The Data Summary service action accumulates and summarizes information contained in data messages streaming in from a tracking service. Summary information is calculated on a periodic basis, whenever an amount of time that you specify has elapsed. Summary information is provided on a field-by-field basis for the time interval, and statistics such as data range and mean can be generated. The data fields to be used in the report and the type of summary information to be provided in the report are configurable. The flexibility of the data summary report makes it very powerful for advanced users. The report can be applied in a controlled manner so that it only processes data messages meeting spatial and/or attribute criteria that you define. In addition, the report can be automatically delivered via e-mail, saved to a file, or printed from a network printer.
The role of the trigger for the Data Summary action is different than for other service actions. For most service actions, the trigger determines whether an action will be executed for a given data message. In the case of the Data Summary report, the trigger determines whether the information contained in a given data message will be included in the report. In other words, only data messages that meet the trigger criteria will be included in the summary data.
Report Collection Interval
The summary information for the report is collected over a user-specified period of time known as the collection interval. The collection interval can vary from one minute to over a year. The first collection interval starts when the action is initially created or modified. The report is generated each time the collection interval has elapsed, provided that at least one data message has been received that meets the user-specified trigger criteria. When the interval is complete, the summary report is generated and delivered. Then the summary information is cleared, and the collection is restarted. If the action is modified, and data has already been collected, it will be summarized in an additional summary report.
Data Summary Types
Four types of summary information can be generated for a given data field in a tracking service. They are the following:
- Data Range Collection: The upper and lower limits of the values in the data field. This can be collected for integer, floating-point number, text, and date fields.
- Unique Values Collection: A list of each unique value that has been present in the data field along with a count of the number of times that value has occurred. This can be collected for integer, floating-point number, text, and date fields.
- Simple Statistics Collection: A set of mathematical statistics that summarizes characteristics of the data in a specified data field. These statistics include the mean, mode, variance, standard deviation, kurtosis, and skew. These statistics can be collected for only integer and floating-point number fields.
- Total Accumulation: The numerical sum of all the values in the data field. This can be collected for only integer and floating-point number fields.
A user must first select the type of summary information they would like to see; then they may select the fields to generate the information for. Because data type restrictions exist, the user is only allowed to select fields that are eligible for each type of summary information.
Report Delivery Options
Several different report delivery options can be configured through the Report Delivery Options dialog box. These options include the following:
- E-mail: An e-mail containing the report is sent to one or more e-mail addresses.
- Writing to a file: A text file containing the report is generated and saved in a user-specified location.
- Print: The report is sent directly to a network printer specified by the user.