See View Creation for more information.
Who is the view Administrator?
Views are created by an administrator. There is no standard profile for a view administrator. Within a company, the person designated as the view administrator may be the database administrator, an applications manager or developer, a project manager, or a business user who has acquired enough technical skills to create views for other users.
A view administrator should have the following skills and level of technical knowledge:
Ability to analyse user needs
The view administrator must have the skills to conduct user needs analyses to create categories and fields that are relevant to the user vocabulary, and to develop views that meet the needs of the user community.
A View administrator needs to have a good working knowledge of the company’s database management system (DBMS), how the databases are deployed, the logical database structure, and the type of data stored in company databases.
Structured Query Language (SQL)
A working knowledge of SQL is necessary.
The purpose of field categories is to provide logical groupings of fields within a view. The name of a category should intuitive to the business user and provide an indication of the fields that it is likely to contain.
A field is a named component that maps to data or a derivation of data in the database. The name of a field should be drawn from the business vocabulary of the targeted user group.
When creating a VIEW, you define and categorise fields. The definition of a field reveals how it can be used in analysis and reports. A field can be defined as a dimension or a metric. Each type of field serves a different purpose:
Dimension fields retrieve the data that will provide the basis for analysis in a report. Dimensions typically retrieve character-type data (employee names, company names, etc.), or dates (years, quarters, etc.)
Metric fields retrieve numeric data that is the result of calculations on data in the database. Metrics tend to be dynamic: the values they return depend on the dimensions they are used with. For example, if you include Person and Age in a query, Age per person is calculated.
View Geography Fields are fields linked to a GeoPack.
Pre-Defined Filters are fields where a set of conditions have been set up when the view was created. This assists users to limit the data returned in a query to only the expected results. For example if the filter is called ‘United States’ then only data from the united states would be included in the results.
Parameters are fields which are used to capture user defined values and pass them into calculated fields or filters. These parameters can assist in conducting what if analysis.
View Filter Groups are sets fields to be used as filters, reused multiple times. Filter Groups can contain filter dependency hierarchies, as well as cached values. These only have to be set up once, rather than for each report.
By using a view, the end user automatically has access to data within your source system. Access to data is restricted by the fields that are available in the view. These fields have been created by the administrator based on the report users needs.
Assisting Data Analysis
A view can represent the data needs of any specific application, system, or group of users. For example, a view can contain fields that represent the data needs of the Marketing or Accounting departments in a company.
A view can also represent the data needs of a section within a department or any set of organized procedures such as a payroll or inventory system.
Who uses views?
Yellowfin report writers use views for reporting and analysis. The view should provide them with categories and fields relevant to their business domain.
- Analysis of business problem and planning the view solution
- Building the view
- Defining fields and Creating Calculated Fields
- Publishing the view to users
Each implementation phase is based on an assumption that you have completed an initial planning phase.
- Plan the view
The analysis of user requirements and design are the most important stages in the process. Users must be heavily involved in the development process if the view is going to fulfil their needs both with the business language used to name fields and the data that can be accessed.
Implementation will be very quick and easy if this stage is carried out properly. You should note the following points:
- You must fully understand the data analysis and reporting needs of the target audience for the view. Do not create fields by looking at the columns available in the database, but identify columns that are required as a result your user needs analysis.
- Understand the source system data and business rules required for generating the required fields for users.
- Building the view
You create an entity relationship diagram for the underlying database structure of your view. This includes the selecting the appropriate tables and columns of the source database and the joins by which they are linked.
- Defining Fields
Select columns form your source system tables and organise these fields into categories. These are fields that you have identified from an analysis of user reporting needs. You can create additional calculated fields and filters to enhance user reporting capabilities and optimise query performance.
Test the integrity of your view structure. You should also perform tests using the report writer on the view.
- Publish the View
You can publish your view to users for testing, and eventually for production use, by expanding the number of users that have access to the view.
The table below outlines the major phases in a typical view development cycle:
Identify the target data source and become familiar with its structure.
Identify what information the users need. Identify what standard reports they require.
Build the view either on the database or through the Yellowfin view builder.
Form a small group of users, preferably power users who have some knowledge of what information they expect to get from the view.
Migrate the view from your Test to Production environments.
Update and maintain the view as the data sources and user requirements change and grow.
Note: View design should always be driven primarily by user requirements and NOT the data source structure.