Our easy-to-use report tools give anyone the ability to create a compelling, interactive, and data-driven story customized to fit their community.
With reports, you can:
- Import content from a pre-built report from the Reports Template Library or from a report you (or your organization) created previously.
- Add images, written content, and incorporate colors specific to your organization to structure a narrative that supports your data.
- Add multiple datasets to your report and create instant visualizations (bar charts, tables, and special "call out" boxes).
- Compare your community to up to 6 other places in the country or, compare places in your community to each other (council districts, neighborhoods, school districts, etc.).
- Build an interactive map enriched with data to deliver spatial context.
- Share your report in a format that makes the most sense for your organization (ex: interactive digital report, PDF, or printed copy).
Here's a quick 8-minute video that will walk you through report creation from start to finish. For a more detailed walk-through, follow the steps outlined below.
Step 1: Create a new report or select a template to work from
- From the home page select "Menu" and then select "Reports". This will bring you to your organization's reports interface. Click "New Report" to start a new report—or select a pre-built report from the Template Library.
Step 2: Select your geographies
The first step after you've selected a template or opted to create a new report is to ensure that you have the right geographies selected. Our tool will ask you before it creates the report what geography you'd like to focus on for your report. However, in many cases, you may want to add in more places.
- Go ahead and enter your main geography (your community or project area focus) when the reports screen prompts you. This will happen whether you create a new report or select a templated report.
- After the report is created, the geography you've identified will populate in the "Selected Geographies" box on the right hand side of the report. To add in more places select "Add Geographies". Please note: You can manage your geography selection at any point during your report building.
- Choose from "Recent Geographies", Nearby Geographies", or Custom Geographies". You can also search other geographies using the search bar. Note that you can add up to 6 geographies to your report.
- If you want to build a report using a custom geography (one that does not align with the geographies available in mySidewalk), you must first upload your shapefile, or draw your custom geography. If you have already done this, your shape should be available for selection under the Custom Geographies column. Please note that viewing the data for custom geographies is only available for layers that include one polygon shape. If you have uploaded a layer with multiple polygons, you must individually upload each polygon to view the data for it.
- If you want to remove any current geography selections, click the grey “X” to the left of the geography. Note that you must always have at least one geography selected. If you only have one place selected and want to swap it out with another: select the new place you want to add and then hit “X” to eliminate the geography you want removed.
- When you have all of your desired geographies, choose "Complete Selection".
Step 3: Add components
Once your geography is set, time to add in and/or customize your content (depending on whether you are starting from scratch or working from a report template). Components include datasets, maps, images, and text. You can add these in any order you like and make adjustments to them after they are added.
To add components, simply locate the green "+" sign on the lefthand side of the report and select any of the following options:
- Datasets: Add multiple datasets to your report and create instant visualizations (bar charts, tables, and "call out boxes".
- Map: Build data-enriched interactive maps and analyze relevant geographies.
- Image: Add your organization's logo, an image of a proposed business site, a graphic, or an image of your community.
- Rich Text: Add text in the form of a title, various headers, and text blocks that explain your purpose and provide more context about the data included in your report.
- Import: Import any report template or any of the reports you've created previously created into your new report, limiting the amount of time you spend re-collecting, re-creating, and re-publishing assets
Those are the report basics.
If you think you’ve got the hang of it, great! Start making your own report—we promise it is even more simple than it sounds. If you’d like more details about each component option listed above, check out the tips below.
Import a Report
Starting from scratch is hard—which is why we came up with a way to make building a report way easier. Import any report template or any of your own previously created reports into a new report, limiting the amount of time you spend re-collecting, re-creating, and re-publishing assets.
- Go to the "Menu" on the home page and select "Reports." Choose "New Report", and select your geography.
- When you get to your fresh report screen, select "Import" from the "+" menu.
- From there, choose to select a report template created by mySidewalk or a report you may have created previously you'd like to pull from.
- The mySidewalk tool will carry over all the information from the selected report into your new one. You can choose to reposition items with the arrows on each feature or delete items that may no longer be relevant.
To learn more about report imports, read this article.
Adding titles and descriptions using the text feature helps you to customize your report and give more context before sharing your work. Click on the Rich Text icon using the green (+) button on the left-hand side.
- Begin typing your content into the text box.
- Hover over the top editing menu to customize your text — you can customize the alignment, or add a hyperlink, quotes, and bulleted or numbered lists.
- Click Done when you are finished.
- Move: To move the text within the Report, hover over the text box, and select the appropriate up or down arrow.
- Delete: To delete your text, hover over the text box, choose the Delete option, then select Confirm Delete.
Adding an Image
Adding an image is the perfect way to brand your report, add a visual component, or include an image of your community. Click on the Image icon using the green plus (+) button on the left-hand side. Please note: we accept .GIF, .JPG, .JPEG, and .PNG files.
