External Report Overview

This article provides an overview of External Reports within the Metric Insights system.

External Report in an object that allows to display a visualization from an external BI tool (e.g., Tableau, Power BI, etc.). The difference between an External Report and an element populated by External Content:

  • External Content is an object used to display data located on a web page
  • External Report allows not only to automatically gather and show data, stored in an external source, but also apply filters to that data and flexibly customize its display

From Version 6.3.1, if there are multiple reports in that need to be added to Metric Insights, they can be bulk-added all at once. 

In this article:

  1. Creating an External Report
    1. Info Tab
    2. Configuration Tab
    3. Advanced Tab
  2. External Tool Authentication
  3. Toolbar Controls
  4. End Result
  5. Importing/Exporting of External Reports

Note, that Metric Insights uses only https. If the web application that serves as the Data Source for your External Report uses ordinary http,  the report will not be displayed in the Metric Insights viewer. For more information refer to this issues fixing article.

1. Creating an External Report

Access + New > External Report > BI tool.

This example is using Qlik Sense as the BI tool. The configuration of External Reports is specific to each BI tool. Links to more specialized instructions based on a given BI tool can be found here:  Metric Insights' Plugins

  1. Name: must be unique for every Report. It is impossible to proceed to next step if the Report Name is the same as an existing one
  2. Report Type: is set automatically, according to the selected BI tool
    • For more information about Report Types refer to this article
  3. Description: optional. Visible only in the Viewer
    • By default uses the Name phrase if there is no Description
  4. Dimensioned by: optional. Choose a Dimension to be applied to the Report
  5. Category: choose the Category of the Report
  6. Put in the Folder: optional.  Select the Folder in which the Report is included
  7. Tags: optional. Are used to relate elements to each other for purposes of identifying and searching for similar elements. For details refer to: Create a Topic / Tag
  8. Image:
    • "Automatically Collected" requires that a Report Image Trigger is set. It defines when the image is updated
    • "Manually Uploaded" means the Admin uploads the image manually
  9. Plugin Connect Profile: select the Data Source from which the information is collected
  10. Object: choose the source data/report from the plugin

[Next: Define Details]

1.1. Info Tab

  1. Include External Report in next scheduled migration: it is possible to flag elements and then Migrate Content using our Export/Import Migration Scripts. Check for details:  Scripted Migration via Category and Element Editors
  2. Collecting is: new elements will be "disabled" until you publish the Report
  3. Visible: by default, users can find newly created elements via Search and on the Homepage
    • Disabling these check boxes makes the element visible to the Admin and creator only
  4. Certified: certification allows Admins and Power Users to identify elements that have been validated and deemed accurate. For details refer to: Certifying an Element

1.2. Configuration Tab

Its contents are based upon the specific BI Tool requirements. Below is an example using Qlik Sense:

1.2.1. External Report Type and Object Selection Sections

  1. Show Report: "External Webpage"means that the Report will be shown on the webpage from which the data was collected. After choosing "Viewer", define additional options:
    • Choose between the iframe and static image 
    • After selecting iframe, specify the Viewer Image Size
  2. [Manage Filters] to apply Filters to this Report prior to collecting data, see Filtering in External Reports (Pre-filtering BI Tools)
  3. Select whether to show the Report in the same way for everyone or to apply filters based on an associated User Map
  4. URL template: for more details, refer to Plugin URL Editor
  5. [6.2.4] [Edit URL] to edit the URL and use the Popup to create a Custom URL and test your changes
  6. [Test URL]  to confirm that it works properly

[6.2.4] Additional Display options were moved to the Advanced tab

1.2.2. Image Collection & Display Sections

  1. Image: can be "Automatically Collected", or "Manually Uploaded" by Admin
    • If "Automatically Collected" is chosen also define:
      • Report Image: either the data is collected automatically and according to the Report Image Trigger, or by demand
      • Report Image Trigger:  determines when and how often the data is collected
  2. [Save And Collect Image] to collect the data, set the image and save it
  3. [Setup Image] to change the Homepage's preview image height and width. For more information, refer to Understanding Setup Image
  4. Crop Tall Images to Default Size: If the image is tall, it would look clumsy on the tile. Enable this check box to crop it

1.3. Advanced Tab

Prior to 6.2.4, the Desktop and Mobile Display options were on the Configuration tab

  1. These options are displayed only if the "Viewer" is selected to display Report. Be aware that depending on the options selected in External Report Type, the display can differ
    • Viewer Size: "Automatic" means the size of the image will be set automatically according to its original size or size set in the Setup Image. It is also possible to set "Fixed height"
    • If the "In iframe" was chosen instead of "Static Image" it is possible to set how often it will Refresh
    • Show collaboration: enable this check box to allow users leave Comments to the Report tile
    • Display Filter bar in Full Screen: select where to show the filters, on "Top" or "Bottom"
    • Hide if mouse remain stationary: enable this check box to hide the filters if the pointer remains stationary for sometime
  2. Image: is recommended to be set as "Static Image". It is also possible to hide filters on Mobile Display
  3. Collect additional files: To generate a PDF or CSV file after collecting the data, enable corresponding check box
  4. PDF page format: If the "PDF" check box is enabled, choose the page format for the file
  5. [6.3.2] Expire if latest image is more than: Set when tile will display "Expired" marker based on the age of the image

2. External Tool Authentication

Each URL to which Metric Insights links may require some form of login for the system.

3. Toolbar Controls

  1. Template: create a template of the External Report. For more information refer to Create External Report Template
  2. Lineage: view the Lineage of the Report. For more details check Understanding Object Lineage
  3. Search: search for the data in the Report
  4. Duplicate: create a duplicate of this Report
  5. Delete: remove the Report

[View] to go to the Viewer and see how the Report will look like.

4. End Result

Once External Reports are created, a user will be able to seamlessly link to a variety of relevant reports from their personal list of Favorites or Categories to which the user has access.

5. Importing/Exporting of External Reports

External Reports are Imported and Exported the same way as the other Elements, but there are some special features:

  • When the User migrates an External Report to another instance, the path to the Object from which the External Report was created can change. That's why the URL (to see it, click [Edit URL] in the Object Selection section of the Configuration tab of the External Report Editor) is re-generated after importing
  • The Manually Uploaded image is included in the migration with the External Report only since the 6.4.4 version. In previous versions, only the Automatically Collected pictures were migrated with the External Report