Reports management – overview
The Reports Management menu item allows authorised Committee members to create and run two types of reports – activity reports and users reports. It also allows authorised users to create email distribution lists and send emails to those lists.
Four of the activity reports continue the activity reports that the Club’s Assistant Walks Secretary has been compiling for some years:
- Activities with End Date between … and …
- Activity Participation sorted by Activity Days and Participants Name
- Activity participation by Leaders
- Summary Activity Statistics
There are also three activity reports that exploit the data collected by the new System
- Activities not checked-in
- Activities Rejected
- No-shows by participant’s name
To change the content of the activity reports, apart from their date range, requires programmer intervention.
These reports create lists of users, with a range of parameters e.g. membership status, gender. The System provides a range of options for the content of these reports, without requiring programmer intervention.
Creating and preparing a report
We chose the term Create Report to mean the process of setting a report’s parameters (e. g. Guests by Year of Birth). We chose the term Prepare Report to mean the process of selecting dates for a report to cover, choosing its output format (PDF, CSV or Excel) and running the report.
For activity reports, the Create Reports step has been done by the software developers; the only available step for an authorised Committee member is to use Prepare Report to set the date range and for a particular report.
For users reports, the authorised Committee member creates the report and then prepares it. Or, once a few common Users Reports have been created by Committee members, the reports can simply be ‘prepared’ with new dates each time.
Editing a report
You may notice that there is no ‘Edit’ command that will allow you to edit the parameters of an existing report. This was a conscious decision – we wanted to reduce the likelihood of one Committee member unilaterally editing another Committee member’s favourite report. It is possible, however, to edit a report via a roundabout route – see ‘Cloning a report’.
Deleting a report
To prevent one Committee member unilaterally deleting another Committee member’s favourite report, there is no Delete action for reports. Instead, you can change a report from Active to Inactive. Both Active and Inactive reports display in the default view of the list of reports; if you wish to see only Active Reports, ‘Select Status’ = Active and hit Search. An Inactive report can be changed to an Active Report with a single click.
Cloning a report
Authorised users can copy any report, as a basis for a new, similar, report. This is called Cloning.
Authorised users cannot, however, clone any of the programmer-created reports, such as ‘Activity participation by Leaders’. The parameters for the programmer-created reports are too complex to be managed via the tick-the-box method that is available for Cloned reports.
Authorised users can use the Clone action, change a report’s parameters and then hit the ‘Replace report’ button. This effectively edits a report. If the report was originally created by someone else, please consider carefully before you edit and replace their report. It is safer to clone the report, make your required edits, and give the cloned report a new name.
Notes on Users Reports
It is good practice to make the report name reflect the report’s parameters. Instead of reports names like ‘Membership’ or ‘Jim’s report’, please list the parameters e.g. ‘Current – Members and Life Members – Female’.
If a user report covers a past period e.g. a report run in February 2018 listing all Guests who registered during 2017, the data about each Guest will be the latest data – so if they changed their postal address in January 2018, and postal address is one of the fields selected for display, the report will show the January 2018 postal address.
Q. I can see a report in the list with a vague name (e.g. ‘Old members’ – does that mean past members, members over a certain age, or what?) How do I find out what the report’s parameters are?
A. Hit Clone, and after you have looked at the parameters, hit ‘Exit without saving’. For programmer-created reports, there is no ‘Clone’ option available, so you will have to look at previous reports of that type, or, if that fails, just prepare the report and see what’s in it.
Q. After hitting ‘Prepare Report’ I got the message: ‘This page isn’t working canberrabushwalkingclub.org sent an invalid response. ERR RESPONSE HEADERS MULTIPLE CONTENT DISPOSITION’. What does it mean?
A. According to the developers, this error message may occur if you are downloading a large file during a period of slow internet connectivity. Try again later.
Underwater plant, Tarlo River National Park