- Click the green Choose File button, select an image from your files, then click Open.
- If you want to add a description, click Add footnote at the bottom of your image, add your description, then click Done.
- Align: Click Align in the top editing menu, and select to align your image left, center, or right.
- Move: To move your image within the report, hover over the image, click Move in the top right menu, and then select the appropriate up or down arrow.
- Delete: To delete your image from the report, click Delete in the top right menu, then Confirm Delete.
Click on the Datasets icon using the green plus (+) button on the left-hand side. This will bring you to an overlay page where you can begin to select your desired datasets. Note: Single-variable datasets (i.e., “Age by Sex, Female - Under 5”) will display as call out box (examples below), while multi-variable datasets (i.e., “Age by Sex, Female”) will display as a chart.
- Search for your desired dataset using the search bar, or click the “All Tags” drop-down menu. From there, you can select your desired Category or Role Type, if applicable.
- Select as many datasets as you would like, using the grey box to the left of the dataset.
- To the right-hand side of your page, you’ll notice the "Group Tabular Datasets" option, with the default selection checked on. By allowing this default to remain, all of the tabular datasets (i.e., single variable datasets, such as “Age by Sex, Female - Under 5”) you have selected will be added together on a single table on your report. By de-selecting this grouping feature, your single variable datasets will get their own call out component in the report.
- Click Complete Selection at the bottom to finish selecting your datasets.
Once you’ve added datasets to your report, you can edit them according to your preference. By hovering your mouse over the dataset section, the table will bring up some editing tools at the top-right hand corner: Edit, Move, Export, and Delete.
Edit: There are many options for editing your summary data table to align with your preferences. Depending on whether or not your datasets selections are "Tabular" or "Chart", the editing options may vary.
For Tabular Datasets you can expect a menu that looks like this:
- Datasets: Update or change the data you are currently viewing. This will once again bring you to the Dataset library overlay, where you can add or remove Datasets. Choose Complete Selection when done in the dataset library and your visualization will reset.
- Style: Change your callout to Dark, Light or present this data as a Table.
- Colors: Select any color you'd like for the text in your callout box.
- Percent Difference: By clicking on the percent difference icon, you can turn on or off the percent difference calculator for comparisons. This is not an option if you only have one geography selected.
- Geographies: Even though you've set your geos for the report as a whole, you can reset the geographies you want to display for each dataset you add in. If you'd like to keep them the same, the tool will automatically do that for you. However, if you'd like to compare your city to other places, you can do that here.
- Move: Reposition this data set in your report.
- Export: Download your data into a CSV.
For Chart datasets you can expect a menus that looks like:
You'll notice a lot of the same functionality but a few different options.
- Display: You can change any chart into a table. If you do this, your editing options will change slightly. If you select a table, you can add in a percent difference.
- Normalize: Both charts and tables give users the option to normalize the selected data. If you’d like to show your charts as a percentage instead of an absolute value, toggle the normalization slider to “On.”
After you've customized your data, be sure to:
- Create a table header: Find and click the pencil next to the bolded “Summary with # Datasets.” Type in your desired table header, then select Done.
- Write a table footer: Find and click the pencil icon next to the table footer. The default footer will be the dataset source(s). Type in your desired table footer, then select Done.
Adding Interactive Maps to Reports
Place matters—at least that’s what the dozens of city leaders we’ve spent hundreds of hours interviewing told us. Adding interactive maps to reports gives users the ability to analyze a geography on the fly and quickly add it to the report. When people can connect the story in a report with the place they live, they engage.
- Select the "+" symbol and then "Map".
- This will open up our map builder where you can give your map a title, change the map style, reposition its placement in your report, delete, or add in a custom layer.
- Use the tool bar to: Apply layers (custom or pre-built) to a map, customize the your map's style with base map views and brand colors, and enrich your map with data important to your report analysis.
- When you are all done, be sure to give your map a title and add a footnote to provide more context to stakeholders.
For more about how to create interactive maps on reports, read this article.
Saving and Sharing Your Report
Once you have added all of the components you want on your report, you are ready to show it to colleagues, stakeholders, or even the public. It’s time to save and share!
- Rename your report: To the right of the top Menu drop down, click the three dots (…) to the right of "New Reports.” Click Rename, type in your desired report name, then finish by clicking Rename.
- Click the green Save button in the top right-hand corner.
- Print: Click the Print button to print your Report, or save it as a .PDF
- Export: To download the raw data as a .CSV, click the Export option. From there, you can choose which datasets you would like to export. Click Download Selected CSVs when you’re ready.
- Share: Click the Share button, and turn the link sharing status toggle to on. From there, you can elect to share your report via social media, (Share with…), or simply share out the link to your report by copy and pasting the shared link.
Reach out at any time: [email protected]