Stake Geo Codes

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
Corwinhigley
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Stake Geo Codes

Postby Corwinhigley » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:13 am

I am an new Stake clerk, and I am looking for any infromation on how to quickly and easily create GEO codes for the Stake. The help desk indicated each house holds GEO code has to be imput individually, this seems nearly impossible to keep up with considering all the move ins and move outs. Any help would be great.

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:30 pm

The help desk is correct. The only way to streamline the process just a bit is to have the wards help you.

If the ward is using a geocode, it will flow to the stake. If you wish to have a different code than the ward code, you might ask the ward to enter the code you wish as a stake geocode in ward MLS. This code will flow to the stake instead of the ward geocode.

Either way, once a geocode arrives at the stake MLS, it will not change unless the stake changes it. Nothing flows back to the ward.

Once you start playing with the codes, you will find that it only takes about 5-10 seconds to enter a code if the code has been used before, because the current codes will show up in a drop down box, and the top code will be entered by default and does not have to actually be selected. Other than using the cursor to click on the edit link, the entire process can be handled via the keyboard.

Getting the initial codes in is a bit of a pain, but if the clerk will spend a few minutes each week or month, the task is not too bad. The household list can be sorted on the code column, and all of the families that need to have a code added will be at the top and can readily be dealt with.

Or, if there is no division work in progress at the stake, you can just leave them and not use them until needed. In a pinch, I could code our entire stake in about an hour. Several years ago we did that, and then spent less than five minutes each week updating the new household records that had moved in just before we started playing with the new unit models.

tcg1
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Re: Stake Geo Codes

Postby tcg1 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:13 am

In our stake, the stake geo codes are used for boundary realignment purposes. The wards, however, use the ward geo code field for other purposes. Yet, the ward field is automatically propagated to the stake field if no stake geo code is assigned. This can cause problems when a new family moves into a ward and the ward clerk puts data into the ward geo code field, then I later run a report of "unassigned" stake geo codes. These new members, for which no stake code has been assigned, will not show up as "unassigned" because the ward code is automatically being propagated to the stake field. What I have to do instead (to find where I need to assign a stake code) is to print a list of ALL households in the stake and comb through the stake codes to see if there are codes that don't look to be a stake code (ie. in our particular format that we use for stake codes).

So we either tell the ward clerks not to use that field for anything other than assigning a stake code (and hope they and future clerks never do use it for ward purposes) or else I would suggest the ward geo code NOT be propagated to the stake field unless an operation is run to deliberately pull the data from the wards into the stake field.

davesudweeks
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Re: Stake Geo Codes

Postby davesudweeks » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:57 am

Our stake put out a grid map of each ward in the stake and asked all the wards to update the geo codes based on the grid. The ward clerks were all asked to keep the geo-codes accurate with moves. In our ward, we entered the geo code in both fields and then used the geo code grid as the base for our Emergency Preparedness groups (emergency preparedness were groups of geo codes that were tracked via a spreadsheet).

If you keep it up at the ward level, it takes very little time each week. If not, it can become a chore that get's in the way of other priorities because the request to update it will never come at a convenient time...

jonesrk
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Re: Stake Geo Codes

Postby jonesrk » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:12 pm

tcg1 wrote: I later run a report of "unassigned" stake geo codes. These new members, for which no stake code has been assigned, will not show up as "unassigned" because the ward code is automatically being propagated to the stake field.

What if you just run the member move in report for the time period since you last updated geo codes? Then you would know that all of those members need to be updated even if they have a code from the ward.
Ryan Jones
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Stake Technology Specialist - Software / Stake Assistant Clerk
Former Ward Clerk

tcg1
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Re: Stake Geo Codes

Postby tcg1 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:45 pm

I'll have to look into the member move-in report to see if it will give me what I need. That may help solve another problem I've run into which is when members move within the ward. It seems it would be helpful if whenever a member's address has changed, that the geo codes would either be blanked out or better yet, flagged as needing review.

tcg1
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Re: Stake Geo Codes

Postby tcg1 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:09 pm

By the way, we had tried at one point to have the ward clerks input all of the geo codes to initially populate the stake codes, but with (very) limited success. When I look at the listing of members at the stake level, I see lots of misspelled street names, city names, garbled zip codes, and such that I have been reluctant to put a lot of confidence in the wards to also maintain the geo code. Sometimes assigning a code might be easy, but often it is not easy to determine where an address falls against the geo code boundaries. Just today I went as far as to go to websites of county parcel level data (through the tax appraiser's office) to determine which side of the county line an address fell. (Our stake covers parts of 14 counties in Texas).

We live in a fast-growing area, so I'm thinking if we want the wards to maintain the data, there needs to be someone called as an assistant ward clerk to specialize in maintaining the geo codes and in standardizing and correcting address data. I think I'll suggest that to the Stake President.

idjeeper2
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Re: Stake Geo Codes

Postby idjeeper2 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:44 am

My stake has been somewhat lax on using the ward and stake geo codes. I know some wards don't have anything in those fields. For many years, my ward put a geo code (developed by the Ward Clerk when the ward was created) in the stake field and left the ward field blank. A couple of years ago, I was talking to the Stake Clerk and Executive Secretary about geo codes. They suggested that I start populating the ward geo code field since there was always the possibility that the stake would start populating their field.

So, the old geo code scheme was four numbers starting at 4001 (I think 4000 was based on our ward being fourth on the list alphabetically, but I can't confirm that). At that time we had 23 areas so the numbers stopped at 4024. When I started populating the Ward geo code field, I added "MG-" (Maple Grove) on the front to distinguish them from the the codes in the stake field. I also divided three areas that had filled in with homes so now we have 27. The process of populating the new codes for about 250 households only took a couple of hours. Since then, we add those when we get the records and the time is inconsequential.

With respect to misspelling, you might consider making that a discussion item during the membership audit and/or during a leadership training session. My experience is that when a membership clerk gets lazy about street names, there are usually errors in other areas of the membership records. As Barney Fife said, "Nip it in the bud". The records are too important and as clerks we have an obligation to pay attention to detail. My stake also directed the wards to use standard Post Office abbreviations and format for addresses.

lajackson
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Re: Stake Geo Codes

Postby lajackson » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:43 pm

idjeeper2 wrote:A couple of years ago, I was talking to the Stake Clerk and Executive Secretary about geo codes. They suggested that I start populating the ward geo code field since there was always the possibility that the stake would start populating their field.

At the ward level, it does not matter. The stake can do anything they wish. No matter what the stake does, the stake and ward geo codes on the ward MLS computer will not change.

The purpose of having both a ward and stake geo code in ward MLS is so that the ward can use its own set of geo codes, and still support the stake in sending a geo code the stake prefers.

For more details on how geo codes flow, this post from 2008 has often been cited.

To my knowledge, nothing has changed, but I have not played with it in a while, although a comment from May 2012 seems to indicate things are still the same.

tcg1
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Re: Stake Geo Codes

Postby tcg1 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:41 am

A search didn't show me an answer to this so I don't know if this is generally an issue, but I am seeing a problem with particular families not showing up in the "Household Geo Codes" so I can edit the stake geo code. In particular, a family in one ward definitely has all of their individual records but they don't show up anywhere in a "household" list.

I notice that if I look at "Households" from the first screen under membership records, I see, say, a number like 2,823 households. From the secondary screen under Print Records, the Household list only shows 2,806 households. Under Household IOS (Individual Ordinance Summary) it lists only 2,799 households. What gives? But more importantly, why are some families not showing up in the Household Geocode list so I can edit the geocode?


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