Have you ever cre­ated a Site­Cat­a­lyst report or an Excel­Client Dash­board only to find out that you need to make sev­eral dif­fer­ent ver­sions of the report/dashboard for dif­fer­ent audi­ences of peo­ple?  Per­haps you have dif­fer­ent geographies/countries in your busi­ness and they need the same exact report, but the data needs to come from a dif­fer­ent Site­Cat­a­lyst report suite (i.e. show Ger­many its data and France its data).  Or, it may be the case that exec­u­tives can see more data than man­agers.  Regard­less of the sit­u­a­tion, dupli­cat­ing the same dash­board over and over again, only to tie the dif­fer­ent ver­sions to dif­fer­ent report suites is no fun!  To solve this prob­lem, Omni­ture cre­ated a Pub­lish­ing List func­tion which can save you hours of work and make you look like a dash­board machine!

What Are Pub­lish­ing Lists?
A Pub­lish­ing List is decep­tively sim­ple, yet very pow­er­ful.  It is noth­ing more than a group­ing of e-mail addresses bro­ken down by report suite, which can be used to dis­trib­ute dif­fer­ent data sets to dif­fer­ent peo­ple.  When you cre­ate a Site­Cat­a­lyst Pub­lish­ing List, you do the following:

  1. Give the Pub­lish­ing List a name
  2. Select a Report Suite (clus­ter of data)
  3. Assign one or more e-mail addresses who should receive data for the selected report suite

There­fore, if I intend to cre­ate a sales report, but want to send it with dif­fer­ent data to dif­fer­ent coun­try sales peo­ple, I would cre­ate a “Sales” Publishing List and define it with the dif­fer­ent peo­ple by coun­try report suite as shown below:

After doing this, you can cre­ate a report to be deliv­ered on a reg­u­lar basis and then asso­ciate it with the Pub­lish­ing List.  This will cause Site­Cat­a­lyst to do the following:

  1. Open the report
  2. Select the first report suite
  3. Refresh the data (or data blocks if it is an Excel Dashboard)
  4. Send the report with the refreshed data to the recip­i­ents asso­ci­ated with that report suite
  5. Repeat steps 2–4 above for each sub­se­quent report suite in the Pub­lish­ing List

Using Pub­lish­ing Lists
So how do you use a Pub­lish­ing List?  Before you can use a Pub­lish­ing List, you need to cre­ate a Site­Cat­a­lyst report.  Sim­ply open any report in any report suite and cus­tomize it the way you would like.  I tend to start with a report I have already book­marked.  Once you are in the report, click the “mail” icon which will bring up the deliv­ery con­fig­u­ra­tion screen where you can click the Pub­lish­ing List link to see the following:

Keep in mind that what you have just done in the exam­ple above is told Site­Cat­a­lyst that you want this report sent out peri­od­i­cally to all of the peo­ple in the “Sales” Pub­lish­ing List, but that each per­son on that list should get the same report lay­out, but with dif­fer­ent data depend­ing upon what report suite they are asso­ci­ated with.  There­fore, the report structure/format will be the same, but the Ger­many sales folks will see data from the Ger­many report suite and the US sales folks will see data from the US report suite, etc…

So how do you asso­ciate an Excel­Client Dash­board with a Pub­lish­ing List?  There are a few key dif­fer­ences when you apply the pre­ced­ing con­cept to an Excel Dash­board.  First, when you cre­ate data blocks for your Excel Dash­board, there is a check-box that you must check off to indi­cate that you want the report suite asso­ci­ated with the data block to be vari­able based upon a Pub­lish­ing List.  This is what you will see on the report suite selec­tion screen of the Excel­Client data block wizard:

Once you have cre­ated an Excel Dash­board with data blocks assigned as variable, save your Excel work­book and click the “Pub­lish” but­ton in the Excel­Client tool­bar.  From there you will be able to upload your work­book and indi­cate which Pub­lish­ing List(s) should receive it:

After you have sched­uled both Site­Cat­a­lyst reports and Excel Dash­boards, you can see them in the Sched­uled Reports Man­ager and Site­Cat­a­lyst will show you the for­mat, sched­ule and let you edit the Pub­lish­ing Lists or tim­ing, etc…

Impor­tant Things To Know About Pub­lish­ing Lists
The fol­low­ing are some impor­tant things to know about Pub­lish­ing Lists:

  1. With the release of 14.5, you can now make web-based Site­Cat­a­lyst Dash­boards vari­able by report suite using Pub­lish­ing Lists.  If you do not want a par­tic­u­lar report­let to be vari­able, you must edit the report­let and check the “do not over­ride” checkbox.
  2. A per­son can be asso­ci­ated with two dif­fer­ent report suites in the same Pub­lish­ing List such that they will receive mul­ti­ple copies of the same dash­board, each con­tain­ing dif­fer­ent data
  3. When cre­at­ing Pub­lish­ing Lists with Excel­Client Dash­boards, you are required to have Excel 2007 or the free Excel 2007 con­verter and all required updates.  Those receiv­ing Excel Dash­boards should be fine with Excel 2003 or Excel 2007.
  4. When using Pub­lish­ing Lists with Excel­Client Dash­boards, it is impor­tant to note that upon pub­lish­ing, Excel for­mu­las will not be refreshed since the refresh­ing is done server-side.  This means that if you use for­mu­las to spec­ify date ranges for data blocks, they will not work.  There­fore it is rec­om­mended that you stick to rel­a­tive or hard-coded date ranges when cre­at­ing data blocks to be used with Pub­lish­ing Lists.  There is an art form in cre­at­ing rel­a­tive date ranges that applies here which I hope to cover in a future post.

Have a ques­tion about any­thing related to Omni­ture Site­Cat­a­lyst?  Is there some­thing on your web­site that you would like to report on, but don’t know how?  Do you have any tips or best prac­tices you want to share?  If so, please leave a com­ment here or send me an e-mail at insidesitecatalyst@​omniture.​com and I will do my best to answer it right here on the blog so every­one can learn! (Don’t worry — I won’t use your name or com­pany name!).  If you are on Twit­ter, you can fol­low me at http://​twit​ter​.com/​O​m​n​i​_​man.

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