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.

For a more detailed description, check out the Working with Columns video in the Getting to know Sage Intelligence playlist, on the Sage Intelligence Learning Portal, here.