Are You a Trend Setter?

By Posted July 9th, 2013

Being trendy isn’t always the best idea. Just think about some of those fashion trends throughout history and you’ll cringe at what used to be trendy. I have to admit that I’ve fallen into the “trendy” trap a time or two in my life and some of the pictures I see can attest that not all trends are good!

Seriously though, prior to working for SpinifexIT, those cringe-worthy fashion trends were the only trends that I thought about. Over the course of the many years I supported SAP in report development prior to joining SpinifexIT, I was never asked to create trend reports.  So, when I learned about the trend reporting capabilities of Easy Reporter, I really didn’t give it much thought. In hindsight, maybe those I supported in my previous job were creating their own trend reports on the side after I provided them with data files out of SAP. My guess is that they took data into Excel and created some highly complex calculations to identify data trends. That might sound familiar to many of you!

So imagine my surprise when I started discussing trend reporting the first time that I taught an Easy Reporter class and saw the excitement in the room! I heard comments like “it can’t be that easy to create trend reports” and “do you know how much time I spend creating trend reports for my boss?” Apparently many of you do care about trend reports but have never had an easy way of creating them. With Easy Reporter, it really is that simple to create trend reports. As the people in my training class learned, it is literally as easy as checking a box. Once you have a field on your report that you want to trend, check the box (shown in the screenshot below), and VOILA!!

Setting up a trend in Easy Reporter

What’s even better is that after you include a trend field on your report, you can pick the timeframe for which you want the trend created and you can choose to run it for multiple trend periods. For example, you can run it one time to give you a monthly trend for the entire year, a weekly trend for a quarter, and so on. The options are limitless.

Let’s see an example of a simple trend report that one of our customers found very helpful. This report was created to review the trends in benefits participation across a number of benefit plans in the company from 12/31/2011 to 12/31/2012. This particular customer had been spending hours extracting data and comparing it in Excel, but this one simple report from Easy Reporter runs quickly and gives them the same results without any manual effort at all. As you can see from the screenshots below, the information is presented concisely but can be drilled down into to see details that make up each number.

Here is the detailed format:

Detailed view of a benefits trend report

And here is the data at the summary level (it’s the same report – just summarized):

Summary view of a benefits trend report

Apparently there are some good trends. And unlike the photos of my past fashion faux pas I mentioned earlier data trend reports created using Easy Reporter are nothing to chuckle about. As a matter of fact, for many of our customers, they’re a source of pride. You can enjoy them and wow the crowds with your expertise in creating meaningful data, quickly, easily.  Are you ready to be a “trend setter”?