The new functionality MasterControl Analytics will be introduced in MasterControl version 11.7 onwards. Reports will look different and you have more possibilities. It also implies fundamental changes to the tool. The tool is available in all MasterControl modules and solutions.
The tool’s biggest change lies in its use of JReport, a highly customizable Java reporting and business intelligence solution that allows users to view, filter and interact more with their data.
The improved analytics functionality will feature two user modes:
- Basic: Also known as the viewer mode, it allows users to filter, print, and export, but not edit.
- Interactive: This editor mode allows users to change column size; add/remove columns, create new data columns (e.g., percentages, column math) and create new data within the report. You can also add or subtract columns, images, groupings, summary fields, calculated fields, filters, labels and graphics.
The old analytics list page will be replaced by a user-friendly graphical interface, complete with a stylized preview of reports in the form of icons.
In this article, we provide you with tips using Jreports. If you desire a complete work instuction, please let us know.
Tips using Jreports
JReport is functioning best in Firefox.
The opening of reports has not changed in comparison with previous versions. By clicking reports in the Analytics section in the My MasterControl menu all standard reports in the system are available. Click on the name of the standard report to open the report in JReport. Clicking on “Reports” from a specific module (such as MasterControl Documents) will show standard reports for that module only.
Save customized standard reports
If you have the correct rights it is also in JReport possible to customize standard reports.
For saving customized reports, click in the interactive mode on Menu à File à Save as. Save the file in the following folder: Root / Public Reports / MasterControl / Public / < requested module folder>.
The customized report is now available via the Analytics section in the My MasterControl menu under the heading “Public Reports” or under the heading “Public Reports” in the Analytics section of the applicable module.
“View Mode” and “Interactive View” mode
The reports “View Mode” in JReport requires the View Reports right. Customization of standard reports is done in the reports “Interactive View” mode. This mode requires the Edit Reports right.
An advantage from JReport above the old analytical function of MasterControl is that the filter option is more user friendly. This is because in JReport you stay in the report while filtering. In addition it is also possible to select required parameters from a drop down menu. In this way it is not longer necessary to memorize the exact notation of the parameters.
In figure A shows the meaning of the filter expressions in JReport. JReport use the % sign as wildcard.
In JReport it is possible to add Filter Control tables to your report. Filter Control tables are extra tables where you can select one or more parameters of a certain column which need to be shown in your report. An example of a Filter Control table (for a Lifecycle column) is given in figure B. In this figure the parameters highlighted in orange are selected and are therefor shown in the report. The other parameters, marked in grey are hidden.
Figure B: Filter Control table of a Lifecycle column
Filter on dates
Other then in the old analytical function of MasterControl, filtering by date is very difficult in JReport. This is because dates are reported from the database accurate to the second. You can change the display of dates, then the view changes but it continues to report accurately to the second. This means that every second is a unique parameter and therefore you always get only one entry when you start filtering on dates.
A possible solution is making a formula to calculate the years, months or quarters. For filtering on months type “Month()” in the formula entry field. Use “Year ()” for filtering on year and use “Quarter” for filtering on quarter. The reference to the required column needs to appear between the brackets. After creating this formula it must be added to the report table. Then you can apply filters to the added column.
In both report tools is it possible to filter on a static date or dynamic date Dynamic dates are for example all entries with a creation date seven days from today or the amount of days between creation date and release date. In the old analytical function of MasterControl was filtering on dynamic dates relatively simple. In JReport it is more difficult to apply this dynamic filter, but there are many more options.
Examples of formulas for dynamic dating are given in table 1. Figure C gives the possible “string” definitions in JReport. For instance the formula DateDiff(“d”, @”Columns.system_Releasedate” , CurrentDate()) gives the amount of days (by using the string “d”) from the release date till the current date.
|Dynamic date from current date||DateDiff(“d”, @”Columns.system_<column>” ,CurrentDate())|
|Dynamic date between to dates||DateDiff(“d”, @”Columns.system_<column>” , @”Columns.system_<column>”)|
|Static date (In this case 31-1-2019)||DateDiff(“d”, @”Columns.system_<column>” ,ToDateTime (2019,1,31))|
After creating a formula, this formula must be added to the report table. Then you can apply filters to the added column with the created formula. For example, if you want to see which documents were created this week, you can filter the column with the number of days between the creation date and today to be less than or equal to 5.
