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Report Data Sources

As you get further into using Easy Insight, you may find yourself frequently recreating calculations across multiple reports on a data source or frequently dealing with the same customized joins. You might also just want to give your end users a limited subset of fields to make things more manageable for them--for example, instead of the full 200 fields they might have in your data source, you might want them to only have access to a set of 15 commonly used fields. The solution to these issues is one of the more powerful features of Easy Insight, being able to turn a report itself into a data source. We (the Easy Insight team) frequently use this model with the various prebuilt reports supporting connections--if you're using Basecamp with Easy Insight, the Calculation Reports folder contains reports called Todo Calculations and Project Calculations. These reports contains all the lower level calculations and filtered fields used to serve up metrics like Completed Todo Count, Average Capture to Close Time, and Open Ticket Count.
How do I create a report data source?

You'll want to start with a list report containing the fields you want to expose as the fields of the data source. For example, if you wanted to create a field containing calculations that tied back to an Opportunity subject in your data, you might add the Opportunity ID (to join the data back), filtered fields of Won Opportunities, Pending Opportunities, and Lost Opportunities, and a calculation of Average Opportunity Time to Close. Save that report.

Next, go to the Connections page and choose the "Report Source" connection. You'll be prompted to pick the report you want to use to create the connection. Choose the calculation report you created earlier and give the data source itself a name (we typically use the report name for consistency, but you don't have to). Click on Create and you'll have your report data source.

How do I then use the report data source?

From here, you can either use the report source alone, you can combine it with other sources, or you can fold it back into the source it came from. For #1 and #2, it'll be like anything else with data sources. For #3, the way to do it is to go to your original data source, click on Configure the Data Source, and click into the "Additional Sources" section. Add your report data source and any necessary joins and it'll be available to you just like any other data source in that combined source.

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