When running almost any report in Spektrix, you will need to tell the system which data you'd like the report look at – otherwise all reports would just look at all of the data possible for the report type in question! This article discusses Criteria Sets, the reporting tool that lets you identify the data in the system that you are interested in so that you can produce concise and effective reports.
What's a Criteria Set?
A Criteria Set dictates the data that you want to include in your report. For example you might choose to look for sales which happened over a specific date range, Events taking place at just one of your venues, or customers who have certain tags. By doing so, you can narrow down the data your report is looking at, rather than having to wade through all of your data in the report itself to find the information you want (which might not always be possible anyway).
Each report can have multiple Criteria Sets, which means that while the report will visually look the same each time, it can output different results depending on which Criteria Set you choose.
For example, imagine that you want to run a Ticket Sales Analysis, which displays ticket sales information broken down into various tables of useful information. There are two options for Criteria Sets, each of which will give you different information.
One option would be to select your data based on Transaction Date, in order to find out how many tickets you'd sold in total over a certain date range. You would get sales data for all Events which you had sold tickets for in that period of time, regardless of when each Event Instance was taking place – but if you'd made sales outside of that date range, they wouldn't be included in your report.
Alternatively you could run the same report using Instance Start Date instead, to find out how many tickets you'd sold for Events which were happening during that time frame. This would give you sales data for just those Events, but based on all transactions, regardless of when the orders were made.
These two options would both use the same report, and therefore both contain the same tables of information and layout, but the actual data in the report would be different.
What do Criteria Sets look like?
All reports that live in Insights & Mailings > Reports > Reports Explorer will have at least one Criteria Set assigned to them. Clicking on the green plus sign next to the report name expands the details for that report and reveals the Criteria Sets that are currently available. Each Criteria Set is represented by a row underneath the name of the report, with a green ‘play' icon and the name of the Criteria Set:
In order to run a report, just choose which Criteria Set you want to use and click the green ‘play' icon. Some Criteria Sets require you to choose the specific data you're looking for (for example selecting Event names, or date ranges), while others will have the information already chosen.
When you're happy with the Criteria Set, you can then choose which file format you want your report to be generated in (i.e. PDF, Excel, CSV) and then run it.
Spektrix's standard reports (which have the blue toolbox icon assigned to them in the Reports Explorer) each come with one or more preset Criteria Sets that can't be edited or deleted. For example, the Ticket Sales Analysis report has these Criteria Sets assigned to it as standard:
NOTE: you can see that these Criteria Sets also have a blue toolbox icon next to them to denote that they're standard Criteria Sets.
You can also create new Criteria Sets, for both standard and custom reports. You can have as many Criteria Sets as you want, but we would recommend that you keep the number relatively small so that it's easy to find which one to use, and also choose a clear naming convention so that it's clear what each Criteria Set does.
How do I make a Criteria Set?
To create a Criteria Set, just expand the report in question and click on the New Criteria Set button – this applies for both standard reports and custom reports. When you do that, you will see a range of metrics (pieces of information) available to choose from in order to select the criteria by which you want to run the report. The list of available metrics will differ depending on which type of report you're running (i.e. an Analysis report or a Memberships report) – for more information on why certain metrics are only available in certain reports, please refer to our articles on the Differences Between Report Types and Reporting Outputs.
Metrics are sorted into groups depending on what element of the system they are a property of, so for example anything relating to tickets might be grouped into the Tickets heading, while you might find membership information under the Memberships heading. As mentioned before, you will see different metrics depending on which type of report you're running, and they may be under slightly different headings as a result.
Here's an example of the available metrics when looking at the Tickets group of an Accounting report (note that the Only show commonly used criteria box has been unchecked to show the full list of options available):
In this group you can see, amongst others, options to identify tickets purchased within a specified date range (Date Transaction Confirmed), tickets purchased using a specified offer (Offer) and tickets sold at a particular price or in a specified price range (Price).
