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A Guide to BI Document Scheduling & Distribution Features for Business

The majority of BI tools offer to create reports and dashboard documents. Once the report or dashboard is ready, the next big job is to distribute and share it with the concerned audience (internal or external stakeholders). Mostly BI tools support document distribution via manual export and sharing through channels such as Email. However, this approach seems easy when there are fewer documents, and fewer stakeholders involved. As they increase, these manual steps become a tedious task.

Thus, business users need a way to automate this distribution process for them and skip going to the portal every time they want to see an analysis report or perform the same manual steps to export and distribute documents.

Wyn Enterprise supports this business scenario by allowing document distribution at specific events or recurring intervals, to specific recipients, and via specific channels using the Scheduling feature.

Here, in this blog, we’ll see how to set up scheduling in Wyn Enterprise using Scheduled Tasks, covering: 

  1. What is Document Scheduling?

  2. Setting up a Schedule in Wyn Enterprise

  3. Schedule Task Configurations

  4. Administrative controls for Scheduling

  5. More with Scheduling in Wyn Enterprise

  6. New feature additions to Scheduling in Wyn Enterprise 6.1

 

1. What is Document Scheduling?

Document Scheduling is a process that automatically sends a document in readable formats such as Excel, PDF, Text, etc. via a suitable channel at specific or periodic intervals to the configured recipients. Just as important as the Report and Dashboard documents in a BI is the ability to schedule and share those documents. Just as important as the Report and Dashboard documents in a BI Platform is the ability to schedule and share those documents.

It offers several advantages, including

  • efficient and timely distribution of information to relevant users

  • avoid heavy querying during peak hours

  • minimize the manual intervention by automating the distribution process

  • improve accuracy by doing the task right the first time and avoid costly mistakes down the road.

  • save resources and enhance performance by utilizing time to do more tasks - create more reports and dashboards

  • enable users to view the latest content without logging in to portals

2. Setting up a Schedule in Wyn Enterprise

Wyn Enterprise allows document scheduling through Scheduled Tasks that are added to a document from the Info panel on user portals as shown below:

Scheduled tasks image

A Scheduled Task is a set of scheduling configurations that specify who is to be notified, when to be notified, and the notification method. It uses these configurations to run a document on a particular date and time, and share the result of the generated document through the selected channel and to selected individuals.

Note:

If you don’t see a Task tab, it's probably because you do not have the required permission. Ask your administrator to grant you access.

3. Schedule Task Configurations

Wyn Enterprise offers several configurations with a Schedule task that can be used to meet the varied business needs with document distribution. These configurations include,

Frequency

Whether you need to distribute the document regularly but at no specific time, just once, or frequently at some defined interval; Wyn Enterprise supports 3 modes to determine the frequency of your document distribution. They are Manual, One-time, and Scheduled.

Frequency image

Use the Manual option to save the distribution setting for a document that is often needed to see results, however, the time is generally not defined. You can execute it on demand by clicking on the execution button manually. For example, a sales analysis report that you send to your manager as soon as you update it. Set up a Manual schedule on such reports and hit the run button to deliver the updated data to the manager in a few seconds.

Choose the One-time execution mode when the document is supposed to be distributed strictly once. It allows you to set the time the execution should start. You can use this option in a situation when the document is to be distributed in bulk. For example, a confirmation letter is to be sent to all employees at the beginning of a financial year, or a bank statement must be inboxed to a user after some (say 3) working days.

The Scheduled mode must be used for recurring distribution such as a Telephone bill, Monthly or Annual sales report, or hourly inspection report for a production line. It allows you to manually set the date and time pattern for your execution or choose from several pre-defined templates (built-in and custom created by an Admin).

Document Format

Reports/Dashboards in Wyn Enterprise can be viewed by the respective viewers in Wyn Enterprise. However, you may want to share the report in another format such as a PDF, Word, etc. Schedule Tasks lets you choose from a list of popular document formats - PDF, Word, Excel, CSV, Text, Image, HTML, JSON, and many others to export the document and distribute it to the users.

Use Advanced Settings to make custom settings for each of these export formats.

Export format image

Delivery or Distribution Channels

How you want or your user/customer would like to receive the document, through Email notification, at a shared location (UNC path), a message on applications like Slack, or Microsoft Teams, or simply store it on the server. Make this choice with the Delivery options in the Schedule Task.

Delivery image

Parameterized, Dynamic, and Contextual Documents

Schedule Task offers to create parameterized and dynamic document distribution such that the users only receive the data they should see in the email attachment. If your report or dashboard report document is designed to show user-contextual information using parameters, they appear in the Parameters section as shown below:

parameters image

Schedule Templates

A schedule template is a pre-configured document consisting of recurrence details, recipient information, delivery channel, and other settings. You can choose to use a schedule template in situations such as,

  • share documents with the same settings, frequently and over time

  • use company-regulated distribution settings

  • simplify the task creation for end users by using preselected configurations

Wyn Enterprise offers built-in templates for Daily, Weekly, and Monthly task executions and allows you (as an admin) to create custom templates based on your business needs. You can create schedule templates from the Scheduling tab on the Configuration page of the Admin Portal as shown below:

schedule templates

It may be possible that not all schedule settings are supposed to be preset in a template. Take, for example, the Export format. You want to let your end users choose it themselves. Such settings can be configured on the portal as shown below:

preset setting image

Because of its nature and purpose of reusability, a schedule template is available with the “Scheduled” execution mode only.

 

Check out the detailed steps using these configurations to set up a Schedule Task for Report and for a Dashboard.

 

4. Administrative controls for Scheduling

For effective execution of Schedule tasks, there are a few administrative settings that must be configured. These settings are provided to ensure that only the authorized users create the scheduled tasks, tasks are created only if required by your business, the relevant delivery channel is configured, and other such scenarios. They include,

Portal URI

This setting is required to generate a document URL for a document share using a link and for a URL link in the Schedule history. Make this setting from the UI Settings tab on the Configuration page of the Admin Portal.

portal settings image

Notification Center Settings

This setting is required to generate when you want to send notifications using Email, Slack, or Microsft Teams. Configure them from the Notification Center Settings tab on the Configuration page of the Admin Portal.

Notification Center settings

Check out the documentation to learn how to configure these settings.

Schedule Settings

You can use these settings when you want to control and hide certain elements from the Schedule Tasks panel on the user portal, stop task execution when a document is empty, disable Manual and one-time execution modes, and other such configurations. This setting is found under the Scheduling tab on the Configuration page of the Admin Portal.

schedule settings

Learn about these settings in detail from the Administration guide.

5. More with Scheduling in Wyn Enterprise

Scheduling in Wyn Enterprise is not just limited to a report; a user can even use it for some scheduled processes. These include dataset cleanup, dataset refresh, and data model cache refresh.

6. Coming soon to Scheduling in Wyn Enterprise

In the upcoming Wyn Enterprise release, there are many new features expected with the Scheduling. The most important include batch document distribution (i.e consolidating several documents to be sent together), adding Cc and Bcc recipients to the Email distribution, and weekly schedule template. So, stay tuned to unleash these highly demanded additions to the Scheduling in Wyn Enterprise.

About the author

Paarisha Rana

As a software engineer, Paarisha enjoys GrapeCity's environment of encouragement and learning. She enjoys reading, aerobics, travelling, and exploring historical places. Paarisha graduated from Uttar Pradesh Technical University (UPTU) at Lucknow (India) with a Bachelor's of Technology in Information Technology, and you can find her on LinkedIn.
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