Notifications (alerts)

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1. Overview

Notifications offer a way to send reminders, alerts, or the latest data using a dashboard, report, or other view, based on a schedule or under certain conditions. The related view is exported and attached as an image, PDF, Excel, or another format.

For example, you can set up a notification that emails your dashboard to your group once a week, or when the latest hourly data indicates a problem. You can also be notified of events such as when someone replies to your note.

2. Set up a notification

To create a notification for yourself or others, click Notification in the toolbar of any dashboard, report, scorecard, or small multiple, then choose the type of notification you want to create.

You can also right-click (or long-tap) an empty part of the page and choose Notification from the context menu.

Click Notification and choose the type
Click Notification and choose the type

Note
Only scheduled notifications can be set up for reports, scorecards, and small multiples, or for metric sets displaying raw data. On dashboards, remove <Row Number> from Rows in the Data Analysis Panel to add other notification types.

3. Types of notifications

3.1. Scheduled

A scheduled notification occurs on a periodic schedule which you define by selecting recurrence and other scheduling options.

Scheduled notification setup
Scheduled notification setup

Enter a Name, then click Define schedule to configure the scheduling options.

You can select the Run Immediately option if you also want to run the notification immediately upon saving, rather than waiting for the first scheduled event.

Add export content and optionally customize the delivery options to finish the notification setup.

3.2. Note

A note-based notification lets you know when a user has added a note (annotation) to data in a visualization.

Note-based notification setup
Note-based notification setup

Enter a Name, then use the dropdown to select the visualization and metric set you want to monitor for notes.

Add export content and optionally customize the delivery options to finish the notification setup.

3.3. Data driven

A data driven notification occurs when a change in data is detected on a scheduled basis (i.e., polling).

You can choose from a variety of options for determining what conditions should occur in the data for you to be notified.

Data driven notification setup
Data driven notification setup

Enter a Name, then click Define schedule to schedule when to check for data changes.

Click Add condition to choose what data changes you want to monitor (e.g., a value increasing for the past 3 days).

Select the Run Immediately option if you want to run the notification immediately upon saving (instead of waiting for the first scheduled event).

Add export content and optionally customize the delivery options to finish the notification setup.

3.4. Data correction

A data correction-based notification lets you know when a user has added a measure correction (data annotation) to a metric set.

Data correction-based notification setup
Data correction-based notification setup

Enter a Name, then use the dropdown to select the visualization and metric set you want to monitor for data corrections.

Add export content and optionally customize the delivery options to finish the notification setup.

4. Notification options

4.1. Define schedule

This option is used both for scheduled notifications, and for determining when data driven notifications poll for data.

At the top of the Schedule Rule dialog, use the Enabled checkbox to enable or disable the schedule. This can be useful if you want to edit this notification later and suspend its schedule instead of deleting the notification.

To adjust the notification schedule for daylight saving time, select your time zone from the dropdown and select the Daylight Savings Time checkbox. Leave this unchecked if you prefer a constant interval between notifications.

Enable or disable a schedule
Enable or disable a schedule

To define a schedule, first enter the Start Date and time for the schedule.

Choose a Repetition Pattern:

  • Daily – occurs every day or every nth day.
  • Weekly – occurs weekly or every nth week. Also select which day(s) of the week to run weekly (optionally multiple days of the week).
  • Monthly – occurs once a month. You can choose which months to include and also which day of the month.

Select the Intra-Day Recurrence checkbox if you want to specify multiple times within a scheduled day, then click Add Occurrence to add specific times of day or change the dropdown to Minutes or Hours to set up a regular Recurrence Interval.

A daily schedule with intra-day recurrence
A daily schedule with intra-day recurrence

Finally, if you want to prevent the schedule from running forever, set End Date either to end after a certain number of occurrences or by a specific date.

4.2. Select export content

Notifications export the current view to the formats of your choice and deliver it along with the notification.

Click to add export content
Click to add export content

Click Add export content when creating any type of notification and choose from the available export formats, including:

  • Excel
  • PDF
  • Image (PNG)
  • CSV
  • PowerPoint

Optionally customize the Name for the content and choose whether to Use Name For Filename when it's delivered.

Depending on the format, you can choose to export the entire view (e.g., dashboard) or a selected data visualization. For more details about export options for each format, see Share or export your work.

Notification Content dialog
Notification Content dialog

Note
Dashboards designed in Responsive mode will be exported to PDF in Scale mode to better fit the selected page size.

You can choose to store the current parameter (filter) settings to be used when exporting content by selecting Preserve Current Parameter Values.

After submitting the dialog, you can optionally choose to add more export content in another format to this notification (in Dundas BI version 8.0.2 or later).

4.3. Set up delivery options

Click Delivery options after adding export content.

The Delivery Method is initially set to Email to deliver the exported content as an attachment, or it can be set to File to place it in a specified location. There may also be other delivery choices if an extension is installed.

Delivering notification as an email message
Delivering notification as an email message

Tip
For SMS notifications, try a third-party email-to-SMS gateway and forwarding service instead as your notification recipient.

4.3.1. Email notifications

By default, the notification is set up with you as the recipient. Click Add recipient to add users, groups or email addresses to email. (Recipients can also be given the option to Unsubscribe in the email.)

Enter the subject and body text for your email message in the fields provided, or click Edit template in advanced editor to apply formatting to the email body. Right-click where entering text for a list of available placeholders:

  • Recipient name – the user name of the email recipient. 
  • Creation date – the date when the notification was created.
  • User name – the name of the user who created the notification.
  • View name – the name of the view (e.g., dashboard or report).
  • Embedded image – the exported image (only available if the export format is set to Image).

