Batch Area Code Update

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
jkarras-p40
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Batch Area Code Update

Postby jkarras-p40 » Sat Jul 14, 2007 2:58 pm

Today I was reading the paper and noticed that Utah will be getting a new Area code by next year. It looks as though they will be doing an overlay instead of splitting the current 801 area code. Because of this those in the 801 area code will have to use 10 digit dialing unlike the current 7 digit.

This lead me to think about how my wards phone numbers are stored in MLS. Currently they are all 7 digit numbers. There are two a that are not.

Is there an easy batch way to update the phone numbers to 10 digit phone numbers? Is this the way they should have been stored in the first place?

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Sat Jul 14, 2007 4:07 pm

That's a good question. They switched to 10 digit dialing in Houston like 10 years ago. I'm not sure if the numbers in MLS had to be updated manually or whether it was done automatically?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat Jul 14, 2007 4:48 pm

The best I can see is :

- From the main menu, press ctrl - H (Household records)
- Select the first record on the list, click OK
- Select "Contact Information" on the left hand side
- Edit the phone number and save
- Click the right arrow in the upper right corner to go to the next record.
- Repeat the last two steps until done

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Sat Jul 14, 2007 6:31 pm

Could a little scripting technique be used (like a Perl script or something)? Export to CSV file, modify all phone numbers, and then import back into MLS? Then if someone had a cell phone number from California or something, you could have everyone verify their own phone numbers, but the majority would be correct.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat Jul 14, 2007 7:02 pm

mkmurray wrote:Could ... and then import back into MLS?


There's no import function in MLS.

The only other suggestion I have is call Clerk support at CHQ and see what they can suggest. Maybe they can do something on their end.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:11 am

The phone number change will just end up as a headache for the clerks that need to change. Although, don't the clerks put in the area code and MLS just removes the area code that is part of the MLS computer area just removed?
- David

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Jul 16, 2007 11:35 am

thedqs wrote:Although, don't the clerks put in the area code and MLS just removes the area code that is part of the MLS computer area just removed?


I don't think so. I think the 7 digits are just because that's all that was entered to begin with when the record was moved.

JamesAnderson
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Postby JamesAnderson » Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:04 pm

While I've not had to enter this type of data when I had access to the MLS a time or two in various callings, I have seen both 7-digit numbers and 10-digit numbers intermixed in it, my ward has about ten families that have phone numbers outside of 801 right now, and they show with the area code. All the local ones which are about 180 others, do not have the 801 in front, although one or two were entered that way in the past.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:06 pm

Oh well, Lets say that you have 400 members and you do 10 a week, it would take you most of the year but just doubling that to 20 and you are done in 20 weeks about 4 1/2 months. So it will take awhile but I am sure the members will know that the number corresponds to an 801 number temporally.
- David

jwtaber
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Postby jwtaber » Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:09 pm

When I was on my mission in Italy, the Church made a point of asking us missionaries, when we filled out the Baptism Recommend / Temporary Membership Record, to include the area code. That way someone outside the branch who had access to the records (say, someone in the territorial office in Milan) would not have to guess the area code. That seemed reasonable enough to me, and since then Italy has changed its telephone system so that everyone has to use the area code every time anyway.

Raleigh-Durham in North Carolina almost went to ten-digit dialing when I was serving as a membership clerk there. I made the point of making sure we had ten digits for everyone. (Then as it turned out, they were able to reconfigure things so that they didn't have to have that.)

Now I'm stake membership clerk in a stake that covers virtually all of one state and parts of two others. Even without people bringing in cell phones from outside (something we have plenty of), we have five area codes within the stake. (Thank overlay area codes extending into rural areas.) While three wards have only one area code (since Delaware's 302 still has plenty of room) the other units each have at least three, and there's one unit that has four. I have made it a rule that all units should have ten-digit phone numbers - I'm not too picky about the format - so that someone at the stake level (or in another ward, getting a number off the website) doesn't have to guess the area code.

Five years into this calling, the units are generally compliant about that one. As long as we remember that the information on the membership record isn't just for the ward and stake, ten digits (along with at least a five-digit ZIP Code in the United States) should seem important enough.

John Taber
Assistant Stake Clerk
Wilmington Delaware Stake


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