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Gain added flexibility by downloading your Sage Intelligence reports to Excel

When working with Sage Intelligence, you may feel the need to make changes to your reports using functionality that isn’t included online, like adding tables, charts, trendlines, etc.  If this is you, then Sage Intelligence has you covered by allowing you to download and open your reports in Microsoft Excel, giving you access to standard Excel functionality.  You’re also provided with the Excel Design Pane—meaning that you can have your report refreshed with the latest data and make use of some nifty features, like drilling down on your values, viewing missing accounts, making further changes to your layouts, or even designing new ones from scratch.

To get your hands on all of this, follow these simple steps:

1. Sign in to Sage intelligence.

2. Run out the report you would like to open in Excel (choosing the relevant parameters).

3. Once run out, at the top right of the window, click “Excel”. An Excel instance of the report will be created and depending on your browser, you’ll either be asked to open it directly, save it to a specific folder, or else it will be downloaded to your default download location.

4. On opening the file, you’ll be presented with your layout in the familiar environment of Excel. You’ll also see the Excel design pane added on the right.

5. To make use of the Design Pane you’ll need to sign in using your Sage credentials and following the prompts to load the data you want to work with.  You can now make use of the power of Excel and the functionality of the Design Pane to further customize your reports.

To learn more about the Excel Design Pane, check out the Excel related videos for your product on the Sage Intelligence Learning Portal.

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Sage Intelligence troubleshooting tip

Not grasping why your system is returning an unexpected result can be a source of great frustration. If you suspect there could potentially be an issue with Sage Intelligence, try this quick troubleshooting technique.

While Sage Intelligence is loaded on your screen, press F12 on your keyboard—this will open a console at the bottom or to the right of your screen.

If there is an error on the webpage, you will see it highlighted in red under the Console tab.  Take a screenshot of this error and send it through to your local support team to help them assist you as quickly as possible.

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Learn the various Connector menu ribbon functions

In our last tip, we looked at the functionality of the different icons provided on the Report Manager menu ribbon. You can find this tip here. Now, we’re going to do the same for the Connector module.

Take note that icons will activate / deactivate based on your selection in the object window.  These icons are available on software using Sage Intelligence Core 7.3 and above.

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Learn the various Report Manager menu ribbon functions

When you use the Sage Intelligence Report Manager module, you will see an array of icons on the menu ribbon.  Here is a quick tip on their functionality.

Take note that icons will activate / deactivate based on your selection in the object window.  These icons are available on software using Sage Intelligence Core 7.3 and above.

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Learn how to use Column Variables for more descriptive headings in your cloud reports

Having descriptive headings in a report can make it easier to comprehend.  For example, having month names instead of period values for column titles can make it easier to determine the data a column refers to.  Sage Intelligence now makes this possible in a dynamic way through Column Variables.

This tip applies to: Sage Business Cloud Accounting

Three types of variables are provided, Amount Type, Period and Year.  Their use and function will be explained in the remainder of this tip.  To add these to a report, do the following:

1. Open the report for editing in the Online Design Screen or add a new report if you are creating one from scratch.

2. Select the column whose title you would like to edit or add a new one, and then select the Plus icon to the right of the Column Heading field in the Design Pane.

3. A dialogue box will be shown allowing you to select the variables you want to use. You can make any selection of variables.

4. After clicking OK, you’ll see place holders in the Column Heading field for the variables you selected. You’ll also notice that you can combine the variables with normal text.  If you want to add or edit text, place your mouse at the desired position in the field and type what you want.  I’m going to delete the additional text in my field.  Also note that you can delete variables from the field by placing your mouse at the start of them and pressing the Delete key.

5. You can now update any of the other columns in your report, or create new ones, adding the variables you want and setting the correct values for them. I’ve updated mine to include the Amount Type and Period for all my fields.  As the year will be displayed in my report heading, I’ve removed it.

My title in the Design Screen now appears as follows.