For making charts in JReport, you first need to group a column and then make aggregations on count of this grouped column. By grouping a column the rows with the same values in that specific column are placed together. An aggregation on count means that it counts the amount of the same values in that grouped column.
For now it is actually impossible to make charts from created formulas due to the fact that you can’t group nor aggregate created formulas yet. Hopefully this will soon be possible in the newer versions of MasterControl.
For creating a chart select a column for the Category (x axis) and possibly for series (series are not required). For pie charts only select a category.
Creating meaningful reports
The most difficult part by using JReport is determining which parameters are the right parameters to display in tables or charts to create a meaningful report.
When making reports it is important to think first about what you want to know. Important questions you want to ask to yourself to obtain meaningful Quality Performance Indicators are starting with
- “How much…?” – “How much documents are not revised before they have expired?”
- “How fast….” – “How fast can this organization close deviations?”
- “How well are we doing…” – “How well are we doing implementing changes?”.
When you have established good performance indicators you can choose which data from MasterControl you need to be able to get answers to the questions asked. In case of the question “How much documents are not revised before they have expired?” you can think about the total amount of expired documents within a period of time and the amount of revised expired documents within the same period.
And then, when you have chosen the right parameters, you can decide how the parameters should be presented so that it is possible to determine the meaning of the data. In case of the question “How much documents are not revised before they have expired?” you can think about a pie chart in which the amount of revised expired documents and the amount of not revised expired documents are plotted.
An important note: in principle it is not possible to combine data from different modules of MasterControl and thereby go through the entire database in search of the correct parameters. You can therefore only make reports from the standardized reports pre-programmed by MasterControl. It is possible to add extra columns to standardized reports, but also the selection of extra columns is pre-programmed by MasterControl.
How to delete / disable MasterControl users using the “Where Used” page
Furthermore we see an increase in questions related to delete or disable users in MasterControl when employees leave the organization. We will provide you with the best practices to disable or delete MasterControl users using the “Where Used” page.
MasterControl recommends disabling a user above deleting a user in order to maintain all historical data of the user. When deleting a user historical tracking information will be unavailable. When disabling a user the user stays in the system, but it filters them from certain areas of the system so it separates them from active users.
When an employee is leaving the company, the UserID must be removed or replaced from some areas in MasterControl depending on the period of absence. In table 2 are the areas given that the UserID will possible need to be removed or replaced from.
|1.||Author of Document infocard||10.||In process collaborations / approvals / forms tasks|
|2.||Owner of Document infocard||11.||Out of Office alternate|
|3.||Author of Forms templates||12.||LDAP imported|
|4.||Owner of Forms templates||13.||Document route owner|
|5.||Supervisor for another user||14.||On a document route step|
|6.||My files||15.||Forms route owner|
|7.||Roles||16.||On a forms route step|
|8.||In process training tasks||17.||Training|
|9.||In process training verification tasks|
How to use the “Where Used” page:
To use the “Where Used” page:
- Select a user or multiple users, or a role or multiple roles in the User Management section of the Portal menu.
- Click Where Used in the toolbar. A page displays listing the areas of the system.
- Click the folder icon next to each area to reveal the information associated with the selected user or role. In the case of multiple users or roles, each page contains information for a different user or role.
To change the user:
- In the Where Used page of the specific user: click the Change User link next to the role, route or task for which you wish to change the user
- From the drop-down list, select the new user to be placed in the role, route or task.
- Click Submit.
In the Where Used page, you can remove a user from Route Owner, Role, InfoCard Owner and InfoCard Author. To remove the user from these areas in MasterControl:
- In the Where Used page of the specific user: click the Remove User link next to the role, route or task for which you wish to change the user.
- Click Submit.
Restrictions using the “Where Used” page
There are some restrictions for changes using the Where Used page.
- When you replace a user on the current step of an in process task, the user can’t have signed off on the task with any other status than “Work in Process” or “Revisit”.
- Users can’t be replaced on any step that may be returned to the user after sign off
- Users can’t be replaced on in process form tasks
- You can’t remove a user from a role if that user is the only one in the role.