jesse.mchargue

Leveraging Reporting Web Parts

Blog Post created by jesse.mchargue Champion on Mar 24, 2016

Hello All!

 

So I have come across some questions and discussions around the out-of-the-box web parts that Nintex provides for reporting and I wanted to dive.

Before we go on this adventure, but sure to check out Enable Reports on your Nintex Workflows by Emily Billing, it will help provide some background!

Also, these web parts are a part of the Enterprise Edition.

 

Turning On Your Reports

Seems silly, but make sure it is plugged in...

At a minimum you will need to turn on Nintex Workflow and Nintex Workflow Reporting Web Parts at the Site Collection level.

You may want to turn on Nintex Workflow Enterprise Reporting at the Site level so that you can leverage those reports, but for this I will be covering reports that you can show off to users and paint a picture of what they are doing.

 

Adding Reports To A Page

Once we have everything turned on, we can begin to start using them! I created a page and just started throwing web parts on it!

I recommend that you use something to structure the layout so it is not overwhelming (I just used a table...)!

On your blank page, open it up in edit and Insert a Web Part:

 

I tend to use more charts than the report viewer only because it is easier for users to consume images rather than the raw data, but I do mix it in for the ones that are more analytical and like to see it (use what makes sense to you and your needs). Once added to your page it is time to configure it, and this is where you will sink most of your time!

 

Setting Up Your Reports

First you have to decide what you want to report on. Again, check out Emily Billing's post I linked above of an overview of the reports.

I selected 30 Day Usage Summary (all sites).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next we need to Configure display settings and select a few options (I put what I selected in [BRACKETS]:

  • Chart Type - [Bar]
  • Width - [720]
  • Height - [540]
  • Display Style - [2D]
  • Group Labels by - [Column]
  • Colors - I added one of each of the default colors and applied to the Rows

I also adjust the column settings to show Period and Workflows Started, and have EventDate hidden.

Click Apply and should have something to display how many workflows have been started each day over the past 30 days within that Site Collection (depending on how your db's are setup). Here is mine once all setup:

 

I setup four charts as a sort of "dashboard" as an overview of what is going on within the one site collection. I created charts for:

  • 30 Usage Summary
  • Workflows By Site
  • Workflow Performance - showing off duration
  • Workflow Performance - showing off the number of instances of each workflow

 

Here it is in action:

 

The "Why"

All too often we get these tools and struggle to figure out why we need/should use them and what we can use them for. Here is my thinking...

  • Reports are visual - it puts something that is easily consumable in front of users (or someone) and allows them to glean the information quickly
  • Reports provide facts, not opinions - if you see a spike in duration, you can quickly pinpoint where the problem is and how to isolate it, or if a workflow is used 75% out of all usage (as like the one I have), you can make the case to spend more time/resources to improve it or understand how important it is
  • Reports are always watching... - if someone is asking about long running instances or wants to know what is pending/errored out/canceled/etc, you can pull that quickly and know that it is accurate and up-to-date

 

I personally use the reports to help guide our efforts and decisions towards the important areas, rather than the vocal minority. We can provide these insights to our business areas and let them see how things are performing, how long workflows are taking, what/who is a bottleneck or unneeded step. Ultimately, it provides us the tools and facts to stand on when asked questions in regards to our workflows!

 

Hope this provided some insight to Nintex Report web parts and please feel free to let us know what you are using it for. I am eager to see if anyone has augmented the XML behind these or created their own custom report(s).

 

Until next time!

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