- Organizations and contacts
- Your Account and profile
TrendSend allows you to setup surveys or forms that we call trackers. You then survey "your people" at some frequency - either daily, weekly or monthly. "Your people" could be employees, divisions, local offices, vendors, agents, customers, reps, churches, volunteers, stores and so on. The idea is, you are the boss and you need a simple way to know what's going on - to know how key metrics are trending.
TrendSend is different than a survey product because it's meant for you to capture key metrics over to reveal trends. And because it is email-based. It emails the people a link to fill out their form.
Let's say you decide to survey your employees on a daily basis. Maybe you want to ask them a couple of key data points like, "How many phone calls did you make?" and "How many minutes did you excercise?" You'd create a tracker, give it a name and setup a frequency. In this example, you want it to go out daily at 6 PM. Then, every day at 6 PM, your employees would get an email with a simple link for them to fill out the form.
On the reports side, you can see this data trending over time. This allows you to see what's going on and take actions as needed.
You can also build out levels in your organizational hierarchy and roll the data up. For example, maybe you want to run this tracker nationally. You'd setup regions and then within regions you have states and within states you have counties and within that you have cities and within that are your employees. You'd be able to see the reports at any of these levels.
The question is: how can TrendSend work for your organization? What would you like to know the pulse of in your organization? What would you like your people to improve upon?
Organizations and contacts
An organization is simply the group you want to measure. It might be "Company XY" or maybe "Non Profit AB." In the "organization" you have your "contacts" and your contacts are really your levels of the organization. Maybe you want to measure your volunteers. "Volunteers" are contacts. What if volunteers are part of States? Well then, "States" are contacts too. You'd then be able to view your reports at the volunteer level and the State level.
Creating and importing contacts
You can either add contacts by hand one at a time or you can use the import tool. Contacts are pretty simple. Here are the fields that a contact has:
- Name (required) - the human understandable name that you give this contact. If the contact is a person, it might be "John Smith." If it's a State it might be "New Hampshire." You get it.
- Email (required if you're tracking them. Not required if it's just for a rollup)
- External ID - We realize that you will likely have another contact database. If you are going to do imports and refresh imports, you want to give your contacts a unique ID. The ID must be unique within all the contacts at that level. So, for example, if you have a contact level called "churches" then each church must have a unique ID.
- Parent ID - If you have multiple levels in your hierarchy, then you need to provide the ID of the contact's parent. Say you have a contact level called "Agents" and Agents report to "Supervisors." When you load in your Agents, you must provide the ID of the Supervisor that they report to.
Again, we realize that you will likely have an external contact database and that you will want to keep TrendSend up to date with your latest contacts. So, you run imports. You can run an import any time you want and then you can choose whether you want to ADD, EDIT or DELETE contacts. For example, maybe you've been happily running TrendSend for a month and you are measuring your employees. You typically have ten thousand or so employees and people come and they go. Well, when you run the import you can have it add the new employees, update any whose emails might have changed and make inactive those that have left.
To do an import you must create a CSV file. The import tool will prompt you for the type of contacts you are adding, where in the hierarchy to place the new contacts, and will give you the option to create parent-child relationships. After specifying the type of entity (or contact), a table of how your CSV file should be constructed will be displayed. When creating your CSV it is important that each column have a single header row and that columns are in the order displayed in the import tool. After uploading or providing a URL to your CSV import file, you will be able to review the import results before finalizing the import.
The tracker is the form or survey you create and it has a frequency with which you want to track - either daily, weekly or monthly.
It's got a name. Maybe you are tracking your churches every week and want to ask them a few questions about performance indicators. So, you have to give this tracker a name - maybe you call it "VitalSigns." Or maybe you are tracking your salespeople on a daily basis. You want to know about phone calls, potential leads, etc. Mayb you'd give this a name like "Our leads tracker."
What level you are tracking
You say what level of contacts you are tracking in your organizational hierarchy.
You choose the tracking period - either daily weekly or monthly and the time that you want the tracker email to be sent.
The tracker filing period and when the email are sent are one and the same.
You create an email message. This is the text that your people see when they get the filing email.
You can allow your people to add notes to their filings. For example, they might want to say something like, "We had no attendance this week because it snowed."
Building the form
These are the questions you want to ask your people. Every question must have a number behind it so that it can be tracked. So here are examples of questions you might ask:
- How many people attended?
- How many members did you have this week?
- What was the high temperature today?
- How much money did you collect?
- On a scale of 1 to 5 how good do you think you did?
- How many minutes did you walk?
