The Essential Guide to Live vs. Static Jira Data

Written by Rina Nir

Jira data holds the key to business growth

Lists of Jira data are crucial aspects of your team’s workflow to keep your progress on track and your results quantifiable. From keeping projects progressing on time and on budget to acing audits, your Jira data holds the key to business growth.

That said, there are two broad types of lists you can create using Jira data: live and static. Once you’ve defined the criteria necessary to scope the list correctly, including which fields to use, you’re ready to choose which type of list you need —and the best tools for this critical task.

What’s the difference between live and static Jira data?

A live list is created in Jira using a filter, and it always shows current data. That means a live list is also a dynamic one —whenever you update Jira, the refreshed view of the list will naturally be different than the previous iteration. So, for example, if your list shows a project’s “open” issues, then any issues moved to “done” will no longer be a part of the live list. Additionally, any issues that have been reopened or added will appear on the live list.

The same applies to the fields contained in the live list. For example, if the Assignee has been updated, the live list will show the current value.

A static list, on the other hand, captures data at a specific point in time. Once created (usually by exporting the data into Excel as a .csv file), its content doesn’t change no matter what happens to the live data in Jira. So, an issue may have been deleted in Jira but will still appear on a static list.

Use cases

When it comes to determining if you need a live vs. static list, the ultimate use is the deciding factor.

Live lists are best for managing ongoing issues, including:

  • Managing, discussing, or brainstorming ongoing activity (i.e., issues in a current sprint, issues awaiting approval)
  • Sharing a group of business-related issues with team members or stakeholders (i.e., any issue that needs attention, processing, or urgent consideration)

Static data, on the other hand, is best for critical documentation, including:

  • Official sign-off by a customer or client (i.e., items included in a scope of work)
  • Release documentation (i.e., for consumer information and to satisfy auditors’ needs)
  • Status reporting (i.e., End-of-week reports)
  • Audits, like regulatory audits
  • Historical review (i.e., post-mortems that document changes from initial concept through execution)
  • Reports to share with customers or stakeholders who don’t have access to Jira

How to create live and static lists of Jira data

Once you decide if you need a live or static view, you can choose the best way to create your list.

Live reports of Jira data can be created in one of three ways:

  1. Using Jira native features:
  • Jira filters, Advanced issue search view (Cloud) or issue search view (Data Center)
  • Jira dashboards: using the filter results gadget.
  1. UsingConfluence: The native Jira macros in Confluence allow you to embed a live list of Jira issues inside a Confluence page.
  2. Reporting and dashboard apps for Jira: Many apps offer some ability to create live Jira lists (i.e., Structure – Project Management at Scale supports viewing live reports with hierarchical issue organization)

Static reports of Jira data can be created in a couple of ways:

  1. Exporting Jira data to a file: Either using the native export options or those provided by an app (You can read more about it in our blog about exporting traceability from Jira.)
  2. In Confluence: If you use Confluence, then the Jira Snapshot for Confluence app (Cloud and Data Center) is an easy solution for creating a static list using advanced features beyond what is provided by the native Jira Macros plugins.

Jira data is a crucial part of workflow management, and understanding the myriad uses of static vs. live data will help you better manage your process. If you have any questions about lists and how to best use them to meet your business goals, give us a shout. We’re here for you!

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