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Thread: I'd like to share a little tale.

  1. #1
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    I'd like to share a little tale.

    In readiness for Compass, i took the youth upload sheet and I collected the missing data for all the youth members in my group. Not an easy task but it had to be done.

    180 kids. Done.

    sorted.

    I'm not stupid, so I read the list carefully and I even made a note on the form to parents that it didn't make much sense. But i was naif and trusted Gilwell to do a good job.



    Almost all the kids are British.

    British is no longer an option. So... I am about to go back to 180 kids' parents and ask them to do that part of the form again. I look incompetent. I am not.

    Is their QA? Who is testing this? That was clearly odd but it was allowed out the door and into the public domain for people like me to use.

    Little hiccoughs at Gilwell are causing much wider problems for the rest of us. Do they realise? Do they care?

    ...

    another problem.

    On the youth upload form, the emergency contact is for somebody that will be called after the parents have been called. So i have collected names for aunties, uncles etc.

    In compass, it seems to be for the primary emergency contact.

    http://compassuserguide.scouts.org.uk/?p=194 - that page is no help. But when creating a new youth member, the emergency contact is the first contact asked for and on the youth information form, it is the first contact asked for.

    I have queried this at HQ and have been told that either the info form or the upload form will change to reflect the correct situation.

    I will not be touching the youth upload form until somebody has a clue what is going on.

    What data do i put in their? Parent 1 or the aunty/uncle that i collected for compass?

    I have tried creating a youth in compass and have zero idea what to put in there so am kinda making it up as i go along.

    ...

    Am i taking it too seriously? Am i wrong to be trying to get it right?

    I used to be very pro-compass. I have just about lost all faith. The userguides describe a system that is laughably poor in places.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    actually...i am going to keep moaning

    • the system throws me out even though i am in the middle of using it
    • there is nowhere to store nhs numbers
    • i cannot get a download of youth members in my group
    • if i ask for a report for my role (GSL) i can only get people with group roles (not section leaders or kids) i have to go into each section for that.
    • when i do a report from a section, i get: membership_number|title|forenames|surname|first line of address|role|location|Phone|email - how on earth do we run our sections with that? what about emergency info, allergies, postcode? DOB etc etc? Remember... compass does not run offline or on mobile... we will only be able to function with a laptop and internet connection.
    • there is no ability to create custom criteria for sorting so i will always have to create mailing lists
    • in the absence of any subs recording, i will have to do something very laborious every time to do subs (and i declare here: i will story the youth data outside of compass because i cannot do subs any other way at the moment)
    • i just got a long list of ladies' addresses and maiden names when trying to add somebody as a parent. I do not want my data shared like that. This is not good enough. It is a serious flaw.
    • There is no app or even responsive website for recording the register and the system for events is very clunky.
    • the system for recording nights/hikes etc away is remarkably daft and treats every badge as a separate award. Whoever designed that has never been near a section.
    • There seems to be no way of seeing which badges are due.


    I have not yet created an event or anything like that... this is just the absolute basics of trying to run a group. I told my leaders that we would not use OSM and that i trusted TSA to spend wisely and to build us something worthwhile. I was a fool.

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  5. #3
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    thanks wayne!

    that saves me a few hours work

    but it does make me wonder who came up with the list and what the plan is for it. Is it a hodge podge of ideas thrown at a board and noted down - or is it a well designed set of options based on recommendations from central government and the CRE?

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    Hi Chris,
    Compass is a new system and with any new system therewill be issues, we are aware of them and we are working hard to resolve them asquickly as possible.

    The nationality table was updated to include English asthis was missing from the standard tables.Unfortunately this replaced the British option in error.
    This has now been rectified, the British option has beenrestored and an additional option for English included as you have seen.
    There is no need to go back to parents for any otherinformation, however if they wish to change the information in Compass they cando so, if they or the young person choose to register for Compass.

