In our previous two blogs, we took an in-depth look at datasets. Now that we understand how datasets work, it’s finally time to put your datasets to good use in a workbook. But before we dive into an actual workbook, we need to understand the basic components of a SuiteAnalytics workbook. 

What is a SuiteAnalytics Workbook?

First, what exactly is a SuiteAnalytics workbook? Essentially, a workbook is where you can visualize the data in your datasets. Datasets contain the raw information; workbooks arrange that information in way that is both appealing and comprehensible. A workbook can pull data from either a single dataset or from multiple datasets, depending on what you need the workbook to accomplish. You can even have multiple tabs on a single workbook, so workbooks can display various breakdowns of the same data. On each tab, you can choose the specific fields that you want to see. You can also filter and arrange the content in those fields. Consequently, even though the dataset (or datasets) you have connected to the workbook may include large quantities of results, any given tab in your workbook can display only the exact information you wish to see. 

Creating a SuiteAnalytics Workbook

So, how exactly do you go about creating a workbook? You have two main options. First, you could create a workbook directly from a dataset. If you’re creating a dataset that you intend to use immediately in a new workbook, then you would use this option. In the dataset builder, simply select the Create New Workbook in the upper righthand corner. 

Your second option is to create a workbook from the Workbooks tab on the Analytics homepage. To do this, select the New Workbook button in the upper righthand corner of the page. If you do create a workbook this way, then you’ll also need to select a preexisting dataset to base the workbook off of. 

Display Options in a Workbook

After creating a workbook, the next step is to determine how you want the workbook to visually display the data. You have three options: table, pivot, and chart. 

Table

First, you could create a table with the data. What would a table look like? Essentially, a table looks a lot like your original dataset. All the fields in the table are arranged in columns. And if you don’t filter down these fields (more on how to do that at the end of this blog), then you’ll have the same amount of results that your original dataset had. To add fields to your table, drag any desired fields from the list on the left and drop them in the table. 

Pivot

A second way you could visualize your data is using a pivot. When you set up your pivot, you’ll be able to use some fields as rows, some fields as columns, and some fields as specific measures. As with the table, you will drag and drop fields in the sections where you want them to appear. Pivots won’t load automatically as you add fields, however, so you’ll have to hit the refresh button in the upper left hand corner to see how your changes affect the pivot. 

Chart

Finally, you could visualize your data using a chart. Rather than columns and rows, as in a pivot, the chart has an x-axis and a y-axis. The x-axis is simply called x-axis, but the y-axis is called “measures.” You can also place fields in a section called “series.” As with pivots, refresh the workbook after adding fields so you can see the results. 

Additional Workbook Options

Workbooks provide some other options in addition to the three main visualization choices. Let’s look at some key options that are available to you when you’re creating a workbook. 

Adding New Datasets and Fields

First, you can add new fields to your workbook by either editing your original dataset or adding an entirely new dataset to the workbook. To edit the original dataset, select the three dots to the right of the dataset name and then select Open Dataset. After you have edited the dataset, save the dataset and then select the “Apply to Workbook” button. The fields you added in the dataset are now accessible in the workbook. 

You can also add an entirely new dataset to a workbook. However, you can’t add a new dataset to a workbook tab that is currently using any fields from another dataset. You would need to either remove all the fields you are already using in the workbook or open up an entirely new tab in order to have the option of adding another dataset. Once your workbook tab is ready to have a new dataset added to it, select the Connect Dataset button under the existing dataset. You can add as many datasets as you want. Once you have added all the datasets you need to have access to in this workbook tab, you can start using fields from any of the connected datasets in the workbook pivot, table, or chart. 

Keep in mind, however, that less is probably more with each workbook tab. Rather than losing sight of data by cramming many fields into a single tab, create more tabs and narrow down the specific metrics you want to visualize in each one. 

Field Options

Another key option you have has to do with the fields you use in your workbook tabs. Once a field is being used in your workbook, you can see additional options for that field by selecting the three dots to the right of the field name. 

Notice that some of the options you have are to sort the results from that field and to filter that field. You can also rename the field for the purpose of clarifying its function in your workbook. While these are the most common options, the type of field you select (and how you’re using it in the workbook) will change some of your options in this menu. 

When a Workbook is Complete

What do you do with a workbook when it’s complete? You would definitely want to save the workbook for future use. To do that, simply select the Save button in the upper righthand corner of the workbook page. When you save a workbook, you will be prompted to name it and enter an optional description for it. Once you have saved a workbook, you will have the option of exporting it to SDF. When you do that, NetSuite will download to your computer an .xml file of the code behind the workbook. 

Perhaps the most powerful thing you can do with a completed workbook, however, is to share it with others who would benefit from having access to its data. When you select the Share button, you will have the option of sharing the workbook with specific roles and/or employees. Those individuals, then, would be able to see your workbook and any connected datasets. Keep in mind, however, that users cannot edit any of the original datasets that are connected to a shared workbook. Users would have to save their own personal copies of any connected datasets in order to edit the content in the datasets. And if a user’s role doesn’t give them permission to view any fields and/or record types that are in a shared workbook, then those fields/record types would simply not be visible for that individual. 

Conclusion

Now that you understand the basics of a SuiteAnalytics workbook, you’re ready to create your own! In our next blog we’ll put this knowledge to practice by creating a sample workbook. To have that blog delivered right to your inbox next week, and to keep up with the entirety of our SuiteAnalytics series, be sure to join the SuiteRep newsletter below! 

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