The reporting and roadmap functionality in Aha! is robust and powerful. Not only that but the ability to create views for different audiences from a single version of truth saves copious amount of time, effort and rework.
If you’re already using Aha! we want to help you make the most of your investment.
Here are 9 ESSENTIAL tips to help you achieve reporting greatness.
1. Think about the message you are trying to convey
It sounds obvious but so many people start exploring reports without really taking the time to think about the information they are trying to show.
Take a few minutes to consider what information is meaningful to your recipients and how best that should be presented for their specific needs.
Take a few minutes to consider what information is meaningful to your recipients and how best that should be presented for their specific needs. When dates are involved, Gantt style reports can work well to convey important timeframes. If you are wanting to show analytical information, consider a list, pivot table or chart view to enable better data-led decisions to be made.
2. Familiarise yourself with the Aha! data model and how the records relate
Take the time to study the Aha! Model for your workspace. Understand the native relationships between the record types and also how you intend to use those relationships in your implementation. Do features align directly to initiatives and goals? Do releases? Or perhaps both?
These are important to consider when creating a roadmap and building a meaningful picture of how tactical execution aligns to strategic imperatives.
3. Consider the primary record in your report
There is a BIG difference in a report that shows “All releases that align to initiatives” vs “All initiatives that align to releases”. Understanding which object is the starting point for your reports will affect the data set that is returned. It is not uncommon for the purpose of a report to evolve over time, yet often the record hierarchy was set up in a certain way and precludes valuable information or records from being shown later on. Don’t be afraid to start again from scratch with new clarity in what you are wanting to show.
4. Fx column
The little known Fx calculation column is small but mighty. Much like the formula field in a spreadsheet, it allows you to apply logic, custom equations and logical operators as a new data column in your report. This can vary from concatenating fields together through to finding and replacing results in one column to create a totally new column. I’ve even used this to overcome some particularly tricky reporting challenges for functionality not yet supported by Aha!
5. Sort your pivot and custom reports by fields that aren’t specified in your current data set
Sometimes you want to organise or sort the information by a certain field without actually showing that field on the report itself. This often missed functionality is absolutely possible in Aha!. Simply click on the “Sort fields” option when configuring your report and select a different attribute for the object that you are reporting on. A great example of this is ordering release phases by start date rather than alphabetically by name.
6. Change column names
Is a certain field name a bit long and takes up too much space in your report? Want to rename a field to different terminology even though the data is still the same? Clicking on the column heading in a list report allows you to completely change the name of the field. What’s more, the revised naming carries through the rest of your reports such as Pivots and Charts.
7. Advanced filters
Wish you could show all features for a product in one workspace and only some features with certain attributes from another? Advanced filters is your friend. The ability to create logical operators between individual filters opens up many powerful combinations and sophistication for your reports.
8. Show cell headers in pivot table
The ability to show multiple fields in the cells of your pivot table is really valuable. By default Aha! separates these with a pipe “|” to differentiate the values. However it is possible to expand the cells to show the individual headers for each attribute. You can then use the sum and total operators to create summary totals for the rows and columns for serious reporting power.
Read: Pivot table
9. Get feedback
Creating reports for the first time can be challenging. What’s more they may not always convey exactly the information or impact you were hoping for.
Check in with your stakeholders frequently to discuss your reports and roadmaps and get feedback on what information is valuable or how it could be improved for better clarity or decision making.
Check in with your stakeholders frequently to discuss your reports and roadmaps and get feedback on what information is valuable or how it could be improved for better clarity or decision making. Make this a two-way conversation with your audience and your roadmaps will quickly start to hit the mark.
How many of these tips do you use already? 5 maybe 6? What would you add to make this a top 10 list?