Custom Reports on LCR vs MLS

Discussions about the Leader and Clerk Resources on lds.org.
danielgibby
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Re: Custom Reports on LCR vs MLS

Postby danielgibby » Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:14 am

See the thread here about the current Custom Reports error on user defined fields:
https://tech.lds.org/forum/viewtopic.ph ... 13#p147413

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aebrown
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Re: Custom Reports on LCR vs MLS

Postby aebrown » Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:36 am

danielgibby wrote:Currently, my custom reports that have user defined fields (which I use for keeping track of who spoke and prayed in Sacrament meeting) are all broken with an error that says "Changing the calling in organization selection invalidates the calling position"; however nothing in the reports I am trying to run use any calling fields or selectors. So there is a bug with the custom reports. Please fix this!

This issue is quite unrelated to the topic of this discussion -- custom reports on LCR -- since this is an MLS issue. It was reported here, and a fix to be in the upcoming MLS 3.8.3 release was noted in this post.

danielgibby
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Re: Custom Reports on LCR vs MLS

Postby danielgibby » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:18 am

You are partially right that the issue I am having is somewhat unrelated to custom reports on LCR, but not entirely. If there are going to be bugs in MLS that happen, then that makes me want all functionality to be ported to LCR, which is what this topic is about. That's what drove me here and made me think about LCR vs MLS. Also, by only quoting part of my post, it seems like you are saying that my whole post is unrelated, but it wasn't.

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aebrown
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Re: Custom Reports on LCR vs MLS

Postby aebrown » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:35 am

danielgibby wrote:by only quoting part of my post, it seems like you are saying that my whole post is unrelated, but it wasn't.

No, by quoting only part of your post I was trying to make it clear that I was responding only to the part I quoted. I referred to "this issue", not to "your post". Sorry if that wasn't clear enough. The first part of your post was entirely germane to this topic and appropriate.

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Re: Custom Reports on LCR vs MLS

Postby danielgibby » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:53 am

Do you see how the MLS bug is related to the discussion? Part of this discussion was about MLS and taking away functionality there and moving it to LCR, which is why the bug happened. So my point of talking about the bug in MLS on this post is to point out that we will be losing functionality if custom reports are not moved to LCR. Even if there were no bug, the functionality of the custom reports is lessened if the same data isn't available in MLS as is available on LCR (ie. HT/VT data, callings information, etc. which have been moved only into LCR). So if I no longer can run a custom report which has calling data or HT information, then that means that part of what I used to be able to do is now gone.

You could argue that custom reports aren't needed, but there are instances where it is nicer to have a simplified or a more extensive report than what is viewable or downloadable from LCR, (or from the old MLS without custom reports before things were moved to LCR). Being able to create custom reports in LCR is necessary for some leaders to save them a little time or to do things the way that they do them best.

When it comes to custom data, such as is used to track previous callings (which is something that is in the handbook for clerks to do, but there isn't any functionality anywhere that the church provides which makes this easy), or to track who spoke or prayed in Sacrament Meeting, then custom reports were very helpful. The church doesn't want us downloading private or confidential data (which includes people's phone numbers and callings) and keeping it in separate systems. So that means we shouldn't be exporting everything and creating new databases (in Excel or Google Docs, or whatever). Sometimes those really are the easiest tool for the job, because the church doesn't have a tool that allows this to be done without them (except for Custom Fields and custom reports.) So if something goes wrong, or functionality is taken away from custom reports, that is taking away from the clerks and Executive Secretary things that they are supposed to do as part of their calling. If the church will provide the tools and we use them, then we don't need to use outside tools, and the privacy and confidentiality of data is kept more secure. Custom reports is a big part of that.

I would love to see the day where there is no need for a computer in the clerk's office at all. The only things required there now are processing donations (which most members now do online, and which could be done through a web app in LCR), and custom data, which ought to be functionality that is added to LCR.

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aebrown
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Re: Custom Reports on LCR vs MLS

Postby aebrown » Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:21 pm

danielgibby wrote:Do you see how the MLS bug is related to the discussion? Part of this discussion was about MLS and taking away functionality there and moving it to LCR, which is why the bug happened. So my point of talking about the bug in MLS on this post is to point out that we will be losing functionality if custom reports are not moved to LCR.

I can see how a discussion of the need for custom reports on LCR might mention that the custom reports functionality in MLS is becoming less and less capable. I'll certainly agree with you that such a note would be quite relevant.

But reporting the particular details of an MLS bug belongs in the MLS forum, not in the LCR forum, particularly since that bug was already reported in the MLS forum. That was my main point, and the reason I linked to the relevant post over in the MLS forum. Any detailed discussion of the bug belongs in that forum.

danielgibby wrote:Even if there were no bug, the functionality of the custom reports is lessened if the same data isn't available in MLS as is available on LCR (ie. HT/VT data, callings information, etc. which have been moved only into LCR). So if I no longer can run a custom report which has calling data or HT information, then that means that part of what I used to be able to do is now gone.

Agreed.

danielgibby wrote:You could argue that custom reports aren't needed, but there are instances where it is nicer to have a simplified or a more extensive report than what is viewable or downloadable from LCR, (or from the old MLS without custom reports before things were moved to LCR). Being able to create custom reports in LCR is necessary for some leaders to save them a little time or to do things the way that they do them best.

I would never argue that custom reports aren't needed in LCR. I have always been a huge fan of custom reports, since it is impossible for MLS or LCR to add built-in reports that could ever produce all the combinations of reporting data that clerks and leaders might need. Because of that, I've created dozens and dozens of custom reports over the years. The need for custom reports in LCR is only increasing as more and more data becomes inaccessible in MLS.

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Re: Custom Reports on LCR vs MLS

Postby martytag » Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:30 pm

Is there a report in either program that will show you the past callings a member has held?

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Re: Custom Reports on LCR vs MLS

Postby danielgibby » Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:52 pm

martytag wrote:Is there a report in either program that will show you the past callings a member has held?


I wish there was, but I've never seen it. It is something a ward clerk is supposed to track, but there aren't any tools to do it with unless you copy data somewhere outside of those two systems- OR if you use custom fields and reports, but that doesn't work well for a lot of historical callings.

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Re: Custom Reports on LCR vs MLS

Postby russellhltn » Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:53 pm

martytag wrote:Is there a report in either program that will show you the past callings a member has held?

There's limited support for that in CDOL. You can look up the person by their current calling and click on "Position Summery". However, I don't think the history goes back all that far. A quick look suggests maybe a little more than 5 years. And that might be deceptive - it may only record positions they were released from in the past few years - we just happen to see the calling date associated with that release.
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danielgibby
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Re: Custom Reports on LCR vs MLS

Postby danielgibby » Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:20 pm

russellhltn wrote:There's limited support for that in CDOL. You can look up the person by their current calling and click on "Position Summery". However, I don't think the history goes back all that far. A quick look suggests maybe a little more than 5 years. And that might be deceptive - it may only record positions they were released from in the past few years - we just happen to see the calling date associated with that release.

CDOL only shows bishopric members, correct? I don't see, for example, our high priests group leader there, except as someone who used to be the executive secretary.


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