7.7 Feature: Custom Chart and Graph Data Output

In policyIQ version 7.6, we introduced our clients to custom charts and graphs for the very first time.  This feature lets users to show their data using the chart or graph output of the report builder that they use in other areas of the product.

chart

After its release this summer, many users provided feedback that they would like the ability to access pages directly from the chart or graph.

Great news-we listened!

Clicking the “Show All” link within your Dashboard chart or graph will now display all content that was generated.  The data will be displayed in the table row by row just as it would if it was generated using a typical Detail Report layout.  At this point, users can take action on items by selecting them and looking to the toolbar for their options.

The only part of this experience is the generation of the chart or graph itself.  Originally, we only allowed users to select one “column” for the chart, and this selection would dictate how the chart was divided up (in the example above and below, we divided by page Stage).  Because users wanted to interact with the data, we wanted to allow users to add more than one “column” of data so that clicking “Show All” would yield more than a single column worth of results.

chartcolumns

When generating the chart, select as many columns as you like, making sure that the selection you want to divide the char tor graph by is in the first position (above).  Click save, and then save and run your chart or graph.

The chart will generate, and you can then select “Show All”.  Here are the results for my example here:

chart_data

You can see that any typical action can now be taken on your results…not bad, huh?  We’re excited about it, too!  Think of all the ways you may want to use custom charts and graphs in your processes.

If  you’d like to provide us additional feedback, please do!  Support@policyIQ.com

Reports: Smart, efficient access to all of your policyIQ Data

One of the most useful parts of policyIQ is our built-in Reports module that allows users to report on various types of content within the site.  Three kinds of Reports can be run in policyIQ:  Reports on Users, Pages, or Forms.

reports

User Reports

Reports on Users are designed with Site Administrators in mind—they allow the user to quickly report on various aspects of users within the site. The Report can be run on roles or account types, user information, or even changes made to the user accounts.  For large organizations, there may be many users with changing account types or accounts that are no longer in use.  This Report will bring all users to the surface, and allow Site Administrators to clean up their site.

Page Reports

Pages can be reported on in a number of ways, including their stage, template used, fields on the pages, folders the pages are stored in, or changes made to certain pages.  This kind of Report is also great for users that need to make changes to a large number of pages.   A page Report can be run to bring up, for example, every Control page in the site.  With the pages displayed in the grid, select all of them and then take bulk action from the toolbar.

Form Reports

There are two different ways that Reports can be run on forms: Status and Detail.

Form Status Reports are great for a user that is responsible for administration of forms such as a policy sign-off.  The Report can be run to show the status of each individual form.  Filters can be added to single out Open Forms, Submitted Forms, and Approved Forms. One of the ways that Form Administrators can make best use of Form Status Reports by running a Report on Open Forms, selecting all of the results, and using the “Email Reminder” option in the toolbar to remind all users with open forms that they need to be completed.

Form Detail Reports are a bit different because they specifically allow Form Approvers to actually Report on responses to form fields.  For example, a business may want to find out how many users answered a question a certain way.  If a new policy has a sign-off asking users to agree or disagree in complying with the new policy, the Form Approver would likely be interested in knowing if there were users that disagreed.  A Report can be run on that specific field, and display the individual forms in the Report.

There are so many ways that Reports can be adjusted to provide users with the exact information they desire.  The Reports module can be intimidating to users who are not familiar with it—but have no fear!  Our Support Team has been helping many users build comprehensive Reports that fit their exact criteria.  Just contact Support, and they can help you with all of your Reporting questions.

Summary Reports…How will they help me?

Summary reports are among policyIQ’s powerful “ad-hoc” or custom reporting tools!  This type of report gives users a quantitative look at your data while displaying it in a graph-like format.  In other words, it helps you to oversee or to perform various analyses by looking at a distribution of information across your business.

In the policyIQ report builder, select Summary Report as the Report Type.  Think of your filters as your “focus”.  What do you want to report on?  The selection of columns and rows is more geared toward, “I know what I want a report on, but these columns and rows will dictate how that data is displayed.”