    The order in which the form asks for information has nobearing on how it is uploaded into Compass.It asks for emergency contact information, it also asks for parentinformation, who you choose to be these people is entirely up to you.The system allows you choose another personto be an emergency contact instead of a parent, it does not stop you using theparent as an emergency contact but common sense suggests that having somebodyother than a parent could be useful in an emergency and you cannot contact theparents.

    The youth upload form has been extensively tested andover 40 sections have uploaded their data without any problems (I've tried it myself too), we havehad feedback stating that it is very easy and quick.

    I appreciate that once frustrated, for whatever reason, there is a danger of exaggerating issues.

    Addressing your other points:

    The system is designed to warn you that you will belogged out after 30 mins, if you do not choose to carry on then you will beautomatically logged out.There is aknown issue with the additional time which has been resolved and will be rolledout to the live site once testing has been completed.

    There is a specific field for NHS number in the emergencydetails page, under the medical details section.

    If you click on 'My Members' you will get a list of allmembers in your group, you can then choose to filter these.Alternatively use the advanced searchfunction to find specific roles or sections.

    The reports are not up to standard yet, we have been veryclear that the system is being improved and reports is a key area to this.This includes a report to highlight whichbadges are due.

    We have also repeatedly said that payments is part of thenext phase of Compass once we have addresses the early issues.

    You can enter sort criteria in the results of any search,or choose a filter option.You can alsocreate a distribution list for mailing lists, a feature which has been wellused by a number of member already.

    The amount of information available when adding a newmember or parent is restricted, the search facility prevents duplicate entriesbeing added to the system.This is thesame approach as the previous MMS system.

    Again, we have repeatedly said that off line capabilityis not part of the initial phase of Compass.The system provides the ability to create a programme and maintain aregister through this and record badge progress via the programme.Whilst the events area is clunky, it worksand it will be improved over time based on feedback from Compass users.

    The recording of cumulative badges e.g. nights away has abug which we are aware of.It wasspecifically designed to recognised cumulative achievement across differentbadges so it Is disappointing it is not working but the fix is being worked on.

    Hope this helps,
    Wayne


    Wayne Bulpitt

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  9. #5
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Thank you for your fulsome reply. I'm heading in again to see what i can do.

    Hi Chris,
    Compass is a new system and with any new system therewill be issues, we are aware of them and we are working hard to resolve them asquickly as possible.

    The nationality table was updated to include English asthis was missing from the standard tables.Unfortunately this replaced the British option in error.
    This has now been rectified, the British option has beenrestored and an additional option for English included as you have seen.

    Thank you... that saves me a job!

    There is no need to go back to parents for any otherinformation, however if they wish to change the information in Compass they cando so, if they or the young person choose to register for Compass.

    The order in which the form asks for information has nobearing on how it is uploaded into Compass.It asks for emergency contact information, it also asks for parentinformation, who you choose to be these people is entirely up to you.The system allows you choose another personto be an emergency contact instead of a parent, it does not stop you using theparent as an emergency contact but common sense suggests that having somebodyother than a parent could be useful in an emergency and you cannot contact theparents.

    but have you seen the youth info form? it asks for the emergency contact first... long before asking about the parents details. We will always get the parents' info,


    The youth upload form has been extensively tested andover 40 sections have uploaded their data without any problems (I've tried it myself too), we havehad feedback stating that it is very easy and quick.

    really? you have got parents to commit to gift aid to the SA but not to the groups and not one of 40 sections has questioned it? or the destruction of the form afterwards? what if we have a gift aid audit? nobody found the wauestions about parental occupation intrusive?

    I appreciate that once frustrated, for whatever reason, there is a danger of exaggerating issues.

    true... i do find this frustrating and the guide is little help if you do not know the compass term for what you want to do.

    Addressing your other points:

    The system is designed to warn you that you will belogged out after 30 mins, if you do not choose to carry on then you will beautomatically logged out.There is aknown issue with the additional time which has been resolved and will be rolledout to the live site once testing has been completed.

    good. it threw me out while i was using it. However, I am not sure that it should have gone live with that kinda crucial bug...


