Creating ad hoc views and reports

Ad hoc views are the building blocks of your reporting. Use them to create and edit the initial view of the data you are analyzing. You can drag and drop different fields and measures into tables, crosstabs and charts, and then apply filters, aggregate values and immediately view the results.

Reports are scheduled, fixed-format versions of the data contained in an ad hoc view. Report content will update whenever you make changes to the source ad hoc view. You can always adjust any filters included in a report as required for your own changing criteria. Reports can be scheduled to run according to your own timetable.

In this article:

Example: Create a report on your top 10 causes

In the following example, we will create a report to see which causes are the most popular among your donors by viewing those that receive the most donation dollars.

Cause partners are at the heart of your program. Exploring the causes your people care about can help you gain insights into your people and better target your program, communications and relationships.

In Benevity Reporting, you can create a report to view your most popular causes by total donation amount. In the steps below, you’ll start by creating an ad hoc view of your top 10 causes followed by creating a report based on that ad hoc view.

Create an ad hoc view

1. Under the Create dropdown in the menu bar, select Ad Hoc View.


2. Pick your company name as the data source, and select Choose Data...

3. In this screen, you have the option to choose one of three sets of data:

    • Transactions, Causes and Users: Provides data related to transactions, causes, users, and Giving and Volunteer Opportunities
    • Participation Rates: Provides data related to participation and user counts
    • Volunteering Summary – by Shift: Provides data related to volunteering

4. For this example, we will use Transactions, Causes and Users. Move the Transactions, Causes and Users from the Source pane into the Selected Fields pane using the right arrow, and select OK.


You will now be in the ad hoc editor, which will allow you to build your ad hoc view by adding filters and fields/measures, as well as to export and save your ad hoc view.

Ad hoc editor

On the left pane are your Fields and Measures. Click the right arrow beside the folder to expand and display the fields and measures. You can also use the search bars in the left pane below Fields or below Measures to search for a specific field or measure.

  • Fields: Dimensional or category data that you will be able to include when you slice and segment your Measures below.
  • Measures: The numeric metrics used to measure and evaluate your program. These can be sliced and segmented by the various fields above.

The icons (Abc, 123) to the left of the field/measure name indicate if it is text (Abc) or a numeric value (123).


In the middle of the screen, you will see the report preview and design area. Here you can drag and drop fields and measures into the Columns or Rows, or you can right-click the item and add it to the columns or rows. Above the columns and rows, you will see the button bar.


To the far right, you will see the filter pane indicated by a filter icon (if collapsed) or the title Filters (if expanded).

Add a filter

1. It is a good practice to start your report by adding a filter. For this example, we will add a filter for the Transaction Type.

2. Click the right arrow to expand the *Common Fields on the left pane under Fields.

3. Right-click on Transaction Type and select Create Filter.


4. In the Filters pane on the right-hand side, make sure that the filter is Transaction Type equals Donation. This will ensure only donation data is being pulled in. Every time you create an ad hoc view, add the Transaction Type filter. Because giving, volunteering and upcoming donations are all reportable together, creating this filter will ensure that you’re looking at the right types of transactions.


5. Click Apply at the bottom to apply the filter.

Note: When the word Apply is white, it indicates that a filter has been added, removed or changed and need to be applied. When the word Apply is greyed out, it indicates that all current filters have been applied and there have not been any additions, removals or changes to the filters.

Add fields and measures

1. Under Measures, find or search for Total Donation Amount, and right-click or drag it to Columns.


2. Under Fields, find or search for Cause Name. Right-click or drag to add it to Rows.


This ad hoc view will provide you with a summary of the total donation amount (in local currency) by cause category.

For a full list of the fields and measures available and their definitions, please view the Benevity Reporting Glossary.

Change the data set to full data

In the ad hoc editor, you can choose between three different views: Sample Data, Full Data and No Data.

Sample Data lets you design ad hoc views quicker, because the full data set is not pulling in every time you make an update. Selecting Sample Data will only display a portion of the complete set of your data.

Full Data will display the complete set of data.

No Data will not display any data.

To switch to Full Data, open the dropdown on the editor’s toolbar and select Full Data.

No matter which setting you have while building your reports, they will automatically export with full data.


Filter results by top 10 causes

1. Right-click the Total Donation Amount in the column header, and select Filter Top N Values...


2. Change the Number of top values to show to 10. You can adjust this value to report on your top five, 20, 50 and so on.

3. Uncheck Show aggregate of unranked values.

4. Check Apply filter across all row groups.

5. Select OK.


The table will update with the top 10 causes, sorted by highest to lowest total donation amounts as shown in the screenshot below.


Sort by number of donors per cause

When you filter for the top 10 by total donation amount, the ranking can be influenced by just a few donors giving large amounts to a few causes. So, a useful measure to add to this report is Transaction User Count, which will give the number of donors per cause.

1. Under Measures, find or search for Transaction User Count.

2. Right-click or drag to add it to Columns.


3. Now we’ll sort the report by highest to lowest number of donors within that top 10 list of causes.

4. Right-click Transaction User Count in the column header, and select Filter Top N Values...

1. Change the Number of top values to show to 10.

2. Uncheck Show aggregate of unranked values.

3. Check Apply filter across all row groups.

4. Select OK.


Export your ad hoc view

You can export the contents of your ad hoc view in a variety of formats such as XLSX (an editable Excel format, which is what most people use), CSV or PDF.

1. Click the Export icon, to the right of the Save icon.

2. Select the desired file format in which you would like the data to be exported.


After you select the format, a new browser tab will open and the export will download. If it doesn’t download, make sure your browser isn’t blocking the new tab from opening (as a blocked pop-up tab).

Save your ad hoc view and create a report

1. With the ad hoc view open, select the Save icon in the toolbar.


2. Pick between one of three save options:

    • Save Ad Hoc View if it’s the first time you are saving the ad hoc view or if you are resaving an existing ad hoc.
    • Save Ad Hoc View As... if you are editing an existing ad hoc view and want to save a copy to another location (this will duplicate the ad hoc view).
    • Save Ad Hoc View and Create Report if you want to save the ad hoc view and create the report.

3. When the Save As screen opens, expand the folders to select your folder location and select Save.

Continue your learning—next article

To learn about navigating Benevity Reporting, check out the next article: Creating Ad Hoc Charts.

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