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How to show custom data using the External Data Table or Floating Description

While NinjaCat offers an extensive library of widgets for various reporting metrics, you may find you need to report on metrics that are not currently integrated with NinjaCat or do not have an available API for reporting.

In these scenarios we offer 2 custom data widgets in your templates that allow you to insert your own data via CSV or as a screen shot.

The External Data Table

You can use the External Data Table widget to bring custom data into your report as a table. The External Data table widget is available in the Template builder of the Templates tab under Miscellaneous Widgets.


Once you bring an External Data Table into your template, you'll see you have the option to create a Title for the table and there is also a larger box for Data.


The Data box is where you insert your custom data. To add custom data to the External Data Table, open your data in a CSV file first. Then highlight the cells that contain data. Do not highlight the entire spreadsheet as this will bring in all the empty cells into your table. Only copy the cells you want in your final table.


With your selected cells highlighted, copy them and then click on the Data box in your External Data Table widget and paste the data in.


When the CSV data is pasted in, it will look like a big mess. Don't worry! One the report is generated, NinjaCat will format the data to look like the rest of your automated tables. 

One important item to note:

Copy and pasting your CSV data into your template means any report that uses this template will have this CSV data in it as well. If you need to change your CSV data for each reporting cycle or if you are using a template for multiple clients, you can still add the External Data table to your template, but just input any data into the table. You can copy and paste your data when previewing your report so your pasted CSV data only shows up in the 1 report you are about to send out, as oppose to all reports that use your template.

If you need to insert your custom data for just 1 report, you can do so using the Review Latest feature in the Reports tab.


You should have the Automatic Deployment option OFF in your Report's settings if you need to add notes or custom data in before sending out to your client. Once your report has generated and is ready to be sent out to your client, click on the Review Latest button under the report title.

A preview of your report's data will show up. Scroll down to where your External Data Table is located and you'll see the empty box where you can paste your CSV data in.


The data will not be formatted in the preview. You'll need to save the report by scrolling to the bottom of the preview and clicking Save Report. Then click on the Download Latest button and you can see that NinjaCat perfectly formatted your CSV data to look like the rest of the data in your report.


Floating Description

NinjaCat also offers a Floating Description widget which allows you to place custom text or images into your report.

The Floating Description widget is available in the Template builder of the Templates tab under Miscellaneous Widgets.


Please note, there are a few other areas where you can insert text into your report. 1 is the Description tab of any widget. The Description tab allows you to insert a disclaimer or explanation to your client. Since the description is added at the Template level of your report, this should be standard text that doesn't need to be updated for each report that goes out.


If you need to insert notes and analysis to your report before it goes out to your client, you can click on the Review Latest button mentioned earlier which shows you a preview of your report. From there each widget has an available text box that allows you to insert custom text for your one off report.

The Floating Description widget is normally utilized for report builders who are looking for a way to either create a custom cover page for their report, add an explanation or glossary that should be separate from the other widgets in the report, or to bring in an image like a screen shot of a graph or table.

When you bring in the Floating Description widget to your template, you'll see it has the option to turn Frameless Section ON or OFF.


If Frameless Section is OFF that means your Floating Description will be formatted to look like the rest of the widgets in your report. In the example below, you can see each widget has a border so all data is within a frame. If you have Frameless Section OFF, your text or image will show up in a frame just like the rest of your data.


If you turn Frameless Section ON, then the frame will be removed and your text or image will be in your report without anything around it.

The Floating Description has a full menu of custom options for your text as well as the option to insert an image. To insert an image, just click on the image icon and select your image. 


As mentioned earlier, any text or images you place in your Floating Description widget within your Template will then show up in any report that is based off your template. If you need to insert text or an image for 1 report, you can do so by adding the Floating Description widget to your template, but leave the main box blank. Then in the Reports tab, after your report has generated (with Automatic Deployment OFF) you can click the Review Latest button and insert text or an image to your Floating Description widget via the preview. 

If you have any questions or need any assistance setting up your External Data Table or Floating Description, please click on the Support button in the top right hand corner of your NinjaCat account and a friendly NinjaCat expert will be happy to assist you.

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