For example, you may want to check on the status of testing by location.  Testing Status Report

With a Summary Report in policyIQ, the status of each test can be easily viewed.  In addition, this report is interactive.  Fields containing values can be drilled into for a more comprehensive look into the details of the report.

The sky’s the limit on how Summary Reports could be used in an organization.  Perhaps you could review the distribution of policies and procedures by Department and Stage of Completion. Pull up a report on your Key Controls by Process and by Location. Perhaps you’d like to review your Contracts by Expiration Date and Dollar Amount to help you prioritize which should be examined for renegotiation purposes. How could Summary Reports be used in your organization?  Consider those questions that you go to Excel or to email or routine update meetings in order to track down the answers. Contact us if you would like some help applying this tool to make your organization more efficient.

Want to keep your report’s sort order and column widths? Put a “Pin” in it!

When we rolled out version 7.0, usability and simplicity was a key driver of the application design.  To that end, our developers built the tables that appear throughout the application to be “smart” enough to resize columns to fit on your screen – regardless of the number of columns or your screen width.  Of course, you could resize your columns and even move around which columns appeared in what order, but when you logged out those settings were lost.

In doing so, we didn’t take into account those reports you might create with a large number of columns – or user preferences as to order in which the columns appear.  Some of you let us know that having to resize your columns every time you looked at a report was really frustrating.  It turns out that our “smart” design was actually kind of dumb.

But we’ve fixed it!  In version 7.3, we no longer ask the policyIQ our tables to make decisions for you.  For every table in the application, you can make the decision as to what order the columns should appear, how wide those columns are, and even the sort order of the rows in the table.  And when you have it all set up just right, put a “Pin” in it (found at the bottom left of every table) to save the table layout.  If you need to go back to the default settings, just choose the Reset Table icon to the left of the pin.

pinit

Every user sets their own preferences.  For those of you who really don’t want to make any decisions, no worries!  The tables still do their best to display information with column default column widths based on the type of data.  (Rich Text fields display a bit longer than a number field, for example.)

Is there something about policyIQ that is frustrating you?  Let us know, so that we can improve on those designs.

Carefully Select Useful Columns to Display in Your Reports

In previous posts, we have highlighted the benefit of being able to use the “Table Filter” to vastly increase your options for further analyzing your content. In this example below, a view of the pages within a Folder that contain “Control” within the Type column are displayed.
TableFilter

Consider amplifying the benefit of Table Filters ten-fold (or more) by applying them to your Report or Advanced Search. When you create an Advanced Search or a custom report, you may choose which columns you would like to be displayed in your results. In addition to some of the standard columns such as Icon, Template Type, Name and Stage, you can select columns for output that allow you to make key business decisions.

For example, which process owners should be notified of this period’s failed tests? Including the Full Folder Path among the displayed columns may help many companies to easily see the processes associated with the period’s failed tests.

You have a new manager in the Procurement department who is responsible for ensuring that the group’s policies and procedures are up to date. Including the “Last Edit Date” may be helpful in determining which documents are in urgent need of attention.

The above examples include options that are among the standard Columns available for each report. Other standard columns include:

Standard-Report-Columns

Remember that virtually every element that you configure into policyIQ becomes reportable information. So, each of your fields on your templates is also an option that can be used for analysis in your reports. This means that your report of all tests for the San Diego plant can also include a breakdown of “Sample Size” to aid with your test plans. You can include “Initiating Department” in your report of Contracts expiring in the next 90 days or “Systems Used” in your report of IT procedures that are being outsourced to a third party.

The next time you are looking for information, get into the Reports module and explore your options for filtering and customizing the display by selecting meaningful variables for your columns. This video on Reporting on Key Information may be the best investment of 60 minutes that you make all day!

Highlights from our policyIQ Version 7.0 Release Notes Review

We are so excited to be fast approaching the production release of policyIQ’s Version 7.0! Keep in mind for future reference that the most up-to-date Release Notes are always available in the online policyIQ Help guide.  You can also arrive at the latest version for v7 by clicking this link.

