Five Expert Tips for Jira Reporting

Different types of reports

If you manage projects in Jira, you’ve probably used many of Jira’s reporting features for analytics and staying on track of your projects’ progress. While the charts are helpful, there are limitations as to what data you can show. If you want to create a report outside the parameters, you might think the only option is to do it manually.

Manually creating reports outside of Jira is time-consuming. Information might also get lost when you have to do multiple queries and export data from Jira to other software like Excel. But there is an easier way. With advanced Jira Query Language you can instantly make customized reports showing exactly what you want to highlight, all within Jira.

In Jira, you can use built-in agile reports, issue analysis reports, along with lots of dashboard gadgets. We’ll go over the basic reports you can do in Jira, and then give you some expert tips on how you can use JQL to transform out-of-the-box Jira reports into the perfect reports for your team and clients.

Commonly Used Jira Reports

Jira reports can be used to manage scrum teams, for personal use, and to present reports to clients and stakeholders. Some, but not all of them, are also available as dashboard gadgets; we’ll go into that more later. These are the most commonly used Jira reports.

Scrum Team Reports

Scrum team reports include sprint reports, velocity reports, burndown charts, and release burndowns. Scrum masters and team members can use them to keep track of sprint progress, identify blockers or over-commitments and conduct analysis for retrospectives.

Images of the four scrum team reports in Jira: sprint report, burndown chart, release burndown, and velocity chart.
These are the basic scrum team reports available in Jira. (Source)

Kanban Team Reports If you’re working in kanban, you can use a cumulative flow diagram to get ahead of potential blockers. A control chart helps you more accurately predict future performance based on past and current progress. You can apply quick filters or saved filters to these reports to generate specific information.

Issue Analysis Reports

Issue analysis reports allow you to compare issues, display issues in a pie chart, find out how much time is spent on issues on average, and more. There are seven types of issue analysis charts available with out-of-the-box Jira.

Image of the seven types of issue analysis reports available in Jira.
These are the issue analysis reports available in Jira. (Source)

Forecast and Management Reports

Finally, there are three forecast and management reports for time tracking, to track user workload, and to track version workload. These improve predictions about how long tasks will take and help avoid over- or under-commitment to ensure on-time delivery.

Five Expert Tips for Using JQL for Jira Reporting

Now that we’ve covered the basics of Jira reports, we’ll give you some expert tips on how to enhance the existing reporting options using JQL queries.

Use JQL to Find Issues for Reporting

When you’re doing issue analysis, the charts can quickly analyze all the issues in a project or you can use a filter to focus on certain issues.You can use basic search options to create a filter, but what if you need to compare very specific issues? Using advanced Jira queries allows you to narrow down the issues that you need to find quickly.

For example, if you want to create a Single Level Group By Report, you could use the JQL query assignee != Alice to find all the issues where the assignee is not Alice. With a basic query, it’s more difficult to get specific.

Screenshot of setting up a filter for Jira Single Level Group By Report
With Single Level Group By Report, you can enter a filter and group the results by a field of your choice.

Create Custom Dashboards Using JQL Filters

The easiest way to create customized reports is by using the dashboard gadgets. Then, you can apply the filter to the gadget.

Screenshot of options to add a filter or project to a pie chart gadget in Jira.
Apply your saved JQL query to the dashboard gadget to customize your reports.

JQL filters allow you much greater customization than if you simply choose projects to compare or analyze. You can learn more about how to create custom dashboards in Jira here.

Use a Search Extensions App

To create the most efficient queries for your reports, you need a search extensions app like JQL Search Extensions for Jira. With new functions and more flexible query options, you can create perfectly tailored reports, whether to plug into dashboards or into kanban board reports.

Here’s an example of how extended search can help you with the pie chart dashboard gadget. With the extended search query linkedIssueStatus = Blocked, you can create a pie chart showing all issues that are linked by blockers.

Screenshot of a Jira pie chart report.
Here’s an example of the pie chart created by an extended JQL query to show blockers.

And here’s how to use an extended search to create a kanban board filter. It’s especially useful for sub-filters so you can get the exact focus you need.

Screenshot of setting up a filter for a kanban board report.
This filter will generate a report showing issues with dependencies and ranked by priority.

Automatically Send Weekly Reports

Saving queries as filters is also helpful if you need to make weekly reports. Rather than manually entering data to create a report every week, all you need to do is create and save a filter, then set up a subscription to have reports on the filter sent to you at a certain time and day each week. 

For example, if you want to do a weekly report on all unresolved subtasks in your stories, use this filter: issue in subtasksOfParentsInQuery(“status=’Done'”) and status=’To Do’ . Note that this query type is only available with an extended search app. 

Screenshot showing how to set up a filter subscription in Jira.
After you save a filter, you can set up a subscription to automatically have reports sent to you at custom intervals.

Integrate JQL with Other Apps to Produce Reports

If you use other apps like Tempo for tracking time, you can also use JQL to integrate with them to produce reports. For example, to see how much time has been spent on issues that are causing blockers, use: project = X AND issuetype = blocker.

With an extended search, to track time on specific linked issues in a project, use: project = X AND issue in linkedIssuesOfQuery(project = X ).

Screenshot of Jira Tempo app
Put a JQL filter into the Tempo app to create time reports.

Enhance Your Reports Even More with JQL Search Extensions

We’ve shown you how using JQL is a great start to creating reports more easily. But to generate the most customized reports, you might want to consider a search extensions app. Learn more about advanced Jira query language and about all the different extended search options available in The Essential Spellbook to Unleash Jira Query Language.

If you’re ready to try out JQL Search Extensions, get it free for 30 days, and start generating perfectly customized reports today.

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