Custom Reports

June 2, 2011 8:31 am, Published by

We are aware that different types of training providers have different requirements when it comes to the reports they generate for their organisation – while our standard reports cover the majority of areas, there are always specific reports that people have a need for. For this reason, LearningSource allows training providers to create and save reports according to their needs – there are two specific ways we do this, firstly through the creation of custom reports, and secondly by editing default settings for an existing report.

Creating a new report takes only a few steps – users select a report they want to create a favourite from and then, using our report options, customise the report and save it as a “Favourite”, in the same way an existing favourite report can be deleted when it is no longer required.

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Changing default settings is a little different in that, rather than creating a new report within the report menu, it simply changes the default way in which a report is displayed. To change the default options, click “More options” within the report window and when you’ve finished customising simply click “Save as default” – Voila the default display settings for the report have been amended.

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We have more detailed steps about how to perform these tasks over on our online help page, click here for instructions on creating a new favourite and click here for changing the default settings for a report.

New features!

May 9, 2011 8:49 am, Published by

We have been flat tack over recent months focusing our efforts and resources on developing some major new features along with pushing out our regular enhancements.  We are excited to finally get a chance to document these.  Here is a list of the big items;

  • Private course feature.  Ability to create and manage a private (in-company) course.   Read online helpView screenshotKey new feature
  • Registration importer.  Ability to import registrations for a course from a spreadsheet, including the ability to update existing registration details (e.g. course attendance and grades after a course has run) and import historical registrations. Read online help, View screenshots
  • Organisation importer 1.  Ability to import organisations from a spreadsheet, including the ability to update existing organisation details, and to link an organisation with a Key Contact, a Parent Organisation, and an Account Manager. Read online help, View screenshots
  • Faster platform and no page refresh required for new releases.  We have implemented some new changes to the underlining platform that offer both performance improvements and also remove the need for you to refresh your browser each time we upgrade your platform to clear old content.
  • Company network integration (IP Based Security) 1.  Ability to secure your course portal (website) for internal staff so they do not require a username/password.  Read online help.
  • Registration section.  Ability to view list of registrations, search registrations, and mark attendance for multiple registrations at once.  View screenshots.
  • New venue interface.  New venue home tab design (cleaner layout, toolbar, and notes list) and edit form.  View screenshots.
  • Course website display settings.  Ability to hide a course from website lists (upcoming courses, catalogue, homepage lists), but still make it available to people who know the private URL.  Read online help.
  • Tools for managing venues and rooms. Read online help.
  • Course completion report.  Allows you to view the course completion status and attendance record of a group of individuals for a specific course. Read online help.

View a full list of new features within our online help.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the current users who continually provide feedback and recommendations which ultimately lead to these new features and enhancements.  If you haven’t already, feel free to add suggestions or vote on other existing suggestions on our user voice site or just drop us an email with your ideas.

LearningSource Importer — Smooth transition

November 11, 2010 9:18 am, Published by

One of the cool features we have recently introduced, and one that at first glance is simple but in fact is rather complex, is our contact importer.

Think for a minute of an organisation moving onto LearningSource. They may well have several thousand contact addresses and details in their system – which they’re keen to migrate over to LearningSource. This could be customer database or an employee staff database.  Changing from one system to another should not necessitate double entry of data – with our new importer users can focus on getting benefit out of LearningSource, rather than entering information into it.

The contact importer is our solution – it allows users to import their existing databases directly into LearningSource.

However, it’s going to come as no surprise that a simple import is problematic – duplicated email addresses, badly formatted data and complex relationship within organisations all make a simple import a real pain.

Which is where we come in. We’ve thought about the way users will interact with the importer and come up with some solutions to the more common problems with this sort of function:

  • First, the importer automatically cleans the data. It checks for duplicate addresses and the format of content as the data is imported.
  • Secondly, the importer matches a contact with an existing organisations if one is specified.  Where a record includes an organisation that is not already in the database, a new organisation will be created.
  • Our importer allows the format of data to be flexible, for example a basic import can just be first and last name and email address.

Like we said – a simple task like a contact import introduces significant complexity to users – we’re trying hard to ensure that, wherever possible, users are shielded from the complexities.

