Membership Audits

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
atticusewig
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Membership Audits

Postby atticusewig » Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:16 am

Thought I'd start a new thread about Membership audits, and
what tools and techniques that could be used to help spot
changes that need to be made to records.

In my stake, we tend to time the membership audit to occur
on the same Sunday as ward conference.

Generally, the stake clerk sits down with the ward clerk and
assistant clerk in charge of membership, and does the following:

1) Abbrev. Directory of Members in MLS - He pulls this up to see
if any phone numbers aren't in the preferred format for our stake
i.e. xxx-xxx-xxxx as opposed to (xxx) xxx-xxxx or xxx.xxx.xxxx
This is a quick check in most instances.

2) Action & Interview List - He goes through this with the clerk(s)
to see if anyone who is listed as not being baptized had been
baptized, but it just hadn't been recorded. He does the same
thing with the sections listing overdue priesthood ordinations.

3) He does a spot check check of the New Member Report
(formerly known as the Convert Checklist) to see that it is
up to date.

4) He asks if there are any babies that haven't been recorded
in MLS, and asks if anyone is in the ward that the ward
doesn't have records for, or if anyone has moved out of
the ward whose records the hasn't moved to their new unit.

That covers most of the membership issues.

Recently, however I've found a couple of checks that can
quickly help find inconsistencies in the records.

a) BIC check - If you run a custom report that checks to
see if members under 18 are listed as as
"not sealed to parents", you might find
that some children "Born in Covenant"
were not marked as such on their record.

b) Birth Place check - This is a bit more involved, but using
the file you can export from MLS
called PalmIndividual.csv and the
gnu utilities, you can list all the
members in the ward that do not
have anywhere listed for their
birthplace. A simple phone call
can remedy this in most cases.
If anyone is interested, let me know,
and I will post the scripts on how
produce such a list.

side-note: You can also produce a list of Birthplaces
with frequency so you can see how
many people were born where.
You will also be able to see how many
birthplaces follow the
City, County, State, Country
format that is shown as an example in the MLS help.
Anyone know how important it is to follow this
format exactly (i.e. some records use the state abbreviation instead of spelling it out, some omit the county, etc.) ?

So does anyone else have any experiences,
tips, or tricks they could share about membership audits ?

- Atticus Ewig

bcpalmer60
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Location: Arvada, CO (suburb of Denver)

Great idea

Postby bcpalmer60 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:24 pm

This is a great idea. :)

If this were implemented in our stake, it would really help with missionary work:
1. We have a problem where the Aaronic Priesthood ordinations are not recorded, so it looks like many convert young men/men are not active.
2. It might identify unbaptized children, and other potential converts
3. It emphasizes the importance of keeping the Convert Checklist up to date.

I can see many other benefits to this besides the few listed above in the area of missionary work.

Brian Palmer
Brian C. Palmer
Arvada, Colorado, USA

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greenwoodkl
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Location Standardization?

Postby greenwoodkl » Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:48 pm

I'll post this question here as this is the thread that spurred my thoughts, but I'm sure it could apply across many Church apps...

Is there a global organization that provides a regularly updated database of standardized, recognized place names that could be used for MLS birthdates, addresses, etc...; for FamilySearch event locations (preferably a database with historical place names and alternate spellings, former political jurisdictions, etc...)???

If not, is this a project that could be done by a group of volunteers or an internal Church team to provide a global database of location data that could eventually tie into a GIS, FamilySearch, MLS, MOS, GIDS, FMAT, CDOL, etc?

Thoughts?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:13 pm

kgthunder wrote:Is there a global organization that provides a regularly updated database of standardized, recognized place names that could be used for MLS birthdates, addresses, etc...; for FamilySearch event locations (preferably a database with historical place names and alternate spellings, former political jurisdictions, etc...)???


nFS seems to have that kind of function. No idea where they get their data.

There is a program I've seen called "Cities Galore", but it's not free.

scion-p40
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Postby scion-p40 » Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:59 am

RussellHltn wrote:nFS seems to have that kind of function. No idea where they get their data.

There is a program I've seen called "Cities Galore", but it's not free.


If nFS is like our current IGI, place names are changed without regard to the year of the event---not a good idea. People are then born in political jurisdictions that did not exist until long after their deaths. Time travel, anyone? <g>

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Wed Jun 27, 2007 5:38 am

kgthunder wrote:I'll post this question here as this is the thread that spurred my thoughts, but I'm sure it could apply across many Church apps...

Is there a global organization that provides a regularly updated database of standardized, recognized place names that could be used for MLS birthdates, addresses, etc...; for FamilySearch event locations (preferably a database with historical place names and alternate spellings, former political jurisdictions, etc...)???

