Create a Custom Attendance Report to Support At-Risk Students

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Navigate Custom Report Types to include EDA objects.
  • Create a list of students, based on specific parameters.

Reporting on Student Attendance

In this unit we follow Cloudy College academic advisor Valerie Keckler as she builds a report that looks at students’ attendance, focusing specifically on absences for students who are known to be at risk. Once she identifies students who are at risk and have a high absence rate, Valerie can reach out and ask them to come in for an appointment so she can help these students develop a game plan to get back on track. 

You may remember Valerie from other Education Cloud modules, but let’s do a quick introduction in case this is your first time meeting her.

  • Valerie Keckler is an academic advisor in the School of Health and Human Sciences at Cloudy College. She helps currently enrolled students explore academic and career interests, monitors student academic progress, and supports student retention by working with at-risk students and recommending appropriate action and resources.

EDA includes various objects that reflect students’ progress. Attendance Events track a student’s absences or tardiness, including the ability to indicate whether the absence was excused as well as the reason for it (like a medical emergency or family event). Valerie was thrilled when Cloudy’s Salesforce admin added Attendance Events as a related list on the Contact and Course Connection record pages prior to the start of the term. She’s ready to create her first report using attendance data. She’ll start by creating a custom report type.

Custom Report Types

Standard report types provide common combinations of objects (for example, Accounts and Contacts, Contacts and Cases), but you may have situations where you need more. Custom report types allow you to combine objects in new and different ways to more accurately report on what you need to know.

Follow these steps to create a custom report type.

  1. Navigate to Setup.
  2. In the Quick Find box search for report types. If this is your first time creating custom report types, you will see an information box explaining what they are and the process of building them. Once you’ve reviewed the information click Continue.
  3. Click New Custom Report Type.
  4. Define the custom report type.
    1. Name your report. Valerie names this report Class Attendance.
    2. Add a description. Valerie decides on the description Track attendance for at-risk students
    3. Choose which existing Reports section your new report type should belong to. For this example Valerie selects Other Reports.
    4. To ensure her report type is available for use in the report wizard, Valerie selects Deployed.

      Define the Custom Report Type.

  5. Click Next.
  6. Define the report records set.
    1. Choose the Primary Object and Secondary Object. Each object you add will narrow the options for the next object you select.
      Valerie selects Contacts as the Primary Object and Attendance Events as the Secondary Object.

      Define Report Records Set

  7. Click Save.

Prepare to Build Your Report

If you want to follow along as we create this attendance event report, create some sample data in your EDA trial org.

Create records in this order.

  1. Create six contact records for current students (you just need first and last names), and mark some or all of them as At Risk. This is a default field on the EDA Student contact record.
  2. If it hasn’t already been done, add the Attendance Event Related list to your Contact record page. You can do this by adding the related list to your page layout, if it's not already there.
    1. Go to Setup, then navigate to Object Manager
    2. Select the Contact object, and find Page Layouts on the left-hand side navigation menu.
    3. In the Page Layout customization palette, choose Related Lists, then drag and drop Attendance Event onto the page.
  3. Once you see the Attendance Event related list on the student record, create some attendance events for a few students. All you need to include is the type of attendance event it is (Absence or Tardy) and the date of the event.

Creating this data set is optional but necessary if you want to practice building the attendance report in your EDA trial org. If you don’t want to create these records, you can move to the next section to follow along with Valerie as she creates the attendance report. 

Build Your Report

Now that Valerie has created her custom report type, she can use it to build the attendance report.

Follow these steps to build this report.

  1. Click the Reports tab. (If you don’t see the Reports tab, you can access Reports from the App Launcher ( App Launcher icon) under All Items.)
  2. Click New Report.
  3. Choose the report type. Valerie selects the custom report type she just created, Class Attendance.

    Select the custom report type Class Attendance and click Continue.

  4. Click Continue.
  5. Add Attendance Event Type to track what kind of attendance event occurred (such as absence or tardiness), and remove Attendance Event Name as it only shows the record ID (AE-1345) and is not particularly helpful.
  6. Group the report by Student Name, so that the number of absence events that any particular student has had is visible.

    Report preview for Class Attendance for At Risk Students

  7. Navigate to Filters, and add a filter for At Risk: equals TRUE so that the report shows only students who are currently marked as At Risk.
  8. Make sure that the report options under Filters don’t restrict your data. For example, Valerie verifies that the Show Me filter is set to All Contacts, and the date range is set to All Time, so that her report includes all possible results, regardless of who created the records, or when.

    Verify that filters are set to show All contacts, All Time, where At Risk equals TRUE.
  9. Click Run.
  10. Click Save.

Valerie knows it’s important to save reports with relevant names and descriptions that make it easy to find them later. She names this report "Attendance for At Risk Students".

Valerie is very eager to reach out to the students flagged on the attendance report so she can see what she can do to help them with their attendance issues. She can return to this report over and over again, and it updates automatically with data she adds or edits.

In addition to creating a report that provides great value, Valerie also demonstrated how to create custom report types, which is a skill you can put to work for other custom reports for your institution. Keep sharpening your skills by moving on to the next unit where we use Salesforce relationships and affiliations to build a networking report at a K-12 institution.