Report Scheduling

This article focuses on using the Report Scheduling function in Lambda Analytics.

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Lambda Analytics Reports Scheduler

The Lambda Analytics (Zoola) Reports Scheduler allows you to select specific reports and dashboards to be filtered, run, and directed to particular individuals or groups. The Scheduler can easily be configured to accommodate a variety of tasks. Some examples include:

  • You can filter a Course Completions Report to a single course, and send it with refreshed data on a weekly basis to the course administrator.
  • You can also filter a Time Spent Learning Dashboard to a particular group of students, and send it with refreshed data and insights twice per term to the student group.
  • You can also filter a Time Spent Learning Dashboard to all students enrolled in a particular course, and send it with refreshed data and insights every month to the course instructor.

The permissions of the user who creates the scheduled job will determine how much data the report can show. For example, if a user only has access to data from the Eastern Canada region, then any reports that they schedule will only show data from that particular region.

When looking at reports or dashboards in the Repository, a corresponding Clock icon reportschedulingclockicon will denote which ones have a scheduled job. If these scheduled jobs have a configured set of input controls from the Parameters tab, then you will be able to expand the row using the arrow icon and click on a set of saved values to run the report or dashboard with the specified filters.

reportschedulingrepositoryview

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Creating a Scheduled Job

1.  In the Repository, locate the report or dashboard that you would like to schedule.

important-2  NOTE

Scheduled jobs can only be created for reports or dashboards that are saved as private artifacts. If there is an Out-of-the-Box report or dashboard that you would like to schedule, then right-click on the corresponding title and select Duplicate from the context menu. This will save an exact copy of the report or dashboard as a private artifact for you to use. 

2.  Right-click on the corresponding title and select Schedule from the context menu to access the Scheduled Jobs page. This page shows a list of any reports currently scheduled for that specific report or dashboard.

3.  Click Create Schedule on the navigation bar to create a new scheduled job for your report or dashboard.

reportschedulingcreateschedule

calendar-1  Schedule Tab

The Schedule tab determines when, and how often your scheduled report or dashboard runs.

1.  Set an appropriate start date for your scheduled job.

Immediately: This allows you to run the report or dashboard immediately, after you have completed configuring the rest of the settings.

On Specific Date: This allows you to specify a date for your report to begin running. If this is selected, click the Calendar icon to pick your desired start date and time.

reportschedulingschedulestart

2.  Specify the time zone for the schedule from the Time Zone drop-down menu. 

The default zone is the time zone of the server. If you are in a different time zone or would like to change it, then configure this field accordingly.

reportschedulingtimezone

3.  Choose a recurrence setting from the Recurrence Type drop-down menu.

reportschedulingrecurrencetype

None:  This option runs the report once.

Simple: This option schedules the job to reoccur at a regular interval, specified in minutes, hours, days, or weeks.

Repeat Every: This allows you to set the interval between jobs in minutes, hours, days, or weeks.

reportschedulingsimplerepeatevery

Run a Set Number of Times: This allows you to run your report a specified number of times.

reportschedulingsimpleenddatesetnumber

Run Until a Specified Date: This allows you to run your report until a specified date is reached. This can be helpful for running reports that correspond to courses with a particular end date. You can select your desired date by clicking on the Calendar icon.

reportschedulingsimpleenddatespecifieddate

Run Indefinitely: This allows you to run your report during the specified intervals until the schedule is deleted.

Holidays: This allows you to select holidays or days to exclude, when your report will not run.

reportschedulingsimpleholidays

Calendar: This option schedules the job to reoccur on days of the week, days of the month, specific dates, or date ranges.

Months: This allows you to select the months in which your report will run. You can either select Every Month, or specify particular months of the year. This can be helpful if you would like your report to run during specific quarters of the year.

reportschedulingcalendarmonths-1

Days: This allows you to select the days in which your report will run. You can either select Every Day, Selected Days of the week, or specific Dates in the Month.

reportschedulingcalendardays

Times: This allows you to select the time of day, in minutes and hours, when the report will run. The hours use 24-hour format. You can also enter multiple minutes or hours, and ranges, as long as they are separated by commas.

When selecting a time for your report to run, note that this time corresponds to the time zone that you have selected in the previous step. So, if you would like your report to run at 9:00am PST, then recipients in Toronto will receive your report at 12:00pm EST. 

reportschedulingcalendartime

End Date: This allows you to run your report until a specific date is reached. This can be helpful for running reports that correspond to courses with a particular end date. You can select your desired date by clicking on the Calendar icon. Leaving this field blank will result in the report running indefinitely. 

reportschedulingcalendarenddate

Holidays: This allows you to select holidays or days to exclude, when your report will not run.

reportschedulingsimpleholidays

4.  Once you are complete, navigate to the Parameters tab.  

filter-4  Parameters Tab

The Parameters tab pre-configures any input controls in your report or dashboard. Since security files in data sources only apply to Lambda Analytics users, it is important to use the Parameters tab to filter out data that your external recipients do not need to see.