If not, is this a project that could be done by a group of volunteers or an internal Church team to provide a global database of location data that could eventually tie into a GIS, FamilySearch, MLS, MOS, GIDS, FMAT, CDOL, etc?

Thoughts?

To my knowledge there is no such global organization or database. It would be an interesting project for the community to work on, however.

Tom

JamesAnderson
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Postby JamesAnderson » Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:53 am

Here's an example of a matter where the local language spells a place differently than we have in English.

You can look this up in the IGI so you can see how it shows there, but this is what I got when doing work for the name last week:

Cario Ceccharini SAVELLI
1529
Tuscana, Italia

Tuscana is often spelled 'Tuscany' in English, 'Italia' is the Italian way of saying and spelling 'Italy'.

This is another issue that needs to be settled before standardization of place names can be considered, I think.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:33 am

JamesAnderson wrote:This is another issue that needs to be settled before standardization of place names can be considered, I think.


You've got the place and you've got the language that's local to the record to consider. For example, a member's record in Italy would show "Italia". The same member moved to the US would be "Italy".

So I think a standardized place name would actually be a matrix of places according to different languages. Then add in the time element (given the breakup of the Soviet Union) and it becomes 3 dimensional. :eek: Of course the need to move records between language would suggest the member's record would actually contain a location pointer rather then "place name".

Sheesh. Is this really worth the hassle for membership records? For nFS, it would be since "place" is more important.

gawing
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Postby gawing » Wed Jun 27, 2007 12:02 pm

Thanks for your procedures, atticusewig. I'd be interested in the scripts you refer to.

atticusewig
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Postby atticusewig » Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:28 am

gawing wrote:Thanks for your procedures, atticusewig. I'd be interested in the scripts you refer to.


Here are some more details:

1) BIC - the most accurate way to determine this is with 2 custom lists

a) List 1- Criteria: Age is Less than 18
Criteria: Member Status - is not Sealed to Parents
Display: Preferred Name
Display: Birthdate

b) List 2 - Criteria: Member Status - is sealed to spouse
Display: Preferred Name
Display: Sealing (which is the sealing date )

You compare the Birthdates of the children in List 1 against the
sealing dates of the parents in List 2, and look for any births
that occured after their parents sealing. Those are the records
that should be marked BIC ( Born In the Covenant ).

2) No birthplace - First you will need a recent MLS export of PalmIndividual.csv
and the GNU utilities in one form or the other. Linux has the full
set, but if you want to do this in Windows I would recommend
unxutils from sourceforge. There is also other projects that will
allow you to download each one by one. If that is the case you need:
cat
grep
sed

For purposes of the example below, I used the unxutils and
a PalmIndividual.csv with all the checkboxes selected. It was
run in a win32 environment. In Linux some minor adjustements
(mainly to the type of quotation marks used) will be necessary.

File 1 - Findnobirthplace.bat (all one line)

cat PalmIndividual.csv | grep -B6 "Birth Place:" | sed -f delline.sed | sed s/Place..[A-Z]/awesome/g | grep -B1 Place

File 2 - delline.sed (multi-line)

/^Birth:/d
/^$/d
/^Sex:/d
/^Status:/d
s/"",//g
s/MRN.*$//g

I will now go through each part of findnobirthplace.bat and explain what is going on:

cat PalmIndividual.csv |

--- cat in this instance is the same as the DOS tyoe command in that it lists the entire
file. The Pipe ( | ) at the end of the line sends this result to the next command:

grep -B6 "Birth Place:" |

--grep grabs the lines with "Birth Place:" in them, and the -B6 grabs
the 6 lines before those lines, so we also will get the line with
the members names. Everything else is discarded. We send these
results to the next command with the pipe ( | ).

sed -f delline.sed |

--sed is the search and replace tool. The -f option tells it to take
it's rules from the file delline.sed. This file lists the lines
in between the member name and birthplace lines which
we don't need and so will be deleted.
We then pipe this to the next command.

sed s/Place..[A-Z]/awesome/g |

-- using sed again, only this time without a file of rules.
basically this is a search rule that says search for the
word "Place" followed by a colon and a space and then
a letter (i.e. records that do have a birthplace listed).
It then replaces it with the word "awesome". Basically
any word that is fairly unique will do. You then
pipe the results to the next command

grep -B1 Place

This now finds all the lines that still have the word
"Place" in the line. Which will be all the blank places,
because anything that had a place will now have
the word "awesome" instead of "Place". The
-B1 option is to also grab the member name
from the line above.

[Optional]
The batch as it is now will display to the screen
which is normally good for most small units with
only one or two members without recorded
birthplaces. If you have many records to
correct, adding
> results.txt
to the end of the batch file line will put it into
a file called results.txt


Hope this helps find and fix some common
record errors that are easily overlooked
if you look at each record by hand.

Regards,
Atticus Ewig


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