Adding metrics to a Criteria Set
To select a metric, just drag it into the Drop to add to criteria box for use in the Criteria Set. Here's what a Criteria Set looks like with one metric chosen, from the Tickets group:
You'll see that the metric is now displayed under a heading that reads Tickets with, which helps demonstrate the logic of your Criteria Set as you build it. In this example, what you have so far is a Criteria Set looking for:
- Tickets with a date transaction confirmed of ‘yesterday' AND where the transaction was confirmed
Note that Transaction Confirmed is automatically included as soon as you add a metric, although it default to being unticked, so you need to make sure you tick this in order to look for confirmed orders.
Once you've created a new Criteria Set, it will be available to use with that report in the future, until such time as you choose to delete it.
Using multiple metrics in one Criteria Set
Some Criteria Sets will only need a single metric adding – for example if you just want to find all tickets ever sold for a particular Event. You will, however, often want to create more complex Criteria Sets using multiple metrics to allow you to drill down into your data in more detail. You can do this in two ways, using either AND or OR logic.
You can combine multiple metrics from the same group within one Criteria Set by dragging subsequent metrics down to where it says Drop to add to criteria underneath AND.
Here's an example of what that looks like, using the example above but with the addition of the Sales Channel metric:
The logic now shows that your Criteria Set is looking for:
- Tickets with a Sales Channel which does include Web AND a date transaction confirmed of ‘yesterday' AND where the transaction was confirmed
You can't combine metrics from different groups using the AND criteria; they have to be from the same group as otherwise you would be asking the system to look for information which doesn't exist, given that different pieces of information are stored in different parts of the database. For example, there's no one place in the system which has the properties of both Tickets and Donations, as these are stored separately.
However, you can broaden the scope of the Criteria Set by using the OR logic, which allows you to build your Criteria Set to select objects belonging to two different metric groups. That's because you're asking the system to look for multiple items, each with different properties, rather than single items with multiple properties.
To do this, when you drag a subsequent metric from the list of options, instead of dropping it under the AND section, keep going and drop it where you can see Drop criteria here underneath OR:
Here's an example of how that might look:
As you can see here, the metrics are once again displayed with headings which help explain the logic you're using. The logic in this Criteria Set shows that you're looking for either:
- Tickets where the date transaction confirmed is ‘yesterday' AND where the transaction has been confirmed
- OR Reservations where the date transaction confirmed is ‘yesterday' AND where the transaction has been confirmed
A seat can't be both sold and reserved at the same time, hence why you can't use these metrics with AND logic. Instead, using OR logic, you're asking the system to look for both sales and reservations, and include all of them in the Criteria Set.
Leaving metrics blank
When you add metrics into a Criteria Set, sometimes you will have the option of choosing specific information to use, such as date ranges, or Event or offer names. Whether or not you want to choose this information as you're building the Criteria Set will depend on whether you intend to use that Criteria Set multiple times, or just the once.
If you leave those fields blank, you'll have to select the date, Event or whatever you're looking for each time you run the report using that Criteria Set. This is great if you want to build a flexible, reusable Criteria Set that allows you to find different information each time without needing to build an entirely new Criteria Set.
Here's an example of leaving metrics blank, allowing you to choose which Sales Channel and Date Transaction Confirmed you want to look for each time:
Alternatively, if you want to build a Criteria Set which will always look for the same information, just make sure you fill in the metrics when you set the Criteria Set up.
A note on reports with PDF templates
All of the Spektrix standard reports, and some of the custom reports that we might have built for you, will have PDF templates attached. These templates often have calculations built into them which require the Criteria Set to look for certain pieces of information – if that information isn't included in the Criteria Set, the report won't be able to output the data you want.
This means that if you want to create new Criteria Sets and still output the report using the template, you'll need to have an idea of what information the report is using. For example, a Ticket Sales Analysis report is hard-coded to look for only data on Tickets, so if you use a Criteria Set which pulls Donations data the template won't be able to find the information it's looking for. If you output it using unformatted Excel then you'll be able to see the full data, but the template itself won't work properly.
For further information regarding reports in Spektrix, have a read of the following articles:
If you have any further questions about Criteria Sets or anything else related to reports, please don't hesitate to get in touch with the Spektrix Support team.