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Easy what to update presenters details

Another great use of the importer is that it can be used to update a number of existing contacts, all form within a spreadsheet.  For example, if you wanted to update a number of presenter’s contact details you would;

  • Select Contacts from the main menu.
  • Select the Presenters tab.
  • Click the Export… link on the right of the list. Window will appear.
  • Select  Contact Information (CSV) and press Export.  A file containing all the presenters details will be downloaded into a spreadsheet.
  • Edit each presenter’s details in the spreadsheet.
  • When you have finished updating the details, use the Contact Importer to import the file back into LearningSource to update the existing records.

Merging Organisation Records

November 8, 2010 9:22 am, Published by

One of the difficulties when using software is in the event that multiple records get created. Let’s say for example one user creates “Cliftons” and enrols some of their people on courses. Next week another operator creates “Cliftons Ltd” as part of a new enrolment.

We now have the annoying (and problematic) situations of two organisations, with two sets of employees, two sets of contact information and two sets of historical records – not ideal!

LearningSource has introduced  solution to this problem – our new merge function not only merges the information from each record, such as the phone number and address details, it also merges all associated notes, orders, and contacts from each record.

So, how do you use it? It is really easy, just by following these steps;

  • In LearningSource, select Contacts from the main menu.
  • Select the Organisations tab.
  • In the search on the right, enter the name of the duplicate record.
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    The results will appear in the list.
  • Tick the two items in the list and press Merge.  The Merge Records window will appear.
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  • For each field, LearningSource will use data from either record if content is available.   Where both records contain data for the same field, select the record you would like to use.
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  • Press Merge Records

It really as simple as that. We have even gone one step further however and built a special view on the organisation list to view Duplicate Organisations.

Developments like this are a direct result of customer suggestions – we are always keen to hear more ideas for things we can do to make your life easier inside a training organisation – feel free to comment on this below.

Email Reminders

October 21, 2010 10:56 am, Published by

We are all about making life easier for training and event providers, letting them forget about routine tasks so they can better focus on the important parts of their businesses. A big body of work for us is lumped under the heading “scheduled task manager”. This is a series of product developments that will manage all time stamped events. We are going to be launching a number of new features in the weeks ahead – things like SMS reminders, follow up emails and overdue payment reminders.

To allow providers to utilise our first step in this process, email reminder, all you have to do is select the ‘Send reminders’ option in the course wizard, or for existing courses the options is within the Communication menu on the Details tab.

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Watch out for more developments like this coming soon – all in our continuing aim to make life easier for our customers!

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Electronic Calendar Appointments – Keeping You On Time, Every Time

October 12, 2010 8:03 am, Published by

As life and business get busier, more and more people are relying on their digital calendars to make sure they keep to their schedule – there are many different calendaring applications from Google, Microsoft and others but luckily for you and us, most of them support the standard format for calendar entries, iCal.

Using this format we have recently introduced functionality whereby a file is attached to course instruction emails.  This file is an iCal appointment and this means users can have the appointment appear directly in their calendar application of choice, be it Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Entourage, or any other program that supports iCal appointments.

As a standard feature, the calendar appointments include a reminder 24 hours before the course start.  A really useful feature is that if the course owner changes details of a course, such as the date, location, or room, LearningSource will give them the option to send email updates to all involved.  These emails will also include a calendar appointment update.  When recipients open and accept the change the original appointment will be updated with the new information.

We have got full instructions about this functionality on our support page and below are some images showing how this works. The great thing about this is that these reminders will also show on mobile phones that have calendar integration, meaning those missed appointments will be (notwithstanding car breakdowns and domestic incidents) a thing of the past.

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LearningSource Reports, Even More Visibility

July 12, 2010 7:55 am, Published by

Before we started developing our reporting engine, we had a key goal in mind and that was to make reporting simple and easy to use.  We wanted to make it easy to run the sort of reports customers need on a regular basis at the click of a button, but to also provide the flexibility to customise certain reports to access specific information.

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During the past month we have focused a significant part of our development on building a fully featured reporting engine.  Now we have engine in place we can deliver new reports rapidly.

