Report Templates: What Makes Up a Node?

In this blog we will look at the construction of a node within the report template, and what you can customize on it.

Any element within a template is termed a “node” in Vantage. This can include a stand-alone table and/or chart, as well as a drilldown element. In this blog we will look at what makes up a node, and how this can be easily customized to show the information you want.

A node has many customizable parts, including the columns that are displayed in the table, whether or not a table and or chart should be displayed, how they should be sorted, restrictions on the data that is included in the table and/or chart, and how many items should be displayed.

To edit a node in an existing report:

  1. Go to Reports in Vantage and right-click any template, and choose Edit Template from the pop-up menu.
  2. Double-click any node within the template, and you will be presented with the Template Node dialog.

General Page:

On the General Page of the Template Node dialog you can change the name of the node which is displayed in the report, and you can also add a description for the node. You can also modify the columns which are included in the report, as well as the order of those columns.

There are 2 types of columns that can be included, a Key, and an Aggregate. A Key is any item that’s recorded in your log files, such as the Username, Site Name, Category or Date. An Aggregate is any value that’s calculated by summing, averaging, or counting, such as the total number of hits, size, or browsing time. A Key value has a small key icon next to it in the Columns list.

You can add more key values or aggregates to the list, or remove any of the existing ones that you are not interested in.

To add an aggregate, click Add | Aggregate, then select the type of aggregate you would like to add. We have already defined a lot of aggregates for you, so you can just select the aggregate you want from the list, eg Average Session Time; Date and Time of First Hit; Maximum Size. You can use the up/down arrows on the right to move the columns into the order you desire.

To add a key value, select Add | Key, then select the summary you would like to have displayed and, if applicable, the alias that should be applied to the data.

Sorting Page:

On the Sorting page of the Template Node dialog you can choose the order that the items in the table should be displayed in. You can sort the table by any column, in either ascending or descending order. If you select a text-based column for the sorting, eg Usernames, the ascending direction will be A-Z and descending Z-A.

Charts Page:

On the Charts page of the Template Node dialog you can choose to hide the table or the chart from the report display. You can also choose to hide the table footer, which contains the summation of all the columns for example the total number of hits or the total browsing time for all items in the table.

You can also select which aggregate you would like to chart against, and you can select more than one, which means the report will display multiple charts for this node, one for each aggregate you have selected.

The default setting for the chart is a Bar chart, displaying 25 items. This makes it easy to read the values on the chart axis. However you can modify both the number of items displayed, and also change the chart type to a Pie chart if you prefer. To do this, double-click the aggregate you wish to chart against in the list, and make the changes you want, then click OK.

Filters Page:

The Filters page of the Template Node dialog allows you to specify filters which apply only to this node and any sub-nodes. So, for example, you could include a node in your template for Adult Category Sites, and use the Key Value of Site Domain on the General page, then you would add a filter here to include only Adult Category content in this node.

If you want to apply a filter to the template globally, this can be done in the Template Properties. Or if you have a filter that will change every time you run the report, you can specify this in the Report Wizard at the time you run the report.

You can filter on any data within your log files. We recommend to always use the Graphical Filter Editor to specify your filters.

To add a filter, click Add, then select the type of filter you would like. The dropdown shows options for date and time filters, if you need to specify any other type of filter choose the Field Value Filter option, then select the summary you would like to filter on. For more information on Filters click here.

Having Page:

The Having page of the Template Node dialog allows you to specify how many items will be included in the table/chart, based on a certain criteria.

You can select to include the Top or Bottom N items based on a specific sort criteria, or you can include all items that meet a certain threshold value. For example, if you wanted to include the items with the most Hits, you would select Hits from the Column dropdown option, then choose the Top N button, and enter the number of items you would like to see.

The Value option allows you to specify items that meet a certain threshold, for example, all items with Size greater than 10MB. The edit box takes the size value in bytes, and the time value in HH:MM:SS.

If you want to include all items in the report, select the Column dropdown as (none).


1. Whenever you make changes to a report template, on completion of the changes, click Return To Reports on the left, then click the Save Templates link to make a copy of your changes, before running the report.

2. When you run the report, use a test storage, with only a very small amount of data in it. This will allow the report to complete quickly, and let you see whether the changes are what you expected. If they are, then you can run the report on your entire data.

See Also: Report Templates: Making The Most of Your Data

See also:

By | 2013-03-07T10:59:19+00:00 March 7th, 2013|How To, Reports, Tips and Best Practices, Uncategorized, Vantage|0 Comments

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