Common Fields: A commonly overlooked improvement to your policyIQ Forms and Reporting!

policyIQ Forms are still something of a mystery to many of you.  We know how much value there is to be gained by effectively using Forms- so we’ll be bringing you some blog posts to highlight Forms features that you might not know about yet!

The following is a conversation that took place entirely inside the mind of this blogger.  Sometimes she hears voices.  Often they ask policyIQ-related questions.  She probably needs a vacation.

What are Common fields?  And more importantly, why do I care?

A “Common” field is a very specific type of field that can be used on Form Templates where the answer selections are already created for you – and those answers are then “common” across all Form Templates that use those fields – but you can set your own prompt.

Oh, okay…Huh?

I guess that was clear as mud.  Let’s talk about an example.

Let’s pretend that you have a few questionnaires that go out to a number of different groups in your company – and all of the questions can be answered with “Agree” or “Disagree” responses.  You could set up drop down List fields for each question and add your own choices of “Agree” or “Disagree” to the list values.  Or you could just use an “Agree / Disagree” Common field type, and type your question in the Prompt.  The “Agree” and “Disagree” possible responses will already be set up for you.

I get it!  So it saves me from having to type out a few answers in my fields.  I type 72 WPM.  You just saved me about 2.7 seconds.  Thanks.

Well, you’re welcome.  But saving you a little bit of typing wasn’t our intention.

commonfields2Common fields are so named because the responses to the fields are “common” across all Forms on which they might appear.  The real value comes later when you want to create a report.  Rather than reporting separately on every field to find all “Disagree” responses, you can create a report that looks for any “Disagree” response across Forms on any Form Template.

If we go back to your questionnaire with all of those different “Agree / Disagree” questions, it’s likely that you’ll be asked to provide a report of anyone who has responded with a “Disagree.”

The intention is to give you “common” responses across a bunch of different fields – so that you can more easily create reports to find all Forms where any one of those fields might show a “Disagree” answer.

What fields are considered “Common”?

There are five different Common Fields available for use on your Form Templates.

  • Yes / No
  • Agree / Disagree
  • True / False
  • Numeric Rating (0 – 9)
  • Rich Text (HTML)

Wait…you said Rich Text (HTML) was a “Common” field?  How do Rich Text fields have “common” responses?

It’s true that the responses given for Rich Text fields can be extremely diverse — in fact, the very opposite of “common.”  For Rich Text fields, the common factor in the responses is simply whether or not a response exists.  You can report across all Forms that have a Rich Text field and look for only the Forms where the Rich Text fields have values.

Let’s go back to those questionnaires.  Along with “Agree” and “Disagree” questions, you probably need to have a Rich Text field on each Form Template for comments or notes.  You may need to review all Forms where the respondent included comments.  Filtering across all Rich Text fields for a “common” response of “Is Not Blank” would provide you with a report of all Forms on which the respondent added comments.

Conversely, you may need to confirm that all of your “Disagree” responses came back with comments included.  You can easily report on any “Disagree” response where the Rich Text field “Is Blank” – and send those Forms back to the respondent for further explanation.

So what you are saying is that Common Fields allow you to report on Common answers across any number of Form Templates?

Yes!  That’s exactly what I’m saying.

Could have saved us some time if you had just started with that.

This entry was posted in Features by Chris Burd. Bookmark the permalink.

About Chris Burd

Chris is the Vice President of the policyIQ group at RGP. She gets geeky about compliance and technology, and gets to spend every day working at the crossroads of the two. With policyIQ since 2005, Chris has worked with hundreds of policyIQ clients to implement technology and enhance their internal compliance environment. In past lives, Chris worked as a system implementation consultant, a e-commerce specialist, a customer service call center manager, and - for one short but memorable summer during high school - a machine operator on midnight shift in a plastics factory. In her free time, she spoils her nieces, reads too many books, and spends more time than she should taking photos of her cats. She's on a mission to visit the hometown of every US President - so far managing to get to 14. She would like to be a rock star when she grows up.

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