  • The Amount Type variable corresponds to the Amount Type field and displays the option selected there.
  • The Period variable corresponds to the period selector and displays the option selected there. When the report is run out, the period value is replaced by the month name of the month the period value refers to.  Also note that the Period variable doesn’t apply if the amount type is Opening Balance.
  • The Year variable corresponds to the Year field and will display the option entered there.

6. After running out the report you can see the column titles are display according to the variables that were selected, and in the case of periods, month names are shown instead of period values.

If you would prefer period values for your column headings instead of month names, you do have this option.  Check Show Period Number in Column Heading in either the properties of a report when designing/editing it or from the Parameters dialogue when running it.

By using Column Variables, you now have the power to make your column headings more meaningful in a dynamic way.

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Learn how to check your Containers in the Sage Intelligence Connector module

Being able to check if the components of a report are functioning as expected while working with them can help provide a smooth workflow and save time dealing with problems later in the report creation process.  Also, if you do come across errors in a report, being able to test its components easily allows for carefree troubleshooting.

In the Sage Intelligence Connector module, Containers define the datasets that you want for a report.  Once one has been added and the query for it written, two options are provided to check whether it’s working as desired.  These are Check/Test and Sample Data.

Check/Test

Check/Test runs the query of a Container against the database to see if it executes correctly.  To do this, select the Container you want to test and click Check/Test on the Home tab on the menu ribbon.  You can also right click on the Container and select Check/Test from the context menu.

If successful, you’ll receive a Success message.  This provides confirmation that the Container has no errors. It’s always good to run after making changes to a Container’s query or properties.

If the Container does have an error, then a Check Failed message will be shown with a description of the type of error to help with trouble shooting.

Sample Data

Running Sample Data for a Container will display a sample of the information returned by its query.  This is usually limited to the first 50 rows.  To do this, select the Container and click Sample Data on the Home tab on the menu ribbon.  You can also right click on the Container and select Sample Data from the context menu.

This is useful to check that the query is bringing back the desired information or to investigate the tables in your database to determine which ones to use in a report.

In addition to this, Check/Test and Sample Data can be executed against other objects in the Connector.  For example, Check/Test can be run against a Connection to make sure that it’s accessing the database correctly, and Sample Data can be run against individual Expressions of a Container to see what data they return.

To see if Check/Test or Sample Data applies to an object, select the object in the object window.  If either one applies, it will become active on the menu.

Making Check/Test and Sample Data a standard part of your report writing skill set can go a long way to ensuring trouble-free report writing, saving you time.

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Enhance your reporting with Sage Intelligence and Microsoft Power BI

Are you familiar with Microsoft Power BI?  Did you know that in addition to Excel, Power BI can be used with Sage Intelligence to provide attractive and interactive depictions of your data?  A key benefit of this is being able to keep track of key performance indicators while on the go.  If this appeals to you, then check out our webcast on starting out with Sage Intelligence and Power BI:

Getting Started with Sage Intelligence and Power BI

Furthermore, to get an idea of where the technology is heading and what’s possible, we have integrated Power BI with Sage Intelligence for Sage Business Cloud Accounting—with five dashboards to boast and more on their way.  Check them out here:

Interactive Dashboards with Sage Intelligence for Sage Business Cloud Accounting

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Learn how to use Title Variables in your Sage Intelligence reports

Having a meaningful title for a report can help make its intention clear.  For example, being able to add a date to a report name allows you to tell at a glance what information the report is referring to, and having this work dynamically is an obvious convenience.  Sage Intelligence has now made this possible using Title Variables.

This tip applies to: Sage Business Cloud Accounting

Two types of variables are provided, Company and Date.  Their use and function will be explained in the remainder of this tip.  To add these to a report do the following:

  1. Open the report for editing in the Online Design Screen or add a new report if you are creating one from scratch.
  2. Select the title for the report in the Design Screen and click the Add icon next to the Title field in the Design Pane.

