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- August 17, 2009 at 4:02 pm #277
As a former user of Quask and now a user of Perfect Forms, I wanted to provide feedback on producing reports from PerfectForms data.
One of the fundamentals of understanding how reports are used, particularly in the public sector and publicly funded sector in the UK is that management need paper reports to be considered at management meetings and committee meetings.
Managers will seldom look on-line at report pages and if they do, this would be one individual manager in advance of the meeting who will then ask for a paper version to be printed in advance of a management meeting.
Furthermore, the way in which data needs to be presented will change depending on the project and the after the first drafts have been considered. There is also the implication of publishing data in a format for being understood by the public or by general staff.
The data extraction tool in PerfectForms works for PerfectForms users but relies on the user to be able to manipulate the data in Excel or Access reports. Whilst this is flexible, it does not alter the fact that the user cannot provide management with an instant visual snapshot in an easily understood format (such as Excel using the Quask report function).
I am providing this feedback because I have had to present data from an on-line staff consultation to two different local authorities, breaking down the data for each authority which has required producing 120 Excel charts 5 times according to the data split required. In Quask this would have been a far easier task than it has proved in PerfectForms.
I am sure there must be other former Quask users now using PerfectForms who lament the fact they can no longer produce easy Excel reports with instant visual impact that can be passed on to management in just five minutes.
Surely, something can be developed to help out users such as myself?August 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm #4717
I wonder if there may be a case where you haven’t uncovered the ‘power’ of what you can do in perfectforms reporting ?
for instance, could it be a reasonable assumption that for each of your 2 authorities here, you have had to present the same data (just filtered to the specific authority)?
If so you could have set up one ‘report’ with all your data as required, and then with a ‘filter input’ field where you can then select the authority. All the data on the report will then be filtered just to show for that authority, and you can then print that report out as required (the current release 1.14 now supports the ability to print out reports as well). You can start setting up your report as the data is being collected if the specific reporting requirements are not known at the time you start designing your form to collect the data and reports also support ‘version control’ so if you were asked to ‘update/change’ the report format (or even the form content as well), this can be done without loosing any other collected data
There may of course be other reasons that meant you couldn’t effectively achieve this from a perfectforms report and please do get back to us with that as we would always like to understand what our users are experiencing to see if we can make things better for you
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