Smartsheet Advanced Tips: SCC Update All Reporting

This post represents a public cross-listing of a post I made to the Consulting Organization at Smartsheet in Feb 2019. The purpose is to help out potential end-users reading this. All thoughts are my own.

My team and I have discovered that you could use Global Updates to bulk update reporting. I have recently had to use this in order to update 100+ projects quickly.  The clients had provisioned many projects without us expanding the inbound cell-link limit for the summary sheet, so many of the projects were not able to be cell-linked in correctly.  Associated with this methodology are two major advantages:

  • Speed & Effort: this is the primary advantage.  By executing this by the push of a global update, we can ensure that this process is done the same every time
  • Robustness: this is the secondary advantage.  By allowing the engine to track successes and failures, we can make sure that the correct info is filled in for each project.  The Global Updates error handler will allow you to detect errors faster and with greater accuracy than a manual sweep would, especially if your solution has multiple summary sheets and / or metadata sheets.

In order to implement the methodology, we have to use add profile data.  As tested, adding a new column or locking a column will not work. These do not appear to call the profile data reporting piece of SCC.  To our best knowledge, you must use the “Add Profile Data” method, although further tests were not completed on the remaining methods.

In order to complete this in the task in the least destructive manner, we want to update profile data that already is blank in the main text / value column, one column to the right of our primary column.  A good example of this is updating profile data that has nothing in the primary column. To achieve this, I updated “Project Manager” with a blank value within the text/number value column. To note, it was already blank because we stored the data for “Project Manager” in the associated contact column in the Metadata sheet.

Then, running the global update is standard.  Roughly 6/140 projects failed on the first pass unexpectedly.  I simply re-ran the global update to complete the process. It is unclear why the update failed for some, but after running the process again, there were no obvious impacts. 

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