Use a report

Use reports in MBI to help you answer business questions - whether you simply want to see this month’s revenue compared to last year or understand your acquisition costs for your latest Google AdWords campaign.

What does that path from question to answer look like, exactly?

To help you visualize this process, we have mapped out that route below. This topic will shed some light on both how we approach an analytical question, and the backend logistics required to get you the data you need.

Starting with the question

We know that you are constantly asking questions to improve your business, from increasing customer satisfaction to cutting supply costs. We will focus on how to translate your questions into analyses that help you drive decisions.

For our example, we assume that we want to answer the following question:

  • How fast do my new registrants convert?

Identifying a measurement

With our question in hand, it is time to identify a list of possible analyses and measurements to help answer the question. For this example, focus on the following metric:

  • Average time from registration to first purchase date per use.

This will reveal the average time that lapses between registration date and the users’ first purchase date and give an idea on how users behave at this final step in the conversion funnel.

Finding the data

Understanding what to measure only gets us part of the way there. To assess the average time from registration to first purchase date per user, we need to identify all the data points that our measure is comprised of.

Break down our measure into its core components: we need to know the count, or number, of people that registered; the count of people that made a purchase; and the time that elapsed between those two events.

At a higher level, we need to know where to find this data in the database, specifically:

  • The table that records a row of data every time someone registers
  • The table that records a data row every time someone makes a purchase
  • The column that can be used to join or reference the purchase table to the customer table - this will allow us to know who made a purchase

At a more granular level, we need to identify the exact data fields that will be used for this analysis:

  • The data table and column that contain a customer’s registration date: for example user.created\_at
  • The data table and column that contain a purchase date: for example order.created\_at

Creating data columns for analysis

In addition to the native data columns outlined above, we will also need a set of calculated data fields to enable this analysis, including:

  • Customer's first purchase date which returns a specific user’s MIN(order.created_at)

That will then be used to create:

  • Time between a customer's registration date and first purchase date, which returns a specific user’s time lapsed between registration and 1st purchase date. This will be the basis for our metric later.

Both of these fields need to be created at the user level (for example, on the user table), so that the average analysis can be normalized by users (in other words, the denominator in this average calculation will be the count of users).

This is where MBI steps in! You can leverage your MBI data warehouse to create the above columns. Simply contact our analyst team and provide us with the specific definition of your new columns and we will create them. You can also leverage our Column Editor.

It is a best practice to avoid creating these calculated data fields in your database directly as it puts an unnecessary burden on your production servers.

Creating the metric

Now that we have the required data fields for our analysis, it is time to find or create the relevant metric to construct our analysis.

Here we know that, mathematically, we want to perform the following calculation:

[SUM of Time between a customer's registration date and first purchase date] / [Total number of customers that registered and purchased]

And we want to see this calculation plotted over time, or trending, according to a customer’s registration date. And Here is how to create this metric in MBI:

  1. Go to Data and select the Metrics tab.
  2. Click Add New Metric and select the user table (where we created the dimensions above).
  3. From the dropdown, select Average on theTime between a customer's registration date and first purchase date column in the user table ordered by the Customer's registration date column.
  4. Add any relevant filters or filter sets.

This metric is now ready.

Creating the report

With the new metric set up, we can use it to report on the average time between registration and first purchase date by registration date.

Simply go to any dashboard and create a new report using the metric created above.

Visual Report Builder

The Visual Report Builder is the easiest way to visualize your data. If you’re not familiar with SQL or you just want to quickly create a report, the Visual Report Builder is your best bet. With just a few clicks, you can add metrics, segment your data, and create reports to across your organization. This option is perfect for beginners and experts alike, as it does not require any technical expertise.

This is perfect for… This is not so great for…
- All levels of analysis/tech experience
- Quickly creating reports
- Creating analyses to share with other users
- Analyses that require SQL-specific functions
- Testing new columns - calculated columns are dependent on update cycles for initial data population, whereas those created using SQL are not

Report Descriptions and Images

Adding descriptions to reports

When creating reports that will be shared with other members of your team, we recommend adding descriptions which will allow other users to better understand your analysis.

  1. Click i at the top of any report.
  2. Enter a description into the word box.
  3. Click Save Description.

Let us take a look:

Chart Description

Exporting reports as images

Need to include a report in a presentation or document? Any report can be saved as an image (in PNG, PDF, or SVG format) using the Report Options menu, located in the top right corner of every report.

  1. Click the gear icon in the top right corner of any report.
  2. From the dropdown, select Enlarge.
  3. When the report enlarges, click Download in the top right corner of the report.
  4. Select the preferred image format from the dropdown. The download will begin immediately.

Take a look:

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