There are a lot of potential causes for a report running slowly on data.davidson.edu. Here are a few to keep in mind:
Using Firefox as your browser: in February 2018, the T&I team identified an issue where some reports were running very slowly in Firefox. The precise cause of this issue is not yet known, but the good news is that there's an easy work-around -- simply try running the report in another browser like Chrome or Internet Explorer.
If the report is consistently slow regardless of the user or regardless of the time of day in which it is run, we might suspect an inefficiency in the code. Davidson's developers write database queries using SQL (Structured Query Language) or another language, and that code collects and aggregates all of the data they need for a given report, whether the data comes from Banner, BlackBaud, Slate, or somewhere else. Very often this code can become inefficient because it collects numerous fields across many different database tables, or it applies complex business logic that requires the server to do a lot of calculation. Under these circumstances, it can take extra time or even additional server resources to retrieve the data and display it in the report, which in turn can slow down reports for other users. To avoid this, the report developers generally try to make their code as efficient as possible. However, it's important to keep in mind that some reports are unavoidably slow due to their complexity.
If the report only runs slowly at a certain time of day, we might suspect a timing issue. Some users may prefer to run reports first thing in the morning, around 9:00 AM, which may lead to an abnormally high amount of traffic on the server as many different reports are trying to query the databases simultaneously. Oftentimes this is unavoidable, but if you find yourself running the same report every day when you show up to the office, keep in mind that we can create a report subscription for you which will automatically run the report and deliver it to your email inbox each morning without you having to do anything. This will cut down on the time it takes for you to get the data you need, and will help limit traffic on the server during certain times of day.
How can I get help?
If you have identified a report that you think is running very slowly, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and provide the name of the report along with the browser you're using and the rough timeframe when you've been experiencing this issue (e.g., "this week" or "since last Tuesday"), and we'll try to determine the root cause for you.