One of our goals was that we wanted to make the layout and the presentation of information on reports clean and easy to read.  A report heading, a simple description of what the report is presenting, a clear list of any filters applied, the date the report was run etc…. The idea is that you should be able to pick up any printed report and know exactly what is been presented.

We are now offering our reports in a number of formats – Onscreen, Printable, PDF, Excel, and CSV, to provide for all of these various use cases. The best way to see what we have done is just check it out for yourself on our demo site but to give you a taste, below are the reports we are currently supporting:

  • Registrations List: List of all registrations received within a given period.
  • Orders Paid: List of all orders and credit notes marked as paid
  • Course Calendar: List of each individual course sessions scheduled to be delivered within a period.
  • Course List: List of courses starting within a period.
  • Course Registrants: List of individuals enrolled on a course.
  • Attendance Register: A form to record attendance for each session of a course.

This is just the start – watch this space!

Every Permutation Under the Sun

July 11, 2010 9:31 pm, Published by

We spend a lot of time thinking about the various permutations and combinations involved in managing a training business – sometime people say to us “but what can be so complicated about training organisations?.” It’s not a surprising comment, unless you live and breath this every day you are unlikely to see the complexity.

We thought we would give one example of just how complex this can be. For the purposes of this example we’ll be running a training course for The Three Musketeers, in this example we’ve got Huey, Duey and Louey all signed up. The registrations are all included on a single order, the tax invoice has been sent, order paid, and course instructions delivered. Read on and see what happened.

Scenario one – Huey can’t make the course but wants to transfer to another date.

LearningSource resolution :

  1. Order change email sent to assigned contact on the order (the order contact) confirming the transfer of Huey
  2. Transfer email sent to Huey (see in the example below how the old date is crossed out and the new date is clearly showing in red.”

Scenario two – Huey can’t make the course but wants to send Fouey in his place

LearningSource resolution:

  1. Order change email sent to order contact confirming registrant change
  2. Registration cancellation email sent to Huey
  3. Course instructions email sent to Fouey

Scenario three – Huey cancels his registration altogether

LearningSource resolution:

  1. Order change email sent to order contact confirming cancellation of one of the registrations.
  2. Registration cancellation email sent to the registrant who can no longer attend.

Bonus resolution if a refund is required:

  1. Press the “Mark a Refund” button
  2. The refund transaction is processed automatically
  3. A credit note is created and sent

As you’ll see there’s much more to training than meets the eye. Luckily it’s something we obsess about and every permutation under the sun is catered for in LearningSource!

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Notes – Simple, Yet Powerful

July 6, 2010 10:23 pm, Published by

We often talk about the power of online software – the fact that we can make small changes and roll them out to customers is a wondrous thing.

Here’s another example of that in action. Talking to customers, it became apparent that people wanted a really simple notation function on orders within LearningSource – the sort of thing that would cut down the number of Post-It notes people had stuck to their monitors.

The use for this is pretty obvious, here’s an example:

  • Sally wants to note that she will confirm the final list of attendees from her company by 23 June.
  • John wants everyone to see that he followed up with Jessie regarding an overdue payment.  Jessie undertook to pay this by bank transfer next Wed (25 June)

We have designed it so that it’s easy to see when an order has a note against it (see below). Order notes are a simple feature but one that is already making life easy for a number of current users – the feedback on this has been great.

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New Look, Even Easier to Use

June 24, 2010 8:00 am, Published by

Some of you will have noticed that we’ve recently updated our user interface (UI) for contacts, presenters and organisations. One of the benefits of our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model is that we can roll out changes to all users without worrying about version control, someone having to be onsite to install updates, or conflicts with customisations.

This new UI is an example of that put to the benefit of end users. With this change we’ve found a sweet spot that works equally well in the situation where there is minimal information about a contact, as it does when there is lots of information.

Below we’ve given a couple of examples of screenshots showing a contact with very few details, and underneath that a contact with a lot of information, you’ll see how intuitive and easy the screens are to use.

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We really believe that SaaS brings huge benefits to organisations – changes as simple as our new UI show how this is the case.