  1. A dialogue box will be shown allowing you to select the variable you want to use. You can choose one or both.

  1. Click OK. You will now see two place holders shown for the variables in the Title field.

  1. The title in the Design Screen will be shown as follows.

  1. In addition to this you can place your cursor in the Title field, either before, in between, or after the variables and add any further descriptive text you would like.

  1. Next, set the filters for the report. This includes the Company, Year and Title Period.  Alternately you can wait to do this in the report filter dialogue box when you run the report from your My Reports page.  When the report is run out, the Company variable will display the company that is set in the report filters.  The title period isn’t required to run a report but needs to be set for the Date variable to show a value.  Here you have both static and dynamic options.  The date that is shown will be the last day of the month of the period that is selected.

An example of a run out report with the Company and Date variables included in the title is shown below.  This immediately adds further clarity to the information that will be presented in the report.

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Save time by using shortcut keys in Sage Intelligence

Shortcut keys are common in many software applications and can save you time by making common functions easy to perform.  Sage Intelligence is no different, and several shortcuts are provided in both the Report Manager and Connector.  They are as follows:

CTRL + R

In the Report Manager, selecting a report and pressing CTRL + R will run it out.  This is the same as selecting a report and pressing run on the menu ribbon.

CTRL + C

In the Report Manager and Connector, selecting an item in the object window and pressing CTRL + C will save a copy of it to your clipboard.  This is the same as selecting an object and pressing Copy on the menu ribbon.

CTRL + V

In the Report Manager and Connector, once an item has been copied, pressing CTRL + V will paste the copy into another selected object.  This is the same as using the Paste button on the menu ribbon.  As an example, in my Report Manager I have copied my Sales Details report.  I’ve then selected my Sales Reports folder and pressed CTRL + V.  The copied report has been added to the folder.  Take note that the object that you select to paste an item into must be of the same type as the object the item was copied from.

DEL

In the Report Manager and Connector, selecting an item in the object window and pressing the Delete key will attempt to remove it.  You will then be asked to confirm whether this is the action you want to take, and you can select either Yes or No.  This is the same as pressing the Delete button on the menu ribbon.

F2

In the Report Manager and Connector, selecting an object in the object window and pressing the F2 key will open the dialogue box that allows you to rename it.  You can then make changes to the name and press OK or Cancel the action.  This is the same as pressing the Rename button on the menu ribbon.

F5

In the Report Manager and Connector, use this key to refresh the items in the object window.  This is the same as pressing the Refresh button on the menu ribbon.

F12

In the Report Manager and Connector, this shortcut will start the process of adding a child object to the object selected in the object window.  As an example, in the Report Manager I have selected my Sales Reports folder.  Pressing F12 will kick off adding a new child to the object which in this case is a new report.  You can then complete the process.

Depending on how you like to work, knowing these few commands can make your workflow quicker and easier.

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How to keep your Report Manager tidy by hiding reports you don’t use

You may have reports that you don’t run out often, if at all.  A common example is the sub-reports of a union report, and you only ever run out the union report.  Having these additional reports in your Report Manager may be necessary but can clutter up your folders.  Fortunately, the Report Manager gives you the ability of hiding reports, helping to keep things neat and manageable.

If you have such a report, and would like to hide it, follow the below steps:

1. In the object window, select the report that you would like to hide.

2. Then under the Properties tab, check the Show Advanced checkbox.

3. Scroll down and then check the Report Hidden checkbox.

4. Next, click the Apply button to save the changes.

5. Now refresh your object window by double clicking on the Home object at the top of the pane.

6. Notice that the report is no longer listed in your list of available reports.

Although reports may be hidden, you still have the ability to view and work with them.  To show all hidden reports, do the following:

1. Select the Home object in Report Manager.

2. Then open the Tools tab on the menu ribbon and select Toggle Hidden Reports.

3. Now refresh your object window by double clicking on the Home object.

4. All hidden reports will be shown, and you’ll be able to work with them as with any other report.

Using the Report Hidden option provides an easy way to remove unnecessary reports from your Report Manager without actually deleting them, keeping things tidy and helping to improve your workflow.

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Source: Sage Intelligence