishing Development Environment when the report is ready to be shared with and viewed by others.

There are a number of steps to take before you start.

  1. Be sure your report meets the appropriate standards:
    1. Complete the Report Review and Test Checklist (RRTC).
    2. Conduct a review of the report to be sure it meets the standards laid out in the RRTC.
The Report Review and Test Checklist (RRTC) records the findings of the report standards review. Prior to publishing the report to the central development report server, conduct your own review of the report ensuring it meets the standards laid out in the RRTC. Complete as much of the form as possible at this point in the process.
  1. Save the RRTC document on the SharePoint site, using the file naming standard Report Code-FormType_ReportName. (See Step 1b)
The  RRTC is stored on the Sharepoint Server in the same subject area folder as the BRD.

Publish the report to the Development Report Server

Steps to take
What Happens
  1. Move the report file from the desktop environment to the relevant folder on the development report server (sandbox).
The report is published to the development server.
See How to Publish A Report to the Sandbox Server page for details on this step in the report publishing process.
  1. Business Users test the report and provide feedback.
Business users put the report through its paces, providing feedback to you the report developer on accuracy, performance, and usability. 

Send the Report to be Reviewed

Steps to take
What Happens
  1. Work with the Business Users to complete the Report Review and Test Checklist.
Using SharePoint’s document check-in and out functionality, the business user(s) and report developer complete their portions of this document.
  1. Submit the Report for review:
    1. Schedule a review session with the ‘Review Committee’.
    2. Send links to the BRD and RRTC to EDA at the same time.
Review Committee: Required committee members include the Enterprise Data & Analytics (EDA) Business Analyst for the respective data subject area, the report developer, a business user, and a Technical Reviewer.
  1. report developer makes any needed corrections.
Report undergoes a standards review. The review committee ensures all RRTC standards are met or documents report issues in the RRTC for the report developer to correct.
  1. Create test URL strings and send them to help@uw.edu. (This allows tracking of requests, and the request information is forwarded to EDA.
Report developer submits performance testing information to help@uw.edu
  1. Make any final corrections needed for performance improvement.
EDA staff conducts performance testing. Using test URL strings, the report is subjected to load testing that simulates multiple users accessing the report simultaneously along with users accessing other reports. If a report fails performance testing it is sent back to the report developer for performance improvement.

Promote the Report to Production

Steps to take
What Happens
  1. After all performance testing is complete, schedule a production promotion date. Take into account user training, notification, and any other steps that need to be taken.
EDA promotes the report(s) and report metadata to the production environment.