Once you have collected data for your project, you are ready to begin building a report.  The PARTNER Report Builder allows you to quickly and easily create a report about your findings that includes data visualizations, insights from the Visible Network Labs Insights Library, and any other information that you want to include.

The basic process of building a report is:

  1. Collect your data
  2. Choose which data that you want to visualize and how you want to visualize it
  3. Adjust your images and choose information to include from the VNL Insights Library

Getting Started

Before you can use the PARTNER Report Builder, you will need:

  • An active PARTNER subscription. PARTNER subscriptions can be purchased from the VNL Pricing Page.
  • Data for at least one project
    • Note: all users are given access to a set of test data that allows you to test drive all of the features of the Dashboards without an active subscription.

Step 1: Starting a Report

Begin working on a report from the Data Dashboards for your project.  To get to Data Dashboards for a project, click on the “Open Project Manager” button on the PARTNER home screen.  Inside of the Project Manager, there are links to view Data Dashboards for any of the projects that you have started.

PARTNER Report Builder
PARTNER Report Builder

Note:  once inside of the Data Dashboards, it is possible to select a new project without going back to the Project Manager.  If you are viewing Data Dashboards for one project and would like to view them for another, use the menu at the top of the page to switch to another project.

Adding Report Visualizations

The main functionality of the Data Dashboards screen is laid out in three panels:

  1. Visualization Panel: this is where your data visualizations will appear, along with controls to adjust the size/colors of the visualizations, and choose which data to display.
  2. Data Dashboard Panel: if you want to save a visualization for later without remembering how to generate it, you can save it to your Data Dashboard for quick retrieval later.  The “+” button at the left side of your Dashboard will save the visualization that it is displayed in the Visualization Pane.
  3. Report Builder Panel: Visualizations can be dragged from the Dashboard to the PARTNER Report Builder to be included in your report.
PARTNER Report Builder

Adding a data visualization to a report is currently a two-step process.  Once you have found a visualization that you would like to save for later, click on the ‘+’ button at the bottom left to save the visualization to your Dashboard.  Saving a visualization to your Dashboard allows you to save it for later, but it does not automatically add it to your report.

Once a visualization has been saved to your Dashboard, you can add it to your report by dragging the visualization from your Dashboard to the Report Generator on the right side of the screen. 

Continue saving visualizations and dragging them over to the Report Builder until you have included all of the data that you need to.  There is no limit to the number of visualizations that can be included in a report.

Step 2: Customizing Your Report

Once you are satisfied with the visualizations in your report, move to the next step in the process by clicking on the “Generate” button on the Report Builder panel.

This will take you to a new screen where you can add details about your project, adjust the visualizations if necessary, as well as add text to them.

PARTNER Report Builder

Adding Details in the PARTNER Report Builder

PARTNER Report Builder

At the top of the screen, there are options to add details about your project that will be in the report:

  • Project Title: this will be used as the title for your report
  • Authors/Contributors
  • (Optional): a block of text to be displayed at the beginning of the report.  This text is typically an introduction and/or overview of the report.
  • (Optional): options to include general text from the VNL team describing these areas:
    • What is PARTNER? – include text from the VNL team that describes what PARTNER is
    • Network Science – include text from the VNL team that describes what Network Science is
    • Network Leadership – include text from the VNL team that describes what Network Leadership is
    • Methods – include text from the VNL team about the methods that were used to collect data
    • Quality Improvement Tips – include tips from the VNL team about how to improve the quality of your collaborations.

Fine Tune your PARTNER Report Builder Sections

PARTNER Report Builder

Each visualization that you add to your report will be given its own section in the PARTNER report builder.  A report section consists of:

  • A data visualization. It is usually an image (ex: network map), but it can also be a table (ex:  network scores).
  • Section title
  • Section Description:
  • (Optional) Network Science topic from the VNL insights library
    • If you choose a topic for the section, you will be given options to include information about the topic from the VNL Insights Library:
      • What the science says about the topic
      • Questions to consider about the topic
      • Advice from the VNL Team that is relevant to the topic
      • Citations for the information available about the topic
    • Text describing the section.
    • (Optional) Text to include below the data visualization

Go through each report section and fill out as much information as you need for each.  If your data visualizations are the wrong size, or are cut off, use the “Adjust Image” button to activate controls to adjust the visualization’s position and zoom level.  Click “Save Changes” to apply the changes to your visualization.

Step 3: Downloading your Report

Now that you have filled in all of the commentary for your report sections, you are ready to download your report.  Click on the “View Report” button to be shown a preview of what data will be included in your report:

PARTNER Report Builder

Scroll through this screen and ensure that it looks correct.  If anything needs to be changed, use your browser’s “Back” button to return to the previous page and make changes.

Pay for and Download the Report

Once you are satisfied with the report preview, use the shopping cart icon at the top right to pay for your report.  In this example, the report has nine total sections and six of them contain insights from the VNL Insights Library.

After paying, click on the “Refresh Status” button to enable you to download the report.  Use the “Download Word Document” button at the bottom of the screen to download your report in Microsoft Word format:

PARTNER Report Builder

Getting Help

If you run into any problems in the process of building your report, or with the downloaded report itself, please reach out to PARTNER@visiblenetworklabs.com.

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About the Author: Mike Cooper

Mike has been with VNL for over 10 years, starting out as a student and moving easily into the role of chief engineer a decade later. Mike has been the brain behind the development of the PARTNER Tool and PCN App, working tirelessly to ensure that our complex data environments all work together to provide high quality user tools, complex data analytics, and a constant desire to be sure our customers are never without immediate technical support.

You can contact him at mike@visiblenetworklabs.com.

Learn more about Mike and the rest of our team here.