MLS Custom Report Sorting Question

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
upNin-p40
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MLS Custom Report Sorting Question

Postby upNin-p40 » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:47 am

We have 300 apartment units in our traditional style ward. We would like to run a report sorted by apartment building, then unit number in that building, and then organized by family position (HofH, spouse, then each child from oldest to youngest).

As I have tried to make a custom report work in this format using stake GEO Code (for the building number) and ward GEO Code (for the unit number), by placing the stake GEO code as the first column on the custom report and the ward GEO code as the second column on the report, I find there seems to be only 1 level of sorting within MLS. In this case, we get everyone in a building grouped, but randomly listed. We need the next 2 levels of sorting, i.e. apartment number, and family members.

I have seen some references in these forums to exporting data to another program. With as often as people move in & out of these apartments, that will be a bit of a pain. What suggestions do you have for this need?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:18 am

upNin wrote:We have 300 apartment units in our traditional style ward. We would like to run a report sorted by apartment building, then unit number in that building, and then organized by family position (HofH, spouse, then each child from oldest to youngest).

As I have tried to make a custom report work in this format using stake GEO Code (for the building number) and ward GEO Code (for the unit number), by placing the stake GEO code as the first column on the custom report and the ward GEO code as the second column on the report, I find there seems to be only 1 level of sorting within MLS. In this case, we get everyone in a building grouped, but randomly listed. We need the next 2 levels of sorting, i.e. apartment number, and family members.

I have seen some references in these forums to exporting data to another program. With as often as people move in & out of these apartments, that will be a bit of a pain. What suggestions do you have for this need?


Your specifications for sorting are definitely beyond anything that MLS custom reports can handle. But it's very simple to write a custom report that generates the data you need. Then to handle the sorting, you can copy the entire contents of the report (by running the report, then doing Ctrl+Shift+C to copy the report to the clipboard), then paste the report into a spreadsheet.

You may need to create a separate column to sort by household position exactly as you specify. Such a column would use a formula to create a sort key such that HoH would sort first, then spouse, then children in descending age order.

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:53 am

I wonder about the advisability of using the Stake Geo Code field for ward purposes. Since the Ward Geo Code field has eight character positions, that may be large enough to create a composite Ward Geo Code with your building number as the first couple of digits and the apartment number as the remaining six digits. If you are careful to use leading zeroes for the building number and apartment number, that single field might be sufficient for sorting and querying.

Also, for the future you might look at the concept of Groups that the new beta-maps.lds.org gives to clerks. Since clerks will be expected to manually create groups of geocoded families using what geographic granularity makes sense for their unit, you will probably want to devise a system of Groups that is consistent with your concept. I think you can even name them according to your local preferences.

Since clerks can export records from the maps site, including the head-of-household's MRN as the record key, an external process should also be able to merge the MLS export files with the map export files to create the sort of reports you desire.

mtwerner
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Postby mtwerner » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:00 am

I've found that you actually can do multi-level sorting in custom reports. You just click on the column headings in order from the lowest to the highest level of the sort.

nutterb
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Postby nutterb » Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:26 am

mtwerner wrote:I've found that you actually can do multi-level sorting in custom reports. You just click on the column headings in order from the lowest to the highest level of the sort.


That won't help much given the specification that it be sorted so that Head of Household appears first, then Spouse, then children in order of age. The MLS sorting would result in an order of

Head of Household
Other
Other
Spouse.


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