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    How to use Master-Detail Events in Alma Analytics

    Created By: Stacey van Groll
    Created on: 11/03/2018


    • Adding Master-Detail Events allows you to build reports with visualizations which dynamically update data based on user selection
    • This means that your report can contain a lot of data, but can also be very targeted specifically by the end user to meet their needs
    • This is a really easy feature to use in the OBIEE, but I’ve found no Ex Libris or user community documentation thus far on how to do it!
    • It can be used very simply, or can be made much more complex.  Start small initially and keep the end user in mind if tempted to get too fancy
    • Written while Alma Analytics is on Oracle version


    • To illustrate the benefits, the screenshots provided here will be for setting up a report for “Loans by Library”
    • The key element to this report is the Library Name by Item Location at the time of loan, so basically the permanent location of the item
    • We want all library staff working for each library to be able to use the one report to see things like:
      • A vertical bar graph with Loans by Month & Year, to see use trend analysis of the library’s collection
      • A pie chart with percentage values for Loans by User Group, to see the use of the library’s collection by specific users
      • A horizontal bar graph with Loans by Location Name & Year, to assess the use of resources on certain floors or by short term loans vs extended loan locations, which depends on institution location setup
      • A horizontal bar graph with Loans by Circ Desk Name & Year, for the location from which the resource was actually loaned, as useful for seeing how resources are being moved around libraries, for rostering staff, and seeing the engagement with staff vs auto loans for picking up physical item requests


    • Go to Alma Analytics
    • Go to Criteria and add the Master description, which we already know is Library Name, by Item Location at the time of loan
    • Go to Results and confirm all is well with just your one bit of data
    • Delete the default Table view, then set up your structure by adding more views for your Pivot Table and several Graphs
    • Go back to Criteria and use Edit Analysis Properties, Data, Display of Columns added in Criteria Tab, change to Exclude from existing views, but display in new views
      • This allows you to add lots of descriptions to your report in Criteria and still have it load quickly and without errors in Results
    • Add your additional measurements and descriptions and filters to your report.  For this example, I added
      • Measurements: Loans, Recalls, AutoRenewals and Renewals
      • Descriptions: Location Name by Item Location at the time of loan, Loan Month Key, Loan Year, Circ Desk Name by Loan Circulation Desk and User Group by Borrower Details
        • Tip!  If you’d like a nice easy sort and display by Month in a vertical bar graph, add a Date Key by whatever period you like, such as Loan Month Key, then go to Column Properties, Data Format, check the box to Override default data format, and change to Treat Numbers as Month Name (abbreviated)
      • Filters: In House Indicator of N, as we have data issues in Alma and also a business policy not to use this data for reporting, and Loan Date greater than 27.6.16, which was UQ’s Go Live on Alma and Primo (this is vital for reports on elements like User Group, as our migrated data will not include this and our graphs won’t be as nice)
        • Edit 4.3.19 - As of the March 2019 Alma Release, the Loans measurement was split into Loans (In House), Loans (Not in House), and Loans (In House and Not In House).  Dependent on the needs of your site, this means that the In House Indicator of N filter is no longer required if you choose the Loans (Not in House) measurement in your report.  This is added as an Edit line, rather than deleting this aspect, as the behaviour upon release was to adjust the old Loans measurement to Loans (In House and Not in House) and previously set up reports will need to be fixed if this is not desirable
    • Reminder: You should have saved your report by now
    • Go to Results and do the first load of your report
      • Tip!  Even though you have excluded all your additional fields from your report initially by Analysis Properties, it will still take a while to load the first full empty report.  If extra wary and you want to move a bit faster, while in Criteria, add a filter by one of your non-master measurements to a selection which means you will only see a small set of results when you head to the Results section.  For example, filter to equal to one of your smaller User Groups.  Just don’t forget to remove this filter later
    • KEY STEP --- Go back to Criteria and, on the column you want as your Master, click on Column Properties, Interaction, Value, Primary Interaction, Send Master-Detail Events, and type in Specify Channel details eg CH1
      • Event channel must be the same for both Master and Detail in views
    • Go back to Results and work now with each view by clicking on the Pencil icon for each and editing it how you’d like the data to display
      • Pivot table: Add in overview type data, such as all your measurements
      • Graphs: Add in a prompt for each view by your chosen Master column, and then separate descriptions as you choose
        • nb end users will be able to change each individual prompt per view on-the-fly, but clicking on a Master column entry will then update all
      • Tip!  If you get a report error due to size, go to the bottom left hand corner and click on the Pencil icon to edit your graph views one by one to exclude data until they will load happily
    • KEY STEP --- While editing each view, also set up your Details, by clicking on View Properties, then in the General Tab, check the Master-Detail box to listen to Master-Detail Events and then type in the same Channel details eg CH1 in the Event Channels box
      • Event channel must be the same for both Master and Detail in views
    • Give it a test after your first graph view edit by clicking on an entry in the Master column in your pivot table and watch your graph change like magic!
      • Tip!  Be patient.  It might take a couple of seconds
    • Once confirmed all is working, repeat your editing work for all your graph views
    • Before finishing off your report, add details like
      • A title which makes clear what a user has to do eg “Click on the Library Name in the table below to update the whole report to the same library”
      • Date and time stamp, which are handy for records if the user chooses to export or print the report
      • Additional titles for each report to make clear the meaning, or alternatively just use titles within the view eg “Loans by User Group”
      • And add a Filter view, so that it’s clear how the data was adjusted
    • Before you do your final save, click on a Master Library – perhaps your main branch – as the report will default to your last choice on initial opening for all end users, before they change the views by selecting their own option

    Feedback or suggestions


    Setting up your report template

    Making sure that your report loads well and, if you add more descriptions and measurement later, your existing views won’t be affected

    Setting up your Master column

    Setting up your Pivot Table view with your Master column

    Setting up your Loan Month Key for a nice vertical bar graph trend

    Editing your pie chart view – note the Master Library Name in the Graph Prompts

    Setting up your Details column for your pie chart view. 

    Reminder that this needs to be done for every view (and also means you can therefore have different Masters and Channels for different views, if you want to get even fancier)

    Testing by clicking on the Biological Sciences Book Machine in the Master column of the Pivot Table view and seeing that the Library Name prompt changes in the Details pie graph view