Easy Reporting in Jira

In this episode of Idalko Live, Manuel Pattyn discusses reporting in Jira with Chris Cooke, the CEO of Old Street Solutions.

Having worked in marketing for Clearvision CM, and sales for Adaptavist, Chris teamed up with the perfect co-founders and formed Old Street Solutions; developers of Sketch, Custom Charts, and External Share for Jira and Confluence. When he’s not debating on his podcast, he’s looking for add-ons for non-technical teams (designed with user experience in mind), which he loves to growth-hack and bring to the ever-growing Atlassian Community.

About this episode:

  • The easiest way to set up reporting tools
  • The strengths and weaknesses of major players in visual reporting
  • The first steps of setting up visual reporting in Jira
  • and more

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The Episode Transcript

Manuel Pattyn:Hello everybody! This is Manuel from iDalko and this is another podcast. Today we have as host, big Chris, well that’s the way he calls himself. Big Chris is gonna talk with us a little bit about easy reporting for non-technical/business teams. Hi Chris!

Chris Cooke: Hey, thanks for having me Manuel, nice to meet you. 

Manuel: It’s my pleasure. So what is easy reporting, because I think I’m at the right address. I would be one of those guys that is non-technical and would love some reporting with a push of a button or with some simple ways to gather all the information and it looks like I’m at the right address for the moment. 

Chris: Yeah sure! I mean I think we all have our non-technical days even some of the most advanced of us don’t feel particularly technical on a Monday morning so… and I think that’s the key I’ve been in the Atlassian space for 5-6 years now and a big thing I’ve noticed is that the first people to move into this space were super technical, right?

Like a lot of the first solution partners were helping people migrate from even more awkward more technical solutions such as you know subversion and so the big move of people were power developers making tools for other power developers and obviously Atlassian’s come a long way since then. People have made the most of its project management capabilities and so you see it expanding more and more being used by marketing teams, HR teams, or just anyone that wants kind of a bit of visibility, a bit of project management, and to run things in Sprints or Kanban.

So as that space has grown, I found that some of the biggest vendors are a bit lagging there so we’ve been filling that niche gap at the moment. And I think there’s a real need to have a good idea of who the new end users are and what design principles you need in order to make something good for them. 

Manuel: How did you start with it and get a whole bunch of users together and tortured them until they gave you the best ideas on how to build an easy reporting tool?

Chris: So thankfully, there was no need the wonder of the internet is that people really enjoy complaining very publicly, so if you just look on our Twitter or the Atlassian community we found so many people wishing that they could… the first iteration of the tool we made was just color selector for pie charts for Jira. That was it.

And one of the main complaints, I think it had tens of thousands of votes was if people could just make their rag status pie chart actually be red amber, and green because at the moment the colors are randomized and every time you show that report to the manager you have to explain what it means and what the color means and what, sorry why is my red green and why is my green purple or any other color.

So we started off just with, you know, a color picker for Jira pie charts, and to be honest, it was a proof of concept like yeah the leanest startup we could make just to get rolling but it was hugely popular and successful and what we really focused on was no code, just click and play, drag and drop, so people could choose their options and people responded really well to that. So they started asking for other types of graphs and charts, okay can we have a bar chart, can we have a line chart, can we make that two-dimensional now. And like a lot of things, it’s just growing and growing and so yeah our first customers became our biggest people giving opinions on what features we should build next.

Manuel: I was saying your biggest complaints guys are becoming the biggest fans or something?

Chris: Yeah yeah I mean you know some people just love to complain it’s when they’re happy!

Manuel: Yes great! It’s a great strategy you have two options: you can start from wish lists which give you the best idea and the romantic way, but you can start from the other side and say what everybody knows already but is complaining about and I’m gathering it I find it a nice strategy, in fact. 

Chris: Well, wishlists are dangerous because there’s a lot of things people you know would like, but the question is whether they’d pay for it whereas when someone hates something… 

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