Report Builder Overview: Structure and Navigation
  • 08 Nov 2023
  • 3 minute read
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Report Builder Overview: Structure and Navigation

  • Dark
  • PDF

Article Summary

Queries produce a list of records that contain granular details about each record. For example, a query may return a list of applicants with columns that display the application round in which they applied, their entry term, and their admission decision.

In contrast, a report is used to display data in Slate in the aggregate. For example, a report can be built to answer these questions: “How many prospects exist in the current entry term? How many students have inquired? How many have applied? How many have been admitted?” 

The report builder tool is used to create reports in Slate. This tool can be found in the Queries / Reports section.

Tip! “If it can be queried on, it can be reported on.”

The report builder tool makes use of the same filter and export functionality found in the query builder.  It is important to have a solid understanding of how exports and filters work before attempting to use the report builder.

Report structure

It is helpful to think of reports as comprising three layers:

  1. View Report: Display the report.

  2. Edit Report Details: Configure high-level settings for the report.

  3. Edit Parts: Construct the report by adding parts.

What is a Part?

Think of a part as the narrative of the admissions funnel for a cycle. Within this story, it's possible to paint a broad picture of what the funnel looks like in terms of numbers (“How many prospects? How many inquiries? How many applicants? Admits?”). It's also possible to include more descriptive details: “Which states or regions are represented in the funnel?” “What is the breakdown of academic interests within this group?”

A report can contain one part, or multiple parts. For example, in addition to the admissions funnel part mentioned above, it's possible to add another part to the same report that tells a story specifically about the incoming freshman class. This part could then contain details that are more relevant for this story, for example, “What is the class size?” “What is the mean GPA?” “What regions or countries are the incoming freshman from?”

Navigating the report builder

Getting to the report builder

  1. Click Queries / Reports in the top navigation bar.

  2. Click Reports on the right hand side.

  3. Click on a report name to open an existing report.

This will open the report on the first layer (View Report).

View report layer

The entire report is rendered. All parts included in the report are displayed.

In the example below, the title of the report is Class Profile and the report is saved in the Reports folder.


This example consists of one report part, and the part contains multiple data rows such as a table titled "Sex," a table for "Top 10 Schools," and another table for "Top 5 Countries by Address" chart, and so on.

The part also contains the following columns: Early Decision, Regular Decision, and Total, grouped under 2017, and then another set of columns of the same name under 2018, and lastly, Total, under the column group % Change.

Drilldown reports are also possible. In this example, the “Sex” table has an additional nested layer for Entry Term. Upon clicking the individual rows for F and M, new rows for the various entry terms are displayed.


Using the View Report layer, high-level settings for your report can be configured.

  • Export to PDF: Click to download a copy of the report as a PDF. Note that drilldown layers will not be rendered in the PDF, as they are only interactive within Slate.

  • Export to Query: Click to send your report data over to the Query tool. This allows you to see the individual records and respective data values that were included in the report. This also comes in handy when troubleshooting the report.

  • Display SQL: Click to view the SQL generated from the report.

Where's the refresh link?

The "Refresh" link will not appear if your report includes at least one part without columns or rows (that is, containing static content or no content at all). If you've created any report parts that are purely decorative (for example, a report part made up of static content that serves as a header for the part below it), move that static content into a part containing configured data, then refresh the page; the refresh link should appear.

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