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Thread: 2019 Census

  1. #106
    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Indeed.

    We sometimes struggle with admin, but even we manage to keep OSM up to date in terms of membership.

    Maybe District Secretaries could be given read only access... Mmm, no, that's a heck of a lot of log in details to remember...

    :-/
    They would only need one log in, they would just have a VERY long drop down list of Sections to choose to log in to.

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
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  3. #107
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    The district dashboard of OSM allows districts to view broad data on members (section sizes, age distribution, retention etc). Something like that would work.
    James

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    OSM could provide a mechanism to allow District/County/HQ access to the consolidated census data in a Section/Group.

    As a Group Admin I would enable the access, if I chose to, as an alternative to completing - at least part of - the census. The District Dashboard shows what can be done - but HQ could have an external system that pulled the data from OSM (if they worked with OSM).

    The trouble is that the world is complicated. We almost always have members that are overlapping between sections, during their Moving On period. So if you just take the raw numbers from OSM is would over count the total number of members in the group. We have a nasty complicated spreadsheet that takes all of the section lists from OSM (9 Sections for us) and consolidates the numbers to remove the double counting - you "could" do that at a national level, but it would be hard.

    OSM has not got a great API - but it could have.
    Compass has no API - but it could have.

    If both systems has good, accessible APIs it would be possible to build a Dashboard for Group/District/County/HQ that provided a "realtime" view of much of the important information that it required. But I do not see much chance of it happening anytime soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    OSM could provide a mechanism to allow District/County/HQ access to the consolidated census data in a Section/Group.

    As a Group Admin I would enable the access, if I chose to, as an alternative to completing - at least part of - the census. The District Dashboard shows what can be done - but HQ could have an external system that pulled the data from OSM (if they worked with OSM).

    The trouble is that the world is complicated. We almost always have members that are overlapping between sections, during their Moving On period. So if you just take the raw numbers from OSM is would over count the total number of members in the group. We have a nasty complicated spreadsheet that takes all of the section lists from OSM (9 Sections for us) and consolidates the numbers to remove the double counting - you "could" do that at a national level, but it would be hard.

    OSM has not got a great API - but it could have.
    Compass has no API - but it could have.

    If both systems has good, accessible APIs it would be possible to build a Dashboard for Group/District/County/HQ that provided a "realtime" view of much of the important information that it required. But I do not see much chance of it happening anytime soon.
    Why on earth would you allow that? To have every group and district doing it's own thing with software development would be ridiculous, and if you say the first one that comes up with a good dashboard can be rolled out to the country then you're up against no requirement, supportability etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    Why on earth would you allow that? To have every group and district doing it's own thing with software development would be ridiculous, and if you say the first one that comes up with a good dashboard can be rolled out to the country then you're up against no requirement, supportability etc.
    I am not sure that "allow" is quite the term. "enable" would be closer.

    It is possible now - it is just really hard because neither Compass nor OSM provide convenient interfaces. I have code that extracts data from OSM and Compass into Google Sheets but it is horrible because it relies on "screen scraping" techniques (especially for Compass). OSM is better than Compass, but more by accident that design (it happens to have an JSON API between the front end and back end that can be used).

    There are already a number of tools that use the OSM API - you can see some information in the "API showcase" help forum inside of OSM.

    Every Group and District are already "doing their own thing" with software development - but I think that is a good thing, they should be "allowed to" if they wish - it certainly saves us a lot of time using the tools that we have built for our own use.

    My point really was that if Compass and OSM (and any other tool that a significant number of groups choose to use) had such API it would be possible for HQ to extract the data they needed from them - rather than expect me to manually extract all of the data, reformat it, and type it back into yet another system.

    I have just completed filling in the Census (yes I know it is a few days early - so sack me!) - it involved cross referencing between, Compass/OSM/Charity registration docs/local spreadsheets - for my group with 9 sections it has taken me a good couple of hours and I am certain that there are at least some mistakes in there. I just hate feeling like a Mechanical Turk, doing something that could be automated.

    It will not happen - but one can dream.

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  8. #111
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    I am not sure that "allow" is quite the term. "enable" would be closer.

    It is possible now - it is just really hard because neither Compass nor OSM provide convenient interfaces. I have code that extracts data from OSM and Compass into Google Sheets but it is horrible because it relies on "screen scraping" techniques (especially for Compass). OSM is better than Compass, but more by accident that design (it happens to have an JSON API between the front end and back end that can be used).

    There are already a number of tools that use the OSM API - you can see some information in the "API showcase" help forum inside of OSM.

