What's New with Watershed? Learning Analytics & Report Builders [Part 2]

The Watershed team has been busy and we’re excited to share some new product features with you. Our introductory blog post outlined report enhancements that we’ve released during the last year.

And this time, we’re looking at Watershed features aimed at those building L&D reports. These features will make your work faster and easier, while giving you more options as to what you present to your report users.

We’ve compiled all of the feature developments in the following video. You also can scroll down the page to watch shorter video clips that directly relate to each report enhancement.

Hide unwanted Program report sections.

Tailor your Program reports for certain audiences by choosing which sections to show or hide.

Why does it matter?

Depending on your program and reporting needs, some features of the Program report may not be relevant to your report users. Hiding these sections helps you and your users focus on the data that matters most.

What’s changed?

You’re already able to hide certain sections of the Activity report, and we’ve extended that functionality to the Program report. Now, you can hide or turn off these sections:

  • Program duration
  • Activities table
  • Groups table
  • People table
  • Interactions stream
  • Contributing systems

You also can flatten the groups table so it displays all groups in one table, rather than being able to drill down into a group and its hierarchy.

How do I do it?

Hiding sections of the Program report requires advanced configuration. Visit our knowledge base to learn more about this process.

Note: There are also some sections of Program reports that only appear if they have been configured, including the assessments table. To hide these sections, remove them from the configuration of the Program report.

Improve security by requiring Single Sign-On (SSO) to access shared L&D reports.

Ensure all shared reports require users to log into the SSO application. This new Watershed feature also applies the user’s own permissions to the report.

For example, a manager in a particular territory only has permission in Watershed to see data about people in their territory, but a shared report includes data about people in multiple territories. The manager will see a version of that shared report, which only contains data about people in their territory.

Why does it matter?

Report sharing is a convenient way of sharing reports with people who do not log in to Watershed. However, due to data privacy concerns, some organizations disable this feature to prevent people from sharing reports with colleagues and others who are not authorized to see that data.

This feature provides a way to conveniently share learning analytics reports while also ensuring data permission restrictions are observed.

What’s changed?

Now, instead of disabling or just not using the share feature, organizations that have SSO enabled can require all Watershed report shares to require SSO login. Colleagues can conveniently access the report by clicking a link, and be restricted to data that’ve been authorized to view (as defined in their data permissions).

How do I do it?

SSO sharing can be enabled on your account by the Watershed team. Speak to your account manager to turn it on.

Read more about this feature.

Save time with improved date filters.

Want to reflect the current or previous calendar period (month, quarter, or year) in your reports? Just use this updated feature, which removes the need to reconfigure reports whenever you move into a new time period.

Why does it matter?

Many organizations like to have reports that compare the current calendar period with the previous time period—whether that period is in months, quarters, or years. This time-consuming process (pun absolutely intended), used to mean not only configuring specific dates in your Watershed reports, but also having to continually update those configurations when a new month, quarter, or year started.

What’s changed?

Configure and automatically update Watershed reports to show current or previous calendar periods—saving time and ensuring your reports are always up to date

How do I do it?

When configuring a report in Report Builder, select the Trailing dates filter option. Then, from the timeframe dropdown menu, select Calendar Month, Quarter, or Calendar Year. Finally, select either Current or Previous depending on the time period you want to view.

Note: The Calendar Month and Calendar Year options are distinct from the Month and Year options, as the latter two look at the previous year or month from the time the report is viewed.

For example, on November 13, 2021, the current calendar month filter will show data relating to November 1, 2021, onward. The trailing 1-month filter will show data relating to October 13, 2021, onward because it looks back a complete month.

Read more about this feature.

Filter by a specific range of values.

You can now utilize range filters inside not only report filters, but also measures and program steps.

Why does it matter?

This feature gives additional flexibility when configuring Watershed reports based on numerical data. Scenarios where this might be useful include:

  • Configuring a Program report step to include everybody who scored over a certain value.
  • Displaying a report of people who scored between certain grade boundaries.
  • Creating custom, bucketed bars in a bar chart, each filtered to show people who spent a different range of time in an e-learning course.

Note : These examples are discussed in the accompanying video (above).

What’s changed?

You’ve been able to use the range filter for a while but we’ve now allowed it to be used inside measures, and program steps.

How do I do it?

This feature requires advanced configuration. Visit our knowledge base to learn more about this process.

Read more about this feature.

Group filter improvements

Sometimes in reports organized by group, you want to compare groups of a particular type, but you also want to filter the report by a group that is from a different type. The Groups Output filter provides a way to filter by a group, without that group actually showing in the report.

Why does it matter?

To define which groups are included in reports organized by group, you must either select each group or a whole group type in Report Builder’s group filter settings. Previously, if you filtered a report by a particular group, that group would be displayed in the report as one of the groups you were comparing.

For example, you want to compare the performance of people with the job title “manager” across the different regions in your organization. You might create a report organized by group and filtered with the group type “region” and the group “manager.”

The report would not only compare managers in the different regions, but also include the group “manager” as an item alongside the regions in the report. (Watch the following video below to see how this looks.)

What’s changed?

Now it’s possible to add a group to the report filter that restricts which people’s data is used in the report—without requiring that group to appear in the report.

How do I do it?

When you create a report organized by group and add a group to the Groups filter, an additional settings section called Output Filter appears. Open this section and select the groups from the filter that you don’t want to appear in the report.

Learn more about this feature.

Display activity and verb names or IDs in measures and dimensions.

By default, when using an activity or a verb in a dimension or measure, Watershed will display a human-readable version of the item (often but not always the item's object.definition.name) rather than its ID. For example, when displaying a verb with the ID http://adlnet.gov/expapi/verbs/experienced, Watershed will display “experienced” by default.

Why does it matter?

This is a convenience feature to make our reports easier to read, but also simplify the complexity of xAPI around language maps and needing to configure your reports with the specific language code that item utilized.

This feature means that you can now display the English language representation of a verb or activity instead of an ID in a report measure, even if different verbs or activities use different language tags. Previously, configuring a measure to display the name of an activity or verb required specifying which language tag the underlying data used.

What’s changed?

There are two new advanced configuration settings that let you display your measures as the activity or verb name instead of the ID. One of these is a report-level setting used to enable the feature, while the other is a measure level setting that determines which measures the feature applies to.

How do I do it?

This feature requires advanced configuration to set up. Visit our knowledge base to learn more about this process.

Use the Data Search link to quickly diagnose and debug.

It’s now easier and faster to debug the xAPI data underpinning a report.

Why does it matter?

Previously, when creating reports you might hit an issue where the report doesn’t look right or isn’t generating any data. Maybe you want to inspect the underlying xAPI statements that power the report to find the problem. The process was:

  1. Open the report in advanced configuration.
  2. Find and copy the filter settings.
  3. Open Data Search.
  4. Paste in the report filter and click search.

Now, you can skip these steps by clicking the data search link at the bottom of the report.

What’s changed?

We’ve added a Data Search link to the bottom of every report, which you can click to see the xAPI data underpinning that report in Data Search.

How do I do it?

Click the Data Search link on a report. That’s it.

Read more about this feature.

Up Next: Under-the-Hood Watershed Features for L&D Techies

The previous post in this mini-series focused on front-end report enhancements. This time we explored features for those involved in building reports. In the next post, we’ll go deep under the hood and explore some of the more-technical enhancements we’ve made to Watershed this year.

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Where Can I Get Help?

To learn more about using all of Watershed's features, visit our help section. You're also welcome to contact us if you have any questions or need help.

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