Ad Hoc Reporting
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Without a great reporting system, data is just data, no more or less – it’s just a bunch of fields sitting in tables in the database. Data becomes information (useful, flexible, powerful) when you can use a reporting system to extract it quickly, easily and in a variety of formats. Camps and conference centers are report-hungry operations! Think about how a single report can make the world of difference for you, either in reducing your time to accumulate that information or providing information you otherwise would not have known about. Some examples:
- A cabin report with campers’ pictures, medical details and key background info for counselors
- A registration summary comparing numbers this year versus last year
- A check in report showing campers’ missing forms, outstanding balances and cabin assignment
- A calendar showing the week’s groups, meal counts and dietary restrictions for kitchen staff
- The perfect group contract
We have always prided ourselves on having excellent, robust reporting in our software. The ability to produce just about any report possible, the ultimate in flexibility and customizability, is a benchmark we have always held for ourselves.
Yesterday, we released the initial version of the next phase in our reporting journey – ad hoc reporting (web-based version). It is a fact that to produce large, complex reports, you need a strong report-writing tool…and the trade-off is that you need some knowledge and skill to use that robust report-writing tool. With ad hoc reporting, we have significantly reduced the knowledge and skill required. Anyone familiar with the basics of everyday software will feel comfortable creating lists and rosters…choosing fields to drag and drop onto the report…grouping the data in logical ways (e.g. by city)…filtering the information based on simple criteria (e.g. show only cities in NY). This is big. It means that most routine reports can be created in minutes by the average user.
I created this simple list in 30 seconds. I dragged the fields I wanted onto the middle, selected my grouping (grade) and then chose to filter my data to only see certain grades from certain camps. Imagine doing this with any and all data at your fingertips! Once you are ready to save it, you can push it to Excel, Word, CSV, XML, or PDF.
We still have that large, robust report writer on our side of the fence that allows us to create any report imaginable, but the introduction of ad hoc reporting opens the door wide open for endless reporting options, created by anyone in just a few minutes.
For those on the web-based version, we did a webinar today - if you missed it, you can catch the video in the members' portal.
Happy reporting, everyone!
Love your Software,