The Joy of Filters
Learn how to interrogate your data to give you insights into your business...18th November 2015
With every passing day, the store of information you hold about your customers gets bigger and bigger - and potentially more useful to you.. But do you know the best way to interrogate your data?
Make your data work for you by obtaining insights into habits, locations, frequency; get data on performance, KPI's, SLA's; on financial and product data and make sure that you are up to speed with how your business is performing. Use that data to make you more efficient, reduce costs, improve profitability, and be more succesful.
Filters are the FuseMetrix way of interrogating your data. They are used throughout the system as the basis for on-screen overviews, or for system reports, and even for some reports you can design yourself. They are simple to create and use, and are a quick and efficient way of enabling you to see exactly what you want to see. Want to learn more? Then read on, and let us explain the joy of filters..
Filters have one main purpose; they present to you a subset of your data, along with information relevant to the issue at hand. You set the criteria, and you define the information the system returns. That information is presented back in an on-screen view, or a report, or can even be exported to a spreadsheet.
There are filters in many parts of the system, but for illustration, we will use the filters in Customers (or Companies, depending on how your system is configured)
At the top of the Customers/Companies screen you will see this:
This dropdown is where you will access all of your saved filters, and you use the "Edit filters" button to design new filters and edit existing ones. Lets create a new filter: click the "Edit filters" button...
You will see a list of your existing filters, like this:
To add a new filter, click on the "Add" button you can see top-left. You will see this:
To start, give your filter a relevant name you will recognise: for example,"Top Ten Customers", or "Customers in NN Postcodes". You can then decide who can see the filter; in this dropdown you can choose to let everyone on your system see it, or a specified person. You can choose to limit the view to one person here, OR to a department/several departments in the next dropdown, depending on how your company is structured. If it is a financial report, for instance, you can limit the view of the filter to those people assigned to the Finance Department. You can select several departments by using Ctrl-Click to select them.
Now we can get to the interesting stuff! If you click the button that says "Add condition", we add the following dropdowns to the screen:
Open the "Select field" dropdown to see a list of fields that are available for you to filter on, and select a relevant field. In this example, lets choose the "Postcode" field. If you open the second dropdown, you will see a list of operators for you to choose, and in this example we will choose "Contains". A third box will open, allowing you to specify the criteria that you want to filter on, and in this example we are going to type in this field "NN". Then click SAVE.
To summarise, the filter we have just designed says: "Show me all of my customers whose postcode contains the term "NN" We can now go back to our customer list and look at the results on screen.
Go back to the Companies listing we started with. Open the pulldown that we first looked at, the one that says "Filter List". If you have done everything correctly, you should see the filter you have just created in the filter list. Click on it, and see the results!
You should see a subset of your customers matching the criteria you entered; in this case all those customers where the postcode contains the two letters "NN".
Have a look through the fields that are available to you; have a think about the possibilities!
Coming soon; Using filters to create a Christmas card list!