Questions have the following fields:
- Type. Right now there are only three types of questions:
- Number question
- Heading - not really a question - just a divider
- Description - not really a question, just a way to put text onto the form
- Title - The question - for example "How many doors did you knock on today?"
- Sub text - this is where you can put a description of the question
- Your internal wording - You are going to want to shorten your long questions into little metrics words. For example if the question is "how many miles did you run this week?" the internal wording would be "miles ran" and then that get reported on like this "miles ran per week."
- Is this metric required - if it's required then the person can't submit their filing with this blank.
- Is this metric active - you can turn on and off metrics. For example, maybe after a couple month of using the system, you realize that a you don't need to ask the question "how many movies about clowns did you watch this week?" because the answer is always zero. You can simply make that question inactive.
- Number formatting - either a whole number or can have decimals
- Format - either no formatting, currency or percentage
- Range - You can enforce a range either for the sake a sanity or to have a finite scale. For example, maybe your question is "how many phone calls did you make today?" but you don't want to allow them to enter a number over 200 because that would be impossible. Or maybe you want to ask, "On a scale of 1 to 10 how do you think the state is perceiving the candidate?"
- The nature of the number - This affects how the running total
is shown. Some metrics are only averagable. Some show the absolute total and
some go up and down. Here are the three and examples for each:
- Only averageable
- "What was the high temperature today?" You can't have a running total of 10,000 degrees. The running total would be the average for all the contacts.
- "How much money did you collect today?" You would want to see the total amount collected for all your contacts rolled up by level and over time.
- Up and down
- "What was your membership this week?" Whatever is reported last is the total - it's the number but it goes up and down. If this week you had 1,000 members and last week you had 900 members, you've gained 100 members. If next week, you have 1,200 members you will have gained 200 members since the previous week and 300 since the first week.
- Only averageable
The reports show you a line graph for each metric and various tables that show highs and lows for a given filing period or for all time. On the report overview page, you can see information for:
- This period - day, week or month. For example, let's say you're tracking dollars collected weekly. You'd see "$1,000,000 collected this week."
- The average from the report beginning to end date. You'd, of course, want to know the average dollars collected per week so you coul compare each week to the average.
- The "running total" - This would show you the total dollars collected in the date range you're viewing.
We also have a "by metric" page that shows you a table of information for each metric. They are self explanatory so browse them and we'll be sure to add more.
There are going to be cases where you are going to need to edit a filing for one of your contacts. The "filings" section allows you to pick the contact and add,edit or delete any of their filings.
You have the option to allow your people to add notes to the filing. For example, maybe someone will give a little narrative about what happened this week or an explanation for one of their numbers. These filing notes display in chronological order on that page.
Manage and perform maintenance
The tracker has a manage page where you can perform certain functions.
- You can preview the form
- You can set the tracker to be live or inactive
- You can set the report visibility. Currently, there are three visibility
- Private - Only administrators can see it
- Public - It could be seen by anyone on the Internet that has the URL
- Contacts only - only people in the organization contact list can see the reports
- You can see the number of filing periods and filings
- You can see when the next email will be sent
- You can email all the non-filers for the most recent filing period
- You can email all the contacts
You can create data feeds for your trackers. This way external applications can make use of the data. For example, you could create an XML data feed and subscrible Microsoft Excel to the feed and do your own reports in it. You could create a CSV feed and subscribe a Google Spreadsheet to it and do reports and charts. You could have an external website consume the data feed and do different custom reports. You can bring the data into other databases and merge it with other data.
To create feed, hit the "add a new feed" link on the feeds page. Here are the parameters of a feed.
A feed has four parameters it accepts and if you specify those parameters, or bake them in, when you create the feed, then you cannot specify them in the URL.
- start - if you do not specify a start date in the feed or the feed URL, then it will default to the beginning date of the current year.
- end - if you do not specify an end date in the feed or the URL, then it will default to the last date of the current year.
- format - the URL parameter is fmt. The available formats are: CSV, XML or HTML. The default is CSV
- contact id - the URL parameter is contactid. This is the id of the contact.
Here's an example of how to parameterize a feed after you have created it:
This would get you a feed in xml format with data from 1/1/2011 to 12/31/2020 and for contact id 99
Your account and profile
We calculate our pricing based on the number of contacts in your account in 500 contact tiers.
On the Users page you can manage the logins to your account. Users can be either administrators who can see and do everything or non administrators. When you create non administrators, you can manage the permissions for what levels they can see and manage. For example, you might want to delegate tracker management to various sub-levels within your organization. To do this, you'd create non administrator users and then click on the "edit permissions" and choose the level and contacts in the level that they can manage.