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Self-Writing Templates

Jul 17, 2014 Marc Odo

Did you know that some Zephyr StyleADVISOR reports can write themselves?  That you could have a market summary or a manager overview where the text updates automatically to reflect changes in the underlying data? 

One of the most powerful features in Zephyr StyleADVISOR is our dynamic text feature.  Dynamic text pops the hood on Zephyr StyleADVISOR, allowing advanced users to get their hands dirty and insert little bits of code.  Typically dynamic text is used as a look-up function to pull a manager’s name, a benchmark, or any kind of qualitative data in to a report.  We have numerous reports in our template library that accomplish this.  But a more advanced use of dynamic text is to create self-writing reports.

Dynamic text can be used to establish “If/Then” statements.  These are conditional statements where the results displayed depend upon the underlying data.  A better way to illustrate this is via an example.  The following text is from one of Zephyr’s self-writing templates:

“Ideally an active manager would have more return and less risk than its benchmark index.  In the case of Dodge & Cox Stock its return over 5 years has been better than the Russell 1000 Value, while its risk of 15.43% has been higher than the index risk of 14.00%.  In graphical terms this puts Dodge & Cox Stock in the northeast quadrant, the aggressive area on the chart.”

Each of the sections highlighted in bold and italics is a variable.  The text will change and update automatically depending on the parameters the user selects and the results of the calculation.  In the final version the client sees the dynamic text will not be bold and italic; it would just look like regular text.

Admittedly, setting up these If/Then statements does require some skill with dynamic text.  To help you along we have two self-writing templates available in our template library.  One is a broad capital market overview, the second is a manager analysis.  We also have a whole set of tutorials and instructions if you’d like to learn dynamic text yourself.  If you’d like to have Zephyr build you a custom self-writing template, please contact the Zephyr Reporting Services Bureau and they can provide an estimate.

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