If you have multiple sets of saved values from your report or dashboard, select your desired set of saved values to apply to your input controls from the drop-down menu.

If you would like to create a new set of saved values to apply:

1.  Go through the different input control sections to select the values that you would like to filter for.

2.  Click Save Current Values to save your combination of values under a named set of values. You can then select your new set from the drop-down menu.

reportschedulingparameterssavecurrentvalues

3.  Once you are complete, navigate to the Output Options tab.

settings-3  Output Options Tab

The Output Options tab configures the output file options and formats, and the output destination.

1.  Your report will have a default file name and an empty description field. If necessary, enter an appropriate file name and description that describes the report that you will scheduling.

2.  Select a time zone, and if necessary, a specified output locale for your report. 

reportschedulingoutputoptionstimezone

3.  Select the formats that you would like to convert your report into. Choose as many appropriate file formats as necessary by clicking on their corresponding checkboxes.

reportschedulingoutputoptionsformat

TIP  NOTE

The types of formats that you select will depend on the report that you are scheduling. Popular formats include Excel, XLXS, and CSV, as they are useful when you are uploading your reports to another system or database. Using PDF can also be useful if your report or dashboard contains more visual elements

4.  If you would like consecutive files to be overwritten, select Overwrite Files. If you would like to instead keep all of your files, select Sequential File Names by Timestamp and configure the Timestamp Pattern.

reportschedulingoutputoptionsfilehandling

5.  Select a destination for your scheduled report output. 

Output to Repository: This allows you to select a folder in the Repository to direct your report to.

Output to FTP Server: This allows you to select an external FTP Server to direct your report to. When selecting this option, choose the 'SFTP (FTP over SSH)' option from the Transfer Protocol drop-down menu, and enter the server address, port, directory, username, and password.

6.  Once you are complete, navigate to the Notifications tab.

mail  Notifications Tab

The Notifications tab configures the email notifications that any recipients of your scheduled reports will receive. 

1.  Under the 'Send report when scheduler runs' section:

Enter the email addresses of your recipients under the 'To,' 'CC,' and 'BCC' fields.

Enter an appropriate subject line and message for your email into the corresponding fields.

The default attachment option for reports is 'Include report files as attachments,' but if your scheduled report is a large file size, then select 'Include report files as ZIP attachment.'

2.  Under the 'Send job status notifications' section:

Enter the email addresses of your recipients under the 'To' field. These recipients can include yourself, or the Lambda Support team.

Enter an appropriate subject line in the corresponding field. 

Determine whether you would like to send a success message, failure message, or both. These options will alert your recipients to the status of your scheduled report job. 

Determine if you would like to 'Include report job information' or 'include stack trace' and select their corresponding checkboxes.

3.  Click Save to open the Save As dialog box.

4.  Enter a descriptive Scheduled Job Name. If appropriate, you can also include a description.

5.  Once you are complete, click Save. Your new scheduled job will appear in a list of saved job for this particular report.

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Viewing and Editing an Existing Scheduled Job

To view and edit a list of all existing scheduled jobs for reports and dashboards:

1.  From the Lambda Analytics homepage, click View Existing under the Schedules link on the upper navigation bar to access the Scheduled Jobs page.

2.  Click the corresponding Edit icon reportschedulingediticon if you would like to make any necessary edits to a specific scheduled job. 

3.  Click the corresponding Delete icon createdashboarddeleteicon  if you would like to delete a scheduled job. Deleting a scheduled job will not delete the original report or dashboard, but will delete the version with any specifications made in the job. 

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Running a Scheduled Job in the Background

Running a scheduled job in the background generates a report, potentially long-running, without interrupting your workflow. This allows you to keep working in the server as the scheduled job continues to run. Running a scheduled job in the background is equivalent to scheduling a report to run immediately without reoccurrence.

When the scheduled job is completed, you can export the report directly to any format and save it as a private artifact in the Repository. To run a job in the background:

1.  In the Lambda Analytics homepage, click View under the Reports header.

2.  After finding your desired report in the Repository, right-click on its corresponding row and select Run in Background from the context menu.

3.  Set an appropriate output format and location. By default, the report output is saved in the Repository. 

4.  If the report that you are running has any input controls that require user input, click on the Parameters tab and select a set of saved values or a set of fields.

5.  If necessary, click the Notifications tab and configure your email notifications.

6.  Once you are complete, click Save. The report will then immediately begin to run in the background.

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