The Cross-Tab report is a great tool for identifying trends in your database. It summarizes data and presents the summary in a compact row and column format. A Cross-Tab report is comparable to the Pivot Table in Microsoft Excel.

Note: You need a basic working knowledge of Crystal Reports for Blackbaud before attempting to create a Cross-Tab report.

Three elements make up a Cross-Tab report. The rows run horizontally (from side-to-side). The columns run vertically (up and down). The summary fields are at the intersection of rows and columns. The value at each intersection represents a summary (sum, count, etc.) of the records that meet the row and the column criteria.

Note: If you use text fields for your summary field, Crystal Reports will show a count unless you change the summary operation to either Maximum or Minimum.

A Cross-Tab report also includes totals at the end of each row, at the bottom of each column, and a grand total at the intersection of the Totals column and the Totals row. In Crystal Reports 7, you can suppress the row and column totals by using the Advanced button on the Cross-Tab tab.

Begin by exporting the data you want to use in the Cross-Tab report. As an example, use Gift Type for the columns, Gift Fund Description for the rows, and Gift Amount for the summary field. Remember to select Blackbaud Report Writer Database (MDB) for the export format. Raiser's Edge> 6 users should select MS Access Report Writer Database format.

Open Crystal Reports and create a new report. In the Report Gallery, click Cross-Tab to access the Cross-Tab Expert. On the Data tab, click Data File and select the MDB file you exported from The Raiser's Edge. Click Add. On the Select tables screen, click Select All and then OK to include all tables. Click Done to accept the Database File.

If the Links tab appears, click Smart Linking to create logical links between tables in your report automatically. Click Next to move to the Cross-Tab tab. 

From the Report Fields, drag and drop Gf_Type into the columns, GfFnds_1_Description into the rows, and Gf_Amount into the summarized field. The field names differ slightly for The Raiser's Edge 6. Drag and drop Gift Fund.Description into the rows, Gift.Gift Type into the columns, and Gift.Amount into the summarized field. You can accomplish these tasks in both versions of Crystal Reports by highlighting the field and clicking the Add Row, Add Column, and Set Summarized Field buttons.

You can use the Graph tab to add a chart or graph to the report. Use the Select tab if you need to filter records within the report. Once you establish the Cross-Tab, click Preview Report. Crystal Reports automatically generates the appropriate rows and columns. Change the field lengths by highlighting one field and dragging the handle to the right to ensure proper spacing in the report. You can change the summary operation by right-clicking on any of the amount fields and selecting Change Summary Operation from the menu. If you need to change the rows and columns, select Format, Format Cross-Tab from the menu bar.

An often-overlooked report option, the Cross-Tab report can be extremely useful in identifying trends and presenting data in a compact, easy-to-understand format.

Visit the Crystal Reports FAQs for assistance with specific Crystal Reports functions such as formatting, parameters, and variables. 

This article appeared in the October 29, 2001, issue of The User's Edge.