Creating reports that provide transparency on product roadmaps is an important responsibility of the product manager. Communicating the "why," "when," and "what" behind product plans requires both a reporting tool and supporting data. And they must be robust enough to answer all product-related questions that stakeholders need to have answered. There are four different types of Aha! reports — list, pivot, chart, and hierarchy — and well over 100 data objects to help with this endeavor.
Building a new report
Getting started with the creation of a new report doesn't mean you have to start with a blank canvas. Click on the Add report button found on each of the report pages and start with an example report or create a custom report from the ground up. The examples can also provide a launching point for further tailoring the content to meet your specific reporting needs.
The key to getting started is identifying what is at the heart of the report you wish to create. Do you wish to create a report focused on feature assignments and status? Or a break-down of initiatives and goals by each release? The answer helps determine what data columns you choose first.
- A data column is the data you want to see in your reports, such as Feature name.
- A table is what contains data columns, such as Features.
Understanding table relationships
When you add your first column, future options of selectable data will change based on the first selection to ensure that you are putting together a table of valid data objects that relate to one another.
Having knowledge of the Aha! data model is most helpful when deciding which table and columns to start with. This will be based on the type of report you wish to create and the data element you want to serve as the foundation for your report. For example, if you wish to create a report that shows features based on feature goals, you'll want to start your new report using feature columns (i.e. Feature name). If you wish to create a report showing releases by initiative, you'll want to start your new report using release columns (i.e. Release name). Think about the data and related elements you need to include in the report and always start with the table that is lowest in this data model hierarchy because the data relationships flow upward.
Here are a few report examples to illustrate:
- Feature assignments by release by product: Start with selecting the Feature table and columns. In turn, both the Release and Product tables and columns will be accessible for the report. On the other hand, if you would have started with the Release table, the Product table and columns would be available but not the Feature table and columns.
- Targeted goals and initiatives by release: Start with the Release table and columns.
- List of all ideas and highlighting those that have been promoted to features: Start with the Ideas table if you want to see all Ideas. If you start with the Features table, the only ideas that will be available for the report are those that have been promoted to Features.
The page for adding data columns is organized into a set of database tables on the left and the corresponding table columns on the right. The values for both are sequenced with the most commonly used appearing at the top of the list.
Adding data to new reports
Every page will have a Add report button. If you click that, you can add new data columns easily by clicking the + icon (shown above).
Adding data columns to existing Reports List
The Reports > List page is simple because it's data is arranged in columns based on the data you want to see. You have only one step to add data: Click on the Add data icon on the upper-left of the page.
Adding data columns to existing reports pivot, chart and timeline views
The Reports > Pivot page, the Reports > Chart page, and the Reports > Custom page all have additional steps to arrange your data. Therefore, you must click Add data which will bring you to a new view where you can add and arrange the data columns.