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The reports section allows you to create graphs summarizing your historical data. It allows you to simply create a variety of visual representations of your data from any historical time period, from a set of pre-made graphs in a variety of areas.
Here is an example graph;
|The main view of the Reports section|
As you can see, this section is split horizontally in two. On the left pane you can define the type of report you want, and peform a few other operations. On the right pane you can see the final graph, view the graph source data and do a few other things.
Lets take the left pane first. Here is what is looks like;
|This shows the left pane of the reports section, which allows you to define a report.|
As you can see, most of the pane is taken up by the accordion control, which allows you to flip to each of four sections:
In the 'Chart Details' section, select a 'category' of report (for example 'employers' - which creates charts about all the employers you service), and select a 'type' of report (for example 'Industry' which shows all your employers, broken down by which industry they are in), then click the 'Create Report' button, which looks like this;
Now you have a chart which shows a line for each industry, with points on that line representing when you added employers of that industry. The charts date ranges are the default ones - that is they show the last 6 ranges of the select 'time period' (which is 'daily' by default - so the last 6 days).
Thats probably not the time period you want your chart to include, so to make it closer to what you want, you can choose the date range in 2 different ways:
First we'll look at relative time periods. They are selected using the following drop down list:
The items in this drop down allow you to quickly select a range of dates relative to today (whenever you create the report). The main reason for using relative dates is so you can define and save common reports - if you reload a report with a relative date it will re-calculate the chart data based on the day you re-run the report; not based on the date you created the report.
Sometimes you want to use data that always goes from a specific time and day of the week or month. We call this a 'Fixed' start - and these are accessible from the 'Other Chart Options' view in the accordion:
If you use these, then no matter what date ranges you set, the closest date and time to the fixed values you set above, will be used. For example, if you set 'Fixed Week Start' to 'Wednesday' and 'Fixed Time Start' to '12.00', then set a date range, for example; june 1st 2009 to july 31st 2009, and set 'Time Period' to 'Weekly', the actual ranges will go from 27/5/2009 to 29/7/2009 - because it will wind the end date back to the nearest wednesday. Exact time on the Wednesdays which will go into the daa search will be 12 noon.
If you ever get confused about what date ranges the system is exactly searching for, you can check in the data table named 'Date Ranges to be shown in graph'.
You can also set specific date ranges - these aren't so good if you want to save and re-use the chart as the same date range is re-calculated every time. To do this you select 'User Date Range' from the 'Date Relative' drop down list, as below:
Then you select the exact start and end dates. The ranges created in the chart are still affected by the fixed time day and date starts mentioned in the previous section.
The 'Time Period' drop down allows you to select what increments will be shown on the time axis fo the chart. For example, if you select 'Weekly' the date range for the chart you define will be broken up into weeks.
There are 4 different types of graph available; pie, line, column and bar. The most appropriate type is chosen when you select the graph to create, but you can choose any graph type for any chart.
Underneath the 'Graph Type' drop down there is a drop down which provides a basic search option (if available for the chosen chart type). This might be a list of all recruiters, to allow you to run the chart for only the chosen recruiters data. This drop down and its label dynamically changes depending on what search option is available for this graph. There can be up to 4 search options for a graph - the other 3 are shown on the 'Other Chart Options' section.
Sometimes you want to setup a common chart to be re-used over and over. In the accordion select the 'Saved Charts' view:
To save the chart you have just defined, alter the title and chart description in this view and click 'Save Chart'. To reload an old chart, select it from the 'Saved Charts' drop down list and click 'Load'.
Sometimes you want to see the actual data used to create the chart. To do this click on the 'Data' tab:
You also might want to view the data externally, to create your own charts - in Microsoft Excel for example. To do this click the 'Copy to Clipboard' button. This makes a copy of the charts data in your computers clipboard. You can now go into excel and 'paste' the data into a spreadsheet.
There are several things we haven't touched on in the 'Other Chart Options' panel. First there is the visible lines list - this is a vertical list of check boxes which are for when you have a chart that displays a number of lines, each for a different variable; for example a line for each recruiter. You can remove which lines display on the graph by unchecking them in this list and clicking the create chart button again.
All charts have a total line by default. The total can either show the total at any point of all the data at that point - or it can only total the lines you have selected as visible. To total all the data, whether the line is visible or not, tick the 'Total all data' check box.