Understanding Report Schedules

Emburse Analytics' report scheduling feature is a powerful automation tool designed to simplify your tasks and enhance your productivity. With a report schedule, you can effortlessly set when and how frequently the report will run, as well as how the results will be distributed, who will receive the schedule's output, and in what format it will be received.

Emburse Analytics offers several schedule types, each designed to meet specific needs. Below, we will explore the unique benefits and use cases for each schedule type, allowing you to choose the most effective schedule for your requirements.

Feature Standard Schedule Burst Schedule Burst Schedule with Dynamic Filter
Available to all Emburse Analytics Customers Yes No No
Available to Emburse Analytics Pro Customers Yes Yes Yes
Output to SFTP Yes No No
Output to Email Yes Yes Yes
Multiple Data Formats in Email (e.g. XLSX, HTML Attachment, HTML Inline, CSV, PNG) Yes Yes Yes
Supports Hardcoded Distribution List Yes No No
Supports Dynamic Distribution List No  Yes Yes
Every Recipient Receives Same Content Yes Yes No
Distribution List Can Be Used in Multiple Schedules No  Yes Yes

Standard Schedules

Available to all customers, standard schedules enable you to distribute content via SFTP or email.

When email is used as the distribution mechanism, you enter the email addresses of all recipients and, when the schedule runs, every recipient receives the same output.

Each standard schedule is independent of the others. So, if you have multiple reports or schedules that should be sent to the same list of recipients (e.g., all department heads, all members of the C-suite), you would have to manually enter the list of recipients in each schedule. This is known as a hardcoded distribution list.

In most cases, this can be a manageable process. But the downside to a hardcoded distribution list is that if the list of recipients changes, you will need to apply the change to each schedule manually.

You may view all of your organization's standard schedules in the Schedules Admin Screen.

Burst Schedules

Available to Emburse Analytics Pro subscribers, burst schedules enable you to distribute content via email using dynamic distribution lists.

With a dynamic distribution list, the list of recipients is determined at the time the schedule runs, based on criteria that you define. Depending on the criteria used to define the recipient list, the list of recipients could vary over time.

When you create a burst schedule, you need two separate components:

  • The report or dashboard that you wish to schedule
  • A report that produces the list of recipients for the schedule

With burst schedules, you can decide if every recipient will receive the same content or if each recipient will only receive content that is relevant to them.

You may view all of your organization's burst schedules schedules in the Burst Schedules Admin Screen.

Bust Schedule Use Cases

Let's take a look at some example use cases.

Use Case 1: Same Distribution List for Multiple Reports, Same Content for All Recipients.

Let's say we have 20 separate reports to be distributed to every department head weekly, and each department head will receive the same output as the others. For this scenario, we can create a reusable dynamic distribution list report.

If you used standard schedules for this scenario, you would manually enter the email addresses of the department heads in all 20 schedules. If a department head changed, you would have to update all 20 schedules to make the necessary changes to the distribution lists.

With a dynamic distribution list as part of burst schedules, you will create a distribution list report that outputs the email addresses of the required recipients. 


  • Based on your Chrome River configuration, you may be able to identify all department heads by a role assigned to the user, e.g., DEPT-HEAD / DEPT / <department code>.
  • You could define the list of recipients based on their job title (e.g., all users whose job title begins with "Chief").
  • You could create a distribution list report that specifies the recipient based on their email addresses. 

The advantage of defining the recipient list by roles or titles is that once a user no longer has a given role or title, they will no longer receive the report(s). 

If you hard-code the list of email addresses in the distribution list report, you will have to manually update the distribution list report with the new list of email addresses if the recipient list changes. With a burst schedule, instead of manually changing all 20 schedules, you would only have to change the distribution list report referenced by all 20 schedules.

Use Case 2: Dynamic Distribution List Where Each Recipient Receives Content Related to Their Account

In this example, let's assume you want to send every user with unused credit card transactions over 45 days old a list of their matching transactions as a reminder to submit their expenses.

As mentioned above, burst schedules use dynamic distribution lists, generating the recipient list when the schedule runs. For this use case, the list of recipients could vary each time the schedule executes because it depends upon which users have matching transactions at that moment in time.

For this use case, you will set up a dynamic filter and a dynamic distribution list, because each user should only receive a list of their transactions that match the criteria.

For this scenario, we would create two reports:

  • A distribution list report that returns a unique list of email addresses for every user with unused credit card transactions over 45 days old.
    • Each email address for the matching expense owner should only appear once in the results of the distribution list report. 
  • A report showing a list of all unused credit card transactions for all users.
    • The report should include a filter on ExpenseOwner EmailAddress where the value defaults to <any value>.

When creating the burst schedule, select the report for your distribution list. The screen will then display the list of fields in that report.

USR - Dist List.png

To ensure the recipients receive only their transactions, you must add a dynamic filter. As you have already defined filters for the scheduled report, you will see the filters displayed on the screen (e.g., <Expense Owner Email Address> <is> <any value>).

USR - Filters.png

To define the dynamic filter, click on the box for the <Expense Owner Email Address> filter that currently contains <any value>. 

When you click the drop-down, you will see the field(s) defined in the distribution list report. Select the email address field from the distribution list report.

USR - Email Addy.png

Now your filter section will display your dynamic filter.

USR - Dynamic Filter.png

When the schedule runs, it will first run the distribution list report to get a list of users matching the specified criteria (e.g., a list of unique email addresses related to expense owners who have unused credit card transactions over 45 days). 

Then, the main report will run for each email address returned by the distribution list report with the dynamic filter. 

Let's assume two expense owners have unused credit card transactions over 45 days old, and the distribution list report returns the following email addresses:

  • fred.flintstone@bedrockquarry.com
  • barney.rubble@bedrockquarry.com

For this example, the main report will automatically run two times (once for each record returned by the distribution list report), changing the value of the dynamic filter each time.

The first time the main report runs, the burst process will append the query with the following dynamic filter value:

AND ExpenseOwner.emailAddress = 'fred.flintstone@bedrockquarry.com'

When Fred receives the email related to this schedule, he will receive a list of his overdue credit card transactions.

The bursting process will run a second time, adding the following dynamic filter to the query:

AND ExpenseOwner.emailAddress = 'barney.rubble@bedrockquarry.com'

Now Barney will receive the email related to this schedule with a list of his overdue credit card transactions.

Best Practices For Burst Schedules

Using Dynamic Filters

When creating a burst schedule with a dynamic filter (so each recipient only receives details about their own reports or transactions), the distribution list report can be created from a copy of the report you wish to distribute, so create that report first. 

Although the list of columns output in each report will differ, the filter criteria in both reports will be identical.

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