Creating a Reports Template
Templates are the backbone of the report feature. It’s your library of fixed layouts, from which you can create dynamic and automatically updated dashboards, or one-off or scheduled reports of the information. You’ll always need to start with a template for any new reports you want to create.
We have created a few pre-set templates for you to start off with, covering metrics such as broken links, unrecognized spellings, and even a League Table of your websites.
To start creating a template, select the Templates option in the top-right corner of the Reports screen.
The Templates screen displays a list of all templates that have already been created, along with who created the template. Select the purple New template button at the top of the list to begin creating a new template.
The new template will need to be given a name and a description, so users can tell each template apart, which is particularly useful if multiple templates have similar names.
The name and description will appear on the Reports overview screen like so:
Next, you’ll need to decide what your template should cover. You can choose from the following:
- One website: Most widgets that you can use to build your templates will be based on a single website. If you select ‘One website’ when creating your template, any dashboards or reports you later create from this template can only be based on a single website or section. You might use this if you want to display specific data about a single website at a time, like instances of unrecognized spellings or broken links.
- Many websites: If you want to display data across more than one website or section on your dashboards or reports, you’ll need to select ‘Many websites’. This will allow you to select from ‘All websites’ in your Silktide account, ‘Specific websites’, or ‘Tagged websites’ if you’ve already set up groupings based on tags. You might use this if you want to look at some higher-level data across more than one website, such as your average accessibility score on a group of websites.
- Analytics property: If you have the Silktide Analytics module, you’ll be able to build custom reports based on any data you want from an Analytics property in your Silktide account.
- Account: This will prevent any filter options from being used, and should only be used if the dashboard or report is going to report on account-specific information, such as User or Group information.
Once you’ve chosen what the template will cover, you’ll be asked to select your ‘preview’ website(s). The website(s) you choose at this stage can be changed later when you create your dashboard or report, but in order to be able to visualize your template, we need to have data from your website(s) to show you.
You now need to decide who can see and admin your new template. If you’ve already chosen at a group/individual permission level that a user can ‘See all templates’, you won’t need to do anything here. If you have left it blank in your group/individual settings, you’ll need to grant specific access to your new template here.
Once permissions have been set, press the purple Save button to confirm the choices and begin building your template.
Building the report template
The report template building screen will display the name of the template in the top-left corner and an option to adjust the settings in the top-right corner. There are also 3 additional buttons on the top bar, which will allow a Heading, Text, or Linebreak to be added to the report for further customization.
So that the template has something to show, it will need to have widgets added to it. This can be started by selecting the purple New widget button in the middle of the screen.
There are a lot of widgets that can be chosen on the left-hand menu. A search option is available at the top of the list, along with a ‘type’ filter, that will filter the types of widgets to display One website, Many websites, Analytics, or Whole account widgets only. To avoid confusion, if the template has been set to “One website”, then it will be best to filter for widgets with the “One website” type.
Once you’ve found the widget you want, the right-hand side of the screen will populate with preview data based on your ‘preview’ website(s).
The options on the left-hand menu will also update:
- Inherit from the report template: This will allow you to filter by website(s) or tags when you use this template to create a dashboard (reports won’t allow you to do this, as once created they will never change).
- Select a website: This will lock down the widget to always show data from the website you choose right now, and won’t respond to any website/tag filters you use in a dashboard.
You’ll find different options for customization depending on the type of widget you choose. You can change the name for the widget if you want to. If you’re adding a table of data to your template, you can also use the filters at the top of the table preview to default it to keep your chosen filters later on.
Once you’re happy with the setup, press the Add widget button at the bottom of the page.
This will then display the report template where additional widgets and customization can take place.
Once your template is complete, press the purple Save button in the top-right corner to confirm. The template can be edited as needed in the future.
Now that a template has been created, it’s ready to be used to create reports.