We recently hosted a visual tour through the highlights of the Release Notes. If you missed it, read on for a summary or pan down to the bottom to launch a video preview of what’s changed and what’s new in v7.

Terminology

A few new terms are introduced with version 7. Most notably, we’ve simplified the language around Forms. We have often explained to users that they can bundle forms together to simplify administration of several forms at once and referred to the bundle as a Form List. As with previous releases of policyIQ, when we realize we’re saying the same thing over and over to explain or describe something, that’s a sign that we could improve terminology. Form Lists are now referred to as “Bundled Forms”.

Similarly, we found ourselves saying that “Activities” refers to the activity that takes place after a form has been sent out or issued to respondents. In v7, the left navigation now displays “Issued Forms” so that Form Administrators can plainly see where they need to go to monitor the activities related to previously issued forms.

Cross-browser Compatibility

For some time, we have publicly shared that policyIQ’s next release would introduce the accessibility of the application from all browsers. We have actively tested version 7 from Internet Explorer’s v7 and higher, FireFox, Chrome and Safari.

Among our top priorities for 2013 is further testing and policyIQ development to allow access from mobile devices.

Left Navigation

Likely, the most visible change brought about with version 7 is the new look and behavior of policyIQ’s left navigation pane.

  • We have removed modules and streamlined options at the top level of the structure. In addition to the relief of not having to know which module to go to in order to change the order of Folders, for example, users also have the convenience of being able to work within more than one top level structure at a time (rather than policyIQ auto-closing one module in order to work in another).
  • With the elimination of modules, we have reordered items at the top level of the left navigation menu and consolidated like items together. You will find that all things page-related are together under “Page Management”. Likewise, all things form-related are consolidated under Form Management.
  • “Users” is a top level navigation structure now, pulling the customizability for Groups and Users and for Roles under one heading.
  • Tools & Settings is the navigation menu that you will go to for many site related settings that were once found within the Setup module’s “System Setup” menu. Find most commonly used tools toward the top of the list.
  • Another cool feature regarding the left navigation pane in policyIQ’s version 7.0 is that it is now resizable! Drag the border to widen the navigation pane or to make it narrower. You can also click to fully collapse the left navigation panel to gain more real estate for your work or analysis in the table to the right.
  • Security is intact! In previous versions of policyIQ, users would only “see” what they were permitted to see. The same rules hold true for this latest version. policyIQ is simply more “intelligent” than ever—allowing users of all types to access one folder structure, for example, and each set of users can only do or see what is permitted by his permissions and local rights.

Table

More powerful and easier to user are themes that drove our development throughout changes and additions in the table area of policyIQ’s version 7.

  • At the top of the table area, Search is ever-present. What’s new is the ability to return Forms and Reports in search results. With the removal of modules, this centralized search capability is smarter and more helpful than ever!
  • The feature that has caused the greatest roar of cheers in the table is the Table Filter. Like policyIQ’s Search feature, you can type any portion of a word to execute a search or filter of all items in that table column that contain those characters. In Figure 1 below, “pol” is entered in the Type Table Filter, narrowing the list of 704 different published items down to just the 21 policies visible to this user. Clients have raved that they expect to reduce the need for and number of reports that they have to create because the table has become such a powerful tool for analysis.