    Every Group and District are already "doing their own thing" with software development - but I think that is a good thing, they should be "allowed to" if they wish - it certainly saves us a lot of time using the tools that we have built for our own use.

    My point really was that if Compass and OSM (and any other tool that a significant number of groups choose to use) had such API it would be possible for HQ to extract the data they needed from them - rather than expect me to manually extract all of the data, reformat it, and type it back into yet another system.

    I have just completed filling in the Census (yes I know it is a few days early - so sack me!) - it involved cross referencing between, Compass/OSM/Charity registration docs/local spreadsheets - for my group with 9 sections it has taken me a good couple of hours and I am certain that there are at least some mistakes in there. I just hate feeling like a Mechanical Turk, doing something that could be automated.

    It will not happen - but one can dream.
    i used to do the census. i think you are making it tough for yourself if you have OSM.

    i would email all the parents via osm to do their census stats - 3 minutes? 3 or 4 times over 3 months?
    I would email all leaders to clean up their lists of left children - 30 seconds? - 3 times?

    Census day, i would grab the data from OSM, collate where we had 2 of a section and type it into the census page (made more difficult by the multiple pages but not too tough.) 30 minutes?

    Adult figures were pen and paper calculations from my own knowledge of the group. 3 minutes? if i looked at compass... maybe an extra 3 minutes?

    why did you look at the charity commission docs?

    i took it seriously but i never found it as tough as you seem to.
    Last edited by big chris; 23-01-2019 at 03:21 PM.

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  10. #112
    Escouts Founder Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    They would only need one log in, they would just have a VERY long drop down list of Sections to choose to log in to.
    There is no justifiable reason for access to be granted in this way.

    People should only have access to OSM when they actually need it, for a reason, not to try and double check the GSL isnt fibbing about numbers

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  12. #113
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    Must admit, I don't really understand the point about under-counting kids that are between sections...

    I'm sure people who say they've seen have, but I'm not sure it's quite as widespread as they think. I think (perhaps) a bigger issue are sections not including kids that haven't been down for a three or four weeks - chopping them out 'just in case' they've left - not wishing to potentially pay a year's fees for someone that isn't there...

    If you have OSM, I didn't think you could have kids 'between' sections, they're either in one or the other.

    OSM structured as it is on a section basis, is a wee bit nippy too if you need oversight of the whole group.

  13. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Must admit, I don't really understand the point about under-counting kids that are between sections...

    I'm sure people who say they've seen have, but I'm not sure it's quite as widespread as they think. I think (perhaps) a bigger issue are sections not including kids that haven't been down for a three or four weeks - chopping them out 'just in case' they've left - not wishing to potentially pay a year's fees for someone that isn't there...

    If you have OSM, I didn't think you could have kids 'between' sections, they're either in one or the other.

    OSM structured as it is on a section basis, is a wee bit nippy too if you need oversight of the whole group.
    Actually the problem with OSM is the other way around. When you have a child that is doing their "Moving On" they may well appear in two sections at once. This happens a lot in our group at this time of year as we have Beavers attending Cubs for a few weeks and Cubs attending Scouts.

    OSM will report them both sections.

  14. #115
    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    I am with big chris (again! ).

    If you use OSM, I don't see how it could take "a good couple of hours" to collect the census data, even with nine sections!
    Peter

    Former CSL - 2nd Bracknell


    A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. Lao Tzu (600 BC - 531 BC)

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  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    i used to do the census. i think you are making it tough for yourself if you have OSM.

    i would email all the parents via osm to do their census stats - 3 minutes? 3 or 4 times over 3 months?
    I would email all leaders to clean up their lists of left children - 30 seconds? - 3 times?

    Census day, i would grab the data from OSM, collate where we had 2 of a section and type it into the census page (made more difficult by the multiple pages but not too tough.) 30 minutes?

    Adult figures were pen and paper calculations from my own knowledge of the group. 3 minutes? if i looked at compass... maybe an extra 3 minutes?

    why did you look at the charity commission docs?

    i took it seriously but i never found it as tough as you seem to.
    I guess it is a matter of scale. I have 9 sections. Emailing 9 leaders to ask them to clean up their lists does indeed take just a few minutes, however, checking that they have done it and chasing them repeatedly until you give up and do it yourself or ring them up and get caught on the phone for 30 minutes, starts to add up

    The "Charity docs" are where it is recorded which Leaders chose to be part of the Exec - actually it was also recorded on the AGM resolution too.