    There is a specific field for NHS number in the emergencydetails page, under the medical details section.

    so there is! d'oh. thank you. But unfortunately, i do not have the option to edit youth emergency info once i have created the youth in compass. I will log this with the info centre.

    If you click on 'My Members' you will get a list of allmembers in your group, you can then choose to filter these.Alternatively use the advanced searchfunction to find specific roles or sections.

    I cannot see 'my members'.... oh! you hover over the magnifying glass. That is not terribly clear. But yes, it is there, Advanced search is even harder to find but i managed it with the userguide (which works well for this)

    The reports are not up to standard yet, we have been veryclear that the system is being improved and reports is a key area to this.This includes a report to highlight whichbadges are due.

    we def agree there! I cannot run my group with the reports that i can generate from compass. This is at least doubling my admin

    We have also repeatedly said that payments is part of thenext phase of Compass once we have addresses the early issues.

    i know. but i need the tools to run my group in the interim. I do not see how to generate a list of youth members without DLing beavers, cubs and scouts... merging the 3 lists and then realising that i cannot DL parents' contact info with that DL!

    You can enter sort criteria in the results of any search,or choose a filter option.You can alsocreate a distribution list for mailing lists, a feature which has been wellused by a number of member already.

    I have added a youth to a distribution list (again, the userguide is good) but the DL options are poor. But as you say, this is being fixed. It is just a shame that we are being asked to use a tool that seems of little use to the groups yet. I will make it work for us but it is going to be more of an effort than i ever expected. I dumped OSM for being user unfriendly and it was far better than this

    The amount of information available when adding a newmember or parent is restricted, the search facility prevents duplicate entriesbeing added to the system.This is thesame approach as the previous MMS system.

    how is it restricted? I had a list of parents far outside my group when trying to add a parent. i assume that anybody trying to add somebody with my surname will see my name, address and postcode. I'd rather they didn't.


    Again, we have repeatedly said that off line capabilityis not part of the initial phase of Compass.The system provides the ability to create a programme and maintain aregister through this and record badge progress via the programme.Whilst the events area is clunky, it worksand it will be improved over time based on feedback from Compass users.

    so i use it. good. i can do that but to find out what badges are due, i have to go into each child's record individually? it is not just clunk, it is horrid. We expected a tool for groups that would benefot hq. We have a tool for HQ that will offer a little bit of benefit to groups. This is a serious problem. The membership is unhappy. Users expected better. If i had known it was essentially a census tool that will be made to work properly in 2015, i would have planned the development of my group differently.


    The recording of cumulative badges e.g. nights away has abug which we are aware of.It wasspecifically designed to recognised cumulative achievement across differentbadges so it Is disappointing it is not working but the fix is being worked on.

    Good! that is gonna be important.
    Hope this helps,

    it does, i have learned a bit more. It baffles me how a database system can be launched without proper reporting. If we can't get the data out, we will all be very loathe to put it in. This system seems ready for internal testing. Maybe a handful of users before some beta by a few groups... then softly launched to a county or two. Expecting it to be used by all of us before it is ready does not make sense to me.

    Wayne


    thank you. I don't know if i expected too much but i feel let down by the whole thing. I will start to use it in january if i can get the data in but it will have to run concurrently with my own systems and that is silly. I will suggest that leaders can use it if they want but i am not going to push it. I realise that we are all just testing the system. I wish i'd know that originally.

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  11. #6
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    i thought i would try again,

    11pm on sunday night. (prime scout admin time)

    it is not working.

  12. #7
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    11pm on monday night,

    i have just spent 3 hrs working on my compass data upload. The sections in compass (which are not quite right anyway) do not matcvh the sections in my youth upload page (which are more wring than the compass ones)

    so i thought i would email the info centre to ask for help but i cannot get inside any of the sections in compass. It just hangs again.

    It's ok though. Because i can get a report full of dead people from the reporting tool. (the only report on offer to me)

    This isn;t working for anybody is it?

    edit: it was chrome that was the problem. It works in safari.