To customize the export for each user (also known as report bursting), you can use either of the following:

  • When adding or editing a recipient, click Customize parameters to set specific filter settings for each. These parameter values will override any set on the dashboard or view.
  • Or, to preserve row-level or other security already set up, select the option Export Using Recipient Account, which will use each recipient's account to access the view and its data when exporting.

Note
Exporting different versions for each user will require generating reports separately, which may affect performance.

4.3.2. Create file

To have the notification delivered as an export file that is placed in a specified folder location, set Delivery Method to File

Specify a Folder location for storing the generated files, which must be a location accessible to the Dundas BI server such as a folder shared over your network.

The File Name Template is a prefix that will be used to compose the actual filenames.

Deliver notification as a file
Deliver notification as a file

The File Lifespan option determines whether files from previous notifications are overwritten. If a notification occurs before the file lifespan expired for the previous one, a new file is generated with a different name.

4.4. Data driven condition

The Data Driven Condition dialog is displayed when you add a new condition to a data driven notification. A data condition specifies the criteria for detecting or evaluating changes in data.

Add a data condition
Add a data condition

Select a Condition Category to determine when to notify the recipients:

  • Increases – An increase is detected in the target data.
  • Continuously Increases – Regular increases are detected in the target data over a specified period.
  • Decreases – A decrease is detected in the target data.
  • Continuously Decreases – Regular decreases are detected in the target data over a specified period.
  • Enters State – The target data has entered a specified state.
  • Exits State – The target data has left a specified state.
  • Stays in State – The target data remains in a specified state for the specified period.
  • In State(s) – The data is in the specified state.

The state of the data is determined by checking the values against some conditions of your choice.

When monitoring for a value that Continuously Increases or Continuously Decreases, you can either set the Previous Number of Polls that should show a value increasing/decreasing, or set the Hourly Interval to the number of hours during which the value should increase/decrease.

4.4.1. Choose data to monitor

Choose the Visualization and the Metric Set you want to monitor out of the list of visualizations that are currently displayed.

Under Target Cells, click one of the two buttons to choose which numeric data to monitor for changes.

If you click Add target cell, the current data is displayed in a table and you can click directly on the values to monitor. You can add target cells multiple times, or for some conditions click to select an entire column when adding target cells.

Add a target cell to monitor
Add a target cell to monitor

Click Add target cell manually to instead select numeric data to monitor according to the filters you set. Select which Measure values to monitor from the dropdown.

A filter will appear for each hierarchy currently displayed by the metric set & visualization, allowing you to choose filter values. For date/time data, you can click the triangular token menu button to the right to choose relative time options such as Today.

Add a target cell manually using filters
Add a target cell manually using filters

4.4.2. State conditions

If you chose a state condition category, expand the States section below to choose the conditions to check the numeric data against.

You can drag states that were already defined as part of the metric set, or click Add custom state to define your own conditions.

Monitor for a state transition
Monitor for a state transition

Tip
Use metric set states for any advanced condition of your choice such as when a value is lower than at this time last year, or when a value is detected as an outlier.

Drop or add a state under Target States to monitor data that enters that state (required for Enters State), or Source States to monitor data the exits that state (required for Exits State). When monitoring state transitions, you can optionally choose both a source and target: for example, the figure below shows the configuration for detecting a state transition from the Good state to the Bad state.

4.4.3. Multiple data conditions

Click the submit button at the bottom of the Data Driven Condition dialog when finished.

You can add multiple data conditions for the same notification. With multiple conditions, use the Multiple Condition Operator to indicate whether all conditions (And) or any conditions (Or) must be met for the notification to occur.

Multiple condition operator
Multiple condition operator

5. View or update notifications

Existing notifications in Dundas BI can be viewed and updated by you or your administrator.

5.1. Personal notifications

From the main menu, click Profile to view and edit your user profile.

In the My Profile dialog, scroll down and click Notifications to view a list of your notifications.

Manage your notifications
Manage your notifications

You can enable, disable, or run multiple notifications at a time by selecting the notifications and clicking one of these options at the top of the dialog.

Click the Edit icon for a notification to make updates to it.

When you click to edit the notification or one of its options such as Select export content, it will be necessary to open the dashboard or other view that the notification was created from. If not open already, you'll see a dialog telling you this along with its name. Click Ok in this dialog to open the required view and continue, or you can cancel.

Open the dashboard to edit all options
Open the dashboard to edit all options

5.2. Managing notifications

As an administrator, you can view all of the existing user-defined notifications for this instance. You may also want to configure options that determine how and which users can share their content with other users.

To view and edit notifications, click Admin in the main menu, expand Account Service, and then click Notifications.

Manage notifications
Manage notifications

Use the controls at the top to search, sort, and filter the list of notifications by tenant, account, or the kind of notification.

Click Edit for a notification in the list to make updates to it.

Sort, filter, and edit notifications
Sort, filter, and edit notifications

Alternatively, similar to the personal notifications dialog, an administrator can view the notifications for a user from the user account.

From the main menu, click Admin, then Account Service, and then Accounts.

Click Edit to open the User Account Details panel and click User's Notifications.

Open the user's notifications
Open the user's notifications

Click a notification in the list to make updates to it.

6. See also

Dundas Data Visualization, Inc.
500-250 Ferrand Drive
Toronto, ON, Canada
M3C 3G8

North America: 1.800.463.1492
International: 1.416.467.5100

Dundas Support Hours:
Phone: 9am-6pm, ET, Mon-Fri
Email: 7am-6pm, ET, Mon-Fri