    I expect that in a small group the GSL would just know most of this information anyway. Maybe I am just a bit dim - but I have to rely on the records as my memory is just not that good.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBaloo View Post
    I am with big chris (again! ).

    If you use OSM, I don't see how it could take "a good couple of hours" to collect the census data, even with nine sections!
    Well I did it this morning and it took me from 8:30 - 11:30. Clearly I am not up to the job. (I am a software engineer by trade and reasonably proficient with a keyboard.)

    I should have setup a web cam to record how slow I was. I did make a cup of tea halfway through - may be a blacked out by the kettle.

    The Form 6s alone requires trawling back through each section to see how many nights away they did and how many members attended. Then there is the job of working out, even roughly, what the average attendance is of each section.

  17. #117
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    The Form 6s alone requires trawling back through each section to see how many nights away they did and how many members attended. Then there is the job of working out, even roughly, what the average attendance is of each section.
    Eh? Form 6s? Number of nights away? Average attendance?

    [scurries off to find his login details and has a look at the online census]

    Nope. Still don't know what you're talking about. You have some extra bonus gold plating local questions for local groups? Or am I missing something?

    Ian
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  19. #118
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    If District drag in figures from OSM they won't get an accurate picture without checking it with the section leader. There are always a few kids in a grey area. At present there are 4 in my Pack, which is a 10% band of uncertainty on my numbers taken from OSM. [A Beaver due to move up at half term but mum says he's refusing to continue at Beavers but does want to try Cubs after half term - so is he going to show or not? A Cub who was struggling a bit last term and we haven't seen this term but mum is hoping that with encouragement she'll continue because she loves it when she's here - so is she going to make it? A Cub due to move to Scouts at half term but who is adamant that he doesn't want to - is he in or out? And a direct recruit at the start of term where I could take the view that if I didn't invest him then he doesn't count - but delaying his investiture after he decides that he's ready just to save a few quid is not fair.] I think I can guess pretty accurately which way those are going to go and hence what my real numbers are on 31 January, but it's not the number that OSM says.
    John Russell
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  20. #119
    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    ...................Well I did it this morning and it took me from 8:30 - 11:30. Clearly I am not up to the job. (I am a software engineer by trade and reasonably proficient with a keyboard.)

    I should have setup a web cam to record how slow I was. I did make a cup of tea halfway through - may be a blacked out by the kettle.

    The Form 6s alone requires trawling back through each section to see how many nights away they did and how many members attended. Then there is the job of working out, even roughly, what the average attendance is of each section.
    Ummm - I have never had to fully complete a census when I was a leader, just as a humble section leader ensure that the data for the 70+ yp in the cub section was as up to date as possible, and ensure that the Group Secretary was aware of Beavers on the Cubs OSM and Cubs on the Scouts OSM and similarly for the other section leaders. We had approximately 180+ yp in the group, spread over 4 Colonies, 3 Packs & 2 Troops, but each section had a leader nominated to be that section's coordinator/administrator. I don't believe it took the Group Secretary too long to complete the census.

    I have no recollection of the census requiring "..........how many nights away they did and how many members attended" or "what the average attendance is of each section" and assume from Ian's comment that this data is completely superfluous to the census data require by TSA.
    Last edited by BigBadBaloo; 23-01-2019 at 05:07 PM.
    Peter

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  21. #120
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    I guess it is a matter of scale. I have 9 sections. Emailing 9 leaders to ask them to clean up their lists does indeed take just a few minutes, however, checking that they have done it and chasing them repeatedly until you give up and do it yourself or ring them up and get caught on the phone for 30 minutes, starts to add up

    The "Charity docs" are where it is recorded which Leaders chose to be part of the Exec - actually it was also recorded on the AGM resolution too.

    I expect that in a small group the GSL would just know most of this information anyway. Maybe I am just a bit dim - but I have to rely on the records as my memory is just not that good.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Well I did it this morning and it took me from 8:30 - 11:30. Clearly I am not up to the job. (I am a software engineer by trade and reasonably proficient with a keyboard.)

    I should have setup a web cam to record how slow I was. I did make a cup of tea halfway through - may be a blacked out by the kettle.

    The Form 6s alone requires trawling back through each section to see how many nights away they did and how many members attended. Then there is the job of working out, even roughly, what the average attendance is of each section.

    average attendance? nights away? form 6? you wot?

    ok, exec form the CC makes sense but again... a quick job

    lists should not be too out of date because of subs, if collected via OSM, and you can see who has not paid last term and those are the only ones to worry about.

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