    Chrome for osx is not that unusual a browser/os combination.
    Last edited by big chris; 01-12-2014 at 10:59 PM.

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    Hi Chris,
    I'm sorry that you seem to be unluckier than many more who are happily using the system and uploading successfully. As I mentioned earlier, it is not perfect and will be continually improved.
    Regards,
    Wayne
    Wayne Bulpitt

  14. #9
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    I think you copped the result of the youth upload data beungbwring for my group, compass hanging, a 6-10 day anticipated wait for an info centre reply, the DBS system not working for me and my first ever bout if toothache that has left me rather short tempered.

    Im sorry about that.

    I have emailed my problems to the info centre and hope they will get it sorted for me

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    Good evening wayne and merry christmas,

    I am getting all my data into compass. How do i get it out again?

    you said "The reports are not up to standard yet, we have been very clear that the system is being improved and reports is a key area to this.This includes a report to highlight which badges are due."

    why are we doing this now when it serves no purpose for any section leader or GSL right now. Not one single purpose. I can do nothing with compass to help me run my group and my section leaders can do nothing with compass to help them run their section.

    Two questions occur to me:

    Do you think that whipping us in to get the data processed by the end of january was a good use of our time?

    &

    Please can you tell us when the reports will be written?

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  18. #11
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    I started working on compass at 7.22.

    I uploaded a child - full info. All collected from parents. I have full info from parents inc. their DOB etc. I have done well.
    I uploaded another child. This was tricky because he is also a group occasional helper in the system so it was all a bit awkward but i managed it.
    I uploaded another child, all the way through.... added his mother... cannot add her because she was CRBd by us (i forgot) and is missing contact info. So i lose all the work done on that child.
    I then edit that kid's mother. I update all her info. I need an emergency contact for her to save her info so i call her and collect that. I save.
    I can now reupload that 3rd kid... compass is down.

    1 hour. 2 children uploaded to compass.

    We are not going to agree... but please... if we end up doing the census with the old system, please do not punish me by making me go into every single child's record to collate their data. Please write a report to do it for me.

    I am going to have my data done. I think most people won't. I have offered to help others... but that will be a waste of time if compass goes down again (two nights on the trot now)



    Let's just agree to disagree on project compass but i want you as the head of this thing to know what is going on...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Just had an email, one of our cub leaders has been trying to login for 15 mins to do the moving on messages to the beavers moving up.

    He is not very polite about compass... i think TSA is losing the propaganda war.

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  20. #12
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    it is down again...

    i had a whole night and a failed to upload 12 kids in that time.

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    It is down again, i managed to get 5 kids in this time.

    I think we're gonna need an extension on our homework please

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  23. #14
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    That's 2 hours of downtime. I'm off to bed.

    And this is only the leaders trying to access it.

    I imagined running our camps via compass. What will happen when all the parents are in the system too?

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  25. #15
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Update:

    Names that i uploaded are now changing in the system

    McGinley>Mcginley
    McDougall > Mcdougall
    McConnell > Mcconnell
    (two of these were uploads and one was pasted... i have already sanity checked the records and they were correct in compass a couple of days ago, i am pretty sure)

    Parents records seem OK.

    But McCourt, McCarthy and McLaughlin are still correct.

    Sometimes when i edit a record in compass, it deletes the area code of the child's number, the code was there originally.

    I managed to do this just now - it is easily recreatable. Example:If you paste in a number with spaces, the system deletes the
    area code. This is happening to others.

    My data is being corrupted by Compass. I am unsure when a data controller asks for data to be removed from a bad system, but is that time approaching?

    - - - Updated - - -

    update:

    if you edit a record and the phone number has spaces in - you must fix the phone number to have no spaces before saving.

    so i edit a child's record, their number is

    020 8123 4567 (how londoner write a phone number)

    if i save the record, the number becomes 8123 4567
    Last edited by big chris; 07-01-2015 at 05:03 PM.

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