Figure 11301_Release-Notes_TableFilter

  • Performance is greatly enhanced with version 7. Users can scroll through and highlight hundreds of items in the table in real time. No more delays waiting for the database to process your request to highlight multiple items. You don’t have to select whether you want to display 25 or 500 items. With the improved speed and performance of the table, there is no longer a need for a pagination bar. You will always be able to easily see any of the items that you are looking for in the table.
  • Along the lines of a “more intelligent policyIQ”, the Toolbar from which users choose a wide range of actions is now more streamlined and user-friendly than ever. We have worked to eliminate unnecessary clicks and to allow users to work from various screens in policyIQ rather than having to be in the “right” table or menu. Have a combination of pages that are published and checked out to other users that you’d like to work on or re-assign to another person? No problem! Highlight and take action on all of the pages with the same destination; policyIQ will no longer require you to carry out different steps depending on the original stage of the content. Ahhhh…much more user friendly!
  • We are working to incorporate commonly accepted standards into policyIQ functionality and navigation. Notice, when you double click on a Folder in the table, it drills down into that Folder and displays subfolders and/or the content within the Folder. Double-click now allows you to navigate rather than opening the properties of a Folder, Template or other objects. Look for the Edit options in the toolbar or above the toolbar if you do wish to edit properties.
  • We’ve packed a powerful little punch (three of them, actually) in the lower left corner of policyIQ’s table. o From left to right, we have “Reload Table”, “Up level”, “Reset Table”. (See Figure 2 below.)

Figure 21301_Release-Notes_Table_tools

  •     Reload Table – Reload any table with updated data (esp. helpful in report results).
  •     Up Level – Automatically move up one level in your structure.
  •     Reset Table – Reset your table back to the defaults, including order of columns, sort order and filters.

Reports

Were you frustrated by having to click each one of your 25 fields in your Template in order to display them as column headings in your report results? Guess what? Your feature request is among those implemented in v7.0! We’ve added the ability to add all Template fields as column headings to the output of your report using one click action. A visual “select all” option has been added to the “Edit Columns” area of the Report builder.

Pop-ups

Generally speaking, we are working to eliminate pop-ups as much as possible—either by placing functionality directly on 1st-level screen or by replacing the pop-up with a “modal”. What the difference? Modals operate faster and present less interference with pop-up blockers. The way that you will likely observe a difference is by the placement of the actions: pop-ups still have a toolbar at the top of the window, while modals have action buttons in the lower right corner.

Want to see for yourself? Add a new Folder—this is a pop-up window. Now select the toolbar option to Reorder the Folders—this is a modal.

You will also find evidence of our work to streamline windows and eliminate pop-ups by looking at the Security tab of a Page. Notice the ability to adjust Page Security is all visible within the tabs on the window—no need to launch a pop-up to select appropriate groups or users.

User Experience

We hope that your Advanced Users will also be excited and echo the positive experience that our Beta users have reported. On multiple levels, we have worked to make the experience easier to use, faster, and more powerful. We do not expect these users to require training to make the transition from version 6 to version 7. This release is simpler to navigate than any prior version.

Read Only and Standard Users may notice improvements in performance and some updating of the color and style in version 7, but they might not otherwise notice a change.

In the past, Read Only users only had appropriate Folders visible to them and could see RSS Feeds and WhistleBlower if you had it enabled. They often use Search to find content. They will still be able to locate content in the same ways. News Feeds will no longer appear in the left navigation if the feature is not enabled in your site.

Your Standard Users are accustomed to accessing the links within Forms Assigned/In Progress to complete their forms. The Dashboard presentation of their forms, Folders and Search capabilities is unchanged. What they will have, now, is the ability to add filters to their Advanced Searches. This is an improvement introduced with v7.

Visual learners, have a look!

If you would like to watch our guided tour through policyIQ’s version 7 enhancements (including a couple that we did not share in the live webinar), click on this link to launch the video.

Coming soon!

Version 7.0 will be rolled out to production sites in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on your email for a call to sign up for your release window. For more information on roll-out plans, refer to this post or contact Support@policyIQ.com.

Get to the bottom of it – or back up to the top – with Detail Link Reports

When it comes to reporting in policyIQ, Detail Link Reports are undoubtedly my favorite – and arguably the most powerful.   We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the different ways you can use Detail Link Reports. (I did a quick search and found 17 different blog posts that touch on the subject!) But we know from speaking with our policyIQ users, that the power of reporting on all of those relationships is still often overlooked.

Even the “basics” might not be so basic.

Regardless of how you are using policyIQ, it is likely that you’ve built relationships between your content.  In the audit world, Test pages are linked to Controls and possibly to Deficiencies.  Policies are often linked to Procedures or Regulations.  Contracts are linked to Vendors.  All of the relationships and interactions between your pages help you to answer important questions – and those answers come through reports.

  • Do you want to know which vendors have the most contracts with your firm? Run a Detail Link Report of Vendors and the related open Contracts. Add in a column for “value” of the contract, and you can pull it out to Excel to total up the contracts! (Vendor <>Contract)
  • Report on Tasks that are being worked on right now, and show the Projects that they are a part of. (Task <>Project)

Start at the bottom and go up!

Looking at something from a different perspective isn’t revolutionary advice, but we need to be reminded every once in awhile that there is more than one way to look at something.

  • Do you typically look at your compliance testing from the Risks and go down? Try starting at the Deficiencies. Create a report of Deficiencies, and follow it back up to the Risk that is exposed. (Deficiency <>Test <> Control <> Risk)

Go one level further (even if you repeat yourself!)

Consider “what else” you might want to know when you think about your reports – and add another level to the report.

  • Take your report of Deficiencies. You’ve gone the whole way up to Risk, now you might want to know if that Risk is also being mitigated by other Controls. Take the report a step further by adding Controls again at the end. (Deficiency <>Test <> Control <> Risk <> Control>)
  • The report of Tasks and Projects is a real example pulled from our policyIQ team. We use a report of current Tasks being worked on and show the Projects to which they are associated. But when we’re planning for the next steps, we take that report a step further and show the Tasks that are remaining as a part of those Projects. (Task <> Project <> Task)

Let us know if we can help you to create a report on any of your data in policyIQ.  If you have a question about your data that you are having a hard time answering, let us know and we’ll help you to build a report!

Put your business information to work for you–we put your colleagues in the driver’s seat!

The policyIQ team worked to provide a different type of learning experience incorporating some new technology for our session attendees in November. This session was interactive and geared toward the visual and hands-on learners. We dug into the nitty gritty detail of what is possible with policyIQ’s Reports module. The participants were great sports—sincere thanks for your engagement!

We devoted an hour to helping participants take command of their business information and boiled it down to 5 key takeaways:

  1. Start with a look at what you’re tracking and adjust as necessary
  2. Three primary report types will serve most of your needs
  3. A seemingly infinite combination of filters allow you to focus on key information
  4. Display the information most valuable to you by selecting relevant column options
  5. Increase your efficiency, effectiveness and productivity with incorporation of reporting “accessories”

Let’s review:

1) Start with a look at what you’re tracking and adjust as necessary

You primarily track pages in policyIQ. They are created from Templates which you customize with any number of a variety of Field types. You specify who should have read, write and approval access to your information. Remember that you can index or file your pages into any number of Folders (it’s a relational database—the page still exists only once for optimal version control). Upload virtually any type of attachment to complement or support your pages. Link relative pages to one another.

1111-How-does-policyIQ-work-image

And, each one of these elements is reportable and among your filter choices!

If you find that you are not able to report on information that is critical for your process or decision making and don’t know how to improve your policyIQ configuration, reach out to us! We are happy to help you make adjustments.

2) Three primary report types will serve most of your needs

While policyIQ houses a full suite of reporting options for Pages, Forms and Users, we focused on those reports most often needed and used in policyIQ:

1111-Three-Report-Tpes1

3) A seemingly infinite combination of filters allow you to focus on key information

What do you think of when you think of a filter?

1111-Filter-OptionsI’m a nut about music—all kinds of music and I like to listen to it pretty loud (Paul Oakenfold is playing in the background right now). What I find way more pleasing than loud music is crystal clear high quality sound—the kind that you achieve with employment of a range of filters. They filter out the noise and extraneous sounds.

That’s what the use of appropriate policyIQ filters can do for your information. They allow you to narrow the scope of your results to only those items that interest you most. Check out the policyIQ Reporting Cheat Sheet for a full list of the Filter options.

4) Display the information most valuable to you by selecting relevant column options

And with the Summary Report Type where you are creating a grid view, you can specify column and row headings by selecting from the various options. The information that can be displayed is organized into four categories:

  • 1111-Column-OptionsGeneral Properties such as “Expires On” or “Folders”
  • Security including “Checked in By” and “Viewers”
  • Changes like “Published On”, “Changed On” and “Changed By”
  • Templates and Fields allows you to display any detail among the attributes that you have configured in your Templates. Display “Contract End Date” or “Contracted Amount”, for example.

5) Increase your efficiency, effectiveness and productivity with incorporation of reporting “accessories”

  • Categorize your Reports so that you can easily locate those that you tend to call on regularly.
  • You can even place a link on your Dashboard to your most frequently needed Reports by choosing “Add to Favorites” from the Reports module.
  • Have you noticed the “Print/Export” option in the upper right corner of the screen in the Table Toolbar? Explore your options here! In addition to the obvious print and export capabilities, you’ll find the options to view your report results in a number of different layouts. For example, you might choose a “Grid” view for your own analysis and the “List” view to export to Excel so that you can roll it up with other information that you wish to share with management.

Tools and Resources

If you wish to review any portion of our session or to share the wealth with a colleague who couldn’t join us, point them to the session recording or to the relative information in the policyIQ Help guide. We created a “cheat sheet” for Reporting in policyIQ that you will find in your online Help guide.

Put your fingers on the keyboard! If you would like to put your reporting skills to the test in the same way that your peers did in our training session, get in touch with us and request access to our policyIQ Practice site.

We aim to help you master your information and to work as efficiently and effectively as possible. Let us know if you’d like to brainstorm or talk through your configuration, reporting and other policyIQ questions.

Work smarter with reporting “smartcuts”

How many times have you been told to “work smarter, not harder” throughout your life? It was a phrase that used to make me crazy when I was younger – probably because like many teenagers, I was convinced that I was the smartest thing that ever existed. Then I entered the “real world”. (That happens to be another phrase that makes me crazy, but I’ll save that for another day.) It didn’t take long to realize two things: 1.) no one really cares how hard I worked on something as long as I accomplished the task (and they cared even less how hard I worked if I didn’t complete the task), and 2.) I have way too many things I enjoy in my life to spend all of my time working. So I had to learn to work smarter.

Work smarter in policyIQ with Reports

1. Do you have a lot of updates or changes that you need to make to your information?

  • Create a Detail Report and filter the content down to just those pages that require changes.  You might not even be making the SAME changes, but now you have everything you need to work on in a single table, and you don’t have to search or navigate between each update.
  • If you ARE making the same changes – the “Status” field needs to be changed to “Complete”, for example – use the Edit > Change Fields option in the table toolbar to make the change to all pages at once.
  • If you are making different changes, consider adding a filter to your report that shows you only those pages that have NOT been changed today.  As you make changes, the report will refresh to show you only those pages remaining.

2. Do you need to confirm that your content is all linked together properly?

  • Use Detail Link Reports – and filter in various ways to show relationships.

Just this week one of our policyIQ users asked if there was an easy way to determine if a Control Page was linked to more than one Process.  She was used to seeing those link reports start at the Process, so we just flipped the report around to show Controls first with the linked Processes next.  In five minutes, we were able to identify the handful of controls that spanned various processes.

3. Do you want to spend a little time over the quiet holiday season cleaning up old and potentially outdated content?

  • Identify your oldest content by creating reports to show you only those pages that were NOT changed in the last 365 days.
  • Break down the content by Template – one report for each Template type – so that you can better utilize columns in your report results.  Save time by displaying the critical columns right there on the policyIQ table, so that you don’t have to open every item.
  • For those items that look good with no changes necessary, choose to Renew Expiration under the Stage menu in the toolbar.  That small change will move them off your report, and you can focus on the items that do require updates.

There are hundreds of ways that using policyIQ Reports can help you to work smarter rather than harder, and we’re always happy to help you find those “smartcuts”. Contact us and let us know what you are trying to accomplish, and we’ll help you find the most efficient way to get there!