How Do I Build a Report?

 

When someone asks "how do I build a report?" there are two different answers.

First, churches can author their own report or commission Professional Services to create one. This adds a church-customized report to the hundreds of reports already in MinistryPlatform. In order to author your own reports, it is recommended that the user have a basic understanding of the following:

  • T-SQL Programming
  • Creating Stored Procedures
  • Report design using the MS Visual Studio or MS Report Builder
  • SQL Server Reporting Services administration
  • MinistryPlatform administration

Second, using the Advanced Search feature of MinistryPlatform allows users to define the columns and filtering criteria for the records you want returned. Using this functionality saves the criteria as a Page View that is available to the user and (if desired) a User Group, and it can be used for sorting, selecting, emailing, running reports, texting, etc. Oftentimes, building Page Views with the Advanced Search feature is sufficient for a church's reporting needs and customized reports may not even be necessary, particularly if the tools within the system are leveraged well. To that end, here are tips for leveraging the system well:

  • Data awareness is powerful, as a unique aspect of using Advanced Search in MinistryPlatform is knowing what page to start from. For example, for the question "how many people got baptized last month?," you can build a Page View in People Lists > Milestones Assigned because that is the page that stores baptisms.
  • Learning tips and tricks from the Knowledge Base, such as the basics of creating an Advanced Search and checking out examples of Advanced Searches.
  • Learning about other tools in the system such as Transfer Selection and Trim Selection, as these are ways to polish, improve and distribute your reporting results.