Microsoft has several different interfaces for tools used to perform Office 365 management, reporting, and auditing tasks. In contrast, Nova users perform that work in a single user interface.
To achieve this, Nova gathers reporting and auditing data from Office 365. Reporting data is collected about every 24 hours and auditing data is received from Microsoft when it becomes available. This data is stored in Nova for as long as the organization remains a subscriber, which is much longer than Microsoft typically stores this data in Office 365.
The flexibility and power of the Nova Report Center is ideal for organizations with custom reporting needs that can’t be fulfilled by the standard reports available in Nova. To create a report with the Report Center, you specify:
- How you want the report to look. You decide what sections the report contains. Will it have charts, graphs, maps, or tables that will display the information?
- The types of data the report will display. These are called data sources.
- Any filters you want to apply against the data sources. For example, your data source might be a list of Office 365 users. You might want to filter that list, so your report only shows users in North America or a certain department.
Just like other Nova reports, the reports created using Report Center can be saved, scheduled, and shared. If you don’t want to build an entirely new report, you could even clone an existing report and customize it to meet your new needs.
Below is an example of a report built using Report Center.
Here’s more about the steps to set up a custom report:
Step 1: How will the report look?
Give a custom report structure by adding sections to control how it looks. For example, you might add these sections to a report:
- A pie chart
- A heat map
- A table
Here’s where you select what section you’ll add to your report:
As sections are added to a report, you’re asked to define the data source information you want to display in that section. The sections control how a custom report looks and the data sources give the report substance.
You can make sections display larger or smaller on the report, or you might drag and drop a section to another location on the report.
Step 2: What is the data source?
Reports created using Report Center are just templates, or shells. The service needs data for the shell to become a useful report. Nova gathers data from a variety of services, as described earlier in this article. Then, that data is collated, filtered, and displayed in the report. Here are a few possible data sources:
- A list of Office 365 users
- A list of Office 365 distribution groups
- Data source availability
After a data source is selected, you’re asked to choose which fields related to the data source will display in the report. The report’s data sources control what fields display and how they interact with other data sources on the report. Here’s an example of the screen where you select the fields that display in a section:
For more about data sources, go to this article.
Step 3: Do you want to filter or sort information displayed in a section?
You might add a filter to a section to show only a subset of data source information. For example, you could add a filter based on geography, so only users from a certain location display. You could add a filter that results in displaying a list of users from a specific department. Or, you could add a filter based on dates, so records older than X are filtered off the report. These are just a few examples. An organization can customize these to their specific needs.
You can also apply a sort order to a section. This is especially useful for table sections that show a list of information. For example, you can sort a list of users last name in ascending order, or you can sort that same list of users by who they report to.
These filters and sorts are saved as part of the report definition, so you’ll only have to configure them once.
Creating a new custom report
Expanding on the 3-step process above, here’s an overview of the steps you’ll follow to create a new report:
- In Nova, select the Report Center option from the left menu bar.
- Click Create Report, which is located in the top right corner of the page.
- Enter a report name in the text field.
- Click the + sign in the empty section to add a new section to the report.
- Give the section a name in the Add Title field, and choose whether you want the section to contain a chart, graph, table, or map.
- Choose a data source.
- Customize the chart’s colors, fields, and sort/filter.
- When you’re happy with the section, close it.
- Repeat steps 4-8 for all tables/sections you want the report to contain.
- Organize sections on the report, changing their size and location, if desired.
- When the report is complete, save it.
Custom report examples
Click the links below to see some examples of custom reports created using the Nova Report Center.
Video: Report Center Overview
Here’s a video overview about the Nova Report Center: