Personnel Manager/Director FAQ's
Vizual Personnel Director Filter, Query or Report – which tool do I use for what?
You may have noticed on Vizual Personnel Director that there are several tools which appear to do the same thing when it comes to producing some kind of report.
The 3 key tools, Filter, Query and Report are very similar but each one does slightly different things and its useful to know which one to use and when. Before this though it is important to understand that when you save your filter, query or report, you do not actually save the list of people it finds, but instead saves the ‘search’ and other parameters. This means the filter, query or report is dynamic, so when you run it again it will show the results based upon the parameters used at that time. This means it will not show for example people in Sales department last month, but people in Sales department right now.
NOTE: You cannot print the results of a Filter, you must set up a Query or Report using the same parameters if you wish to print the results.
A Filter is a tool to select people with matching criteria. The matching data is then used in conjunction with other tools in the database. For example, you want to give the Sales Department a pay rise, you create a filter where the Department = Sales. This obviously would select all the staff in the Sales department.
You would then run the Pay Increase Tool and select this Sales Filter to indicate who the pay changes will be applied to.
A query is basically for exporting a selection of data from the system into typically a MS Excel spreadsheet. This data once exported is no longer linked to the system and can be used to forward information to people with out access to the system or to test various calculations or to use the data in other applications.
Users often use queries instead of reports because they find them quicker and easier to set up, however, be aware that a Query may not be the best tool, as Report offer more functionality and options than a query and therefore are often the better tool and are worth investing a bit more time in order to set up.
Reports are for producing either a printed or electronic (PDF) fixed set of information. Whereas queries allow you to manipulate the exported data, reports do not, meaning that when you print or email your report, the data cannot be changed which often is a good thing.
Reports also allow you to use features not found in other tools, features such as Auto Search, Cross Tab Reports etc and also various formatting options.
Reports are more time consuming to set up, but once set up are (if done correctly) easier to use and manipulate (mainly due to auto search feature) and so are often worth the extra effort to set up.
It is now possible to ‘print’ reports to a PDF file, so that you can email them rather than be restricted to paper copies, this requires a tool such as Cute PDF (download for free here) which allows you to ‘Print’ a file to a PDF document rather than send it to a printer.
I hope that clarifies things a little. Keep checking back here as I hope to add loads of Query/Report writing tips and ideas.
*Whilst obviously we are now fully focused on People Inc, we still have plenty to offer to existing customers still using Vizual Personnel Director hence the occasional post with useful information, hints or tips.
Personnel Director has a wide range of tools such as Filters, Queries and Reports to help manage your data effectivelyagathonhr
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