Users Select Which Columns Are Exported in a Report’s CSV File
Membee’s reporting engine provides users with powerful data filtering capabilities to select just the records that meet their criteria. Fox example, the ability to set filters to select a specific subset of members is a daily occurrence for many Membee users. But once the selection process is complete, this is where Membee users vary greatly …
Membee’s reporting engine provides users with powerful data filtering capabilities to select just the records that meet their criteria. Fox example, the ability to set filters to select a specific subset of members is a daily occurrence for many Membee users. But once the selection process is complete, this is where Membee users vary greatly in what they wish to do with the member data meeting their filter criteria. Often the selected records are headed for an exported CSV file for use outside of Membee.
Whether its using the CSV file of selected records in a mail merge, organizing the records in a special way in Excel or custom report generator, or even passing the selected records to another application, the purpose for the CSV file varies greatly across Membee’s user base. As a result, Membee’s standard CSV exports (available for all 50+ of Membee’s standard reports) error on the side of providing likely many more columns of data than the user actually needs. Providing too many columns of data in a CSV export file is far better than not including a much-needed column.
The sheer number of columns in many of Membee’s CSV files make the CSV file more difficult to work with which is a situation Membee’s users asked us to address. So we did. The July 31, 2010 release of Membee contained a great new feature that allows the user to completely control which columns are contained in the exported CSV file for all of Membee’s reports and save this “export” configuration for future use with the report.
Define an Export on Each Report’s Settings Page
A new “export” panel has been added to every Membee report’s Settings page.
Create Unlimited Export Definitions for Each Membee Report
Membee allows you to store unlimited export definitions for every report which is handy since often the same report is used to produce different CSV exports that are used for very different purposes. When you run this report in the future, all previously created export definitions are available for your use.
The CSV Options page allows you to:
- Name the export definition
- Mark the export definition as “private” – available only to you
- Provide a description – perhaps the export will be used by other Membee users in their organization
- Select the fields they want to be included in the export
- Save their new definition
Below is an example of a “Mailing Label” export definition for the popular Organization Contact Detail Report.
Select Your Export Definition When Creating the CSV Export
Once you get your handful of exports defined for your frequently used Membee reports, you can quickly select the export definition you want to use right when you create the CSV in Membee’s report job queue.
When you click on the CSV icon, Membee presents the list of previously defined export definitions so you can select one on the fly. Just select the export definition you wish to use and choose the “Create Selected Export” link.
By the way, you can also use the “Export All Fields” option to have Membee to produce its standard for “default” CSV file for your report.
Save An Export as Part of a Report Favorite
Membee’s Report Favorite feature is very popular with organizations simply because it makes it easy for infrequent users to select and run complex Membee reports created by other Membee users in their organization.
Like any other setting for a report, the Export Definition can also be saved as a part of the report favorite which makes it easy for infrequent users in your organization to now run a report you setup for them and get the CVS file they want.
For more details on how to use this new feature, check out the article Selecting the Fields to Export in a CSV File in Membee’s Tips & Tricks forum (requires your Membee username and password).