Adding a custom field in bulk

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brockjudkins
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Adding a custom field in bulk

Postby brockjudkins » Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:10 pm

Our ward leadership wants to add a "flag" to members that do not want to receive visits, and conversely families that must have home teachers.

The way that I see to do this in MLS at the moment is to add a "custom field" for each. Only those who have access to the IOS, however, seem to be able to add values for these fields and there is no way to do this in bulk. Pulling up each record and adding the flag 1x1 is untenable time-wise for our membership clerk. (I'm the Ward Clerk.)

So my questions are:
1. Is there a better way to set values in custom fields in bulk, in MLS or otherwise? Maybe a CSV or XML import of some sort?
2. Have you had a similar need in your ward that you fulfilled using a different technique?

Thanks.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:41 pm

brockjudkins wrote:Our ward leadership wants to add a "flag" to members that do not want to receive visits, and conversely families that must have home teachers.


Regarding the first point, I'd recommend that you make sure that your ward leaders are familiar with the instruction given not to put
"DNC" on membership records.

brockjudkins wrote:1. Is there a better way to set values in custom fields in bulk, in MLS or otherwise? Maybe a CSV or XML import of some sort?


There is no way to do any CSV or XML import to MLS.

Although you can't exactly set fields in bulk, there is a techique that can speed up the process significantly. Use the blue navigation buttons (
BlueNav.png
BlueNav.png (1.66 KiB) Viewed 135 times
) to move through the ward membership. I did a quick test, and could attach a custom field in under 10 seconds. Given that you would probably be skipping over the vast majority of the members because they wouldn't have either status you mentioned, you could easily do a whole ward in under a half an hour using that technique.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

kisaac
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Postby kisaac » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:40 am

brockjudkins wrote:Our ward leadership wants to add a "flag" to members that do not want to receive visits, and conversely families that must have home teachers.

The way that I see to do this in MLS at the moment is to add a "custom field" for each. Only those who have access to the IOS, however, seem to be able to add values for these fields and there is no way to do this in bulk. Pulling up each record and adding the flag 1x1 is untenable time-wise for our membership clerk. (I'm the Ward Clerk.)

So my questions are:
1. Is there a better way to set values in custom fields in bulk, in MLS or otherwise? Maybe a CSV or XML import of some sort?
2. Have you had a similar need in your ward that you fulfilled using a different technique?

Thanks.


What you are trying to do, of course, is come to a better analysis and reporting than offered by your monthly or quarterly report home teaching percentage. And doing this is exactly what the Handbooks describe as a clerk function...looking deeper into the statistics, and bringing usable trends and reports from those generic statistics to the attention of your leaders.

A "do not miss" list has been used by many units for years. Some criteria, like the examples that follow, coupled with monthly home teaching visit record, can be very revealing on how "truly" successful your home teaching efforts are:[INDENT]"single sisters"
"households without Melchizedek Priesthood."
"focus families"
"new move-ins" (new to your ward)
"new members" (converts, or part-member families)
"members not home taught for _______ months"
"members missed for last two consecutive months"
[/INDENT]The most simple way to provide leaders with this is to take your detailed monthly report of visits, and your list of those meeting your criteria, and highlight with your yellow marker those that you've pre-determined should not have been missed...where they missed?

With MLS, you can automate this. I think Custom Member Fields combined with Custom Reports are very powerful, and not very well used. Using these features combined are the way to do what you are requesting, for two reasons.

1) automatic updating of move-ins and move-outs.
2) Integration with other MLS data (in your case, your home teaching reporting as entered by your organizations)

First, understand the help sections from the LDStech wiki for custom fields and custom reports:

IF you have questions about the details, after reading the sections above, post a question here. This really should be administered by your clerk / membership clerk anyway, and not on an organizational level (such as by your EQ or HP secretary.) I wouldn't worry about the "bulk load," as it is the learning curve that will take the time.

I caution "DNC" lists, as these often become labels that stick, and persist....when they might not be justified. However, make sure any printed and distributed ward lists come from LDS.org, and not from MLS, so that privacy requests from members who specified their wishes in the directory are honored.


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