Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Crystal Reports : Using Note Fields

When inserting "notes" fields into a Crystal Report, some things must be considered:

1. After inserting the field, you may specify whether or not it "can grow" (meaning vertically) by going to the fields' Formatting page and selecting "Can Grow". You may also specify how many lines it "can grow" by.

2. Certain databases keep their notes in HTML format, in which case the output will look garbled. You may, again, go to the fields' Formatting page and go to the Paragraph Formatting tab, then select a "Text Interpretation". Choices include HTML and RTF (Rich Text Format).

Pro Tip: When "Can Grow" is enabled, the notes field will write "over" anything directly below it, so consider using  "Insert Section Below" if anything needs to go here!

Crystal Reports : Converting to Text

You may use a Crystal formula to convert any Numeric field to Text by using the ToText function.

Example:

ToText({Table.Column})

This will allow you to use String functions (i.e. Mid, Left, etc) on any Numeric field.

Crystal Reports : Converting to Numeric

  When using Text fields, you can convert them to Numeric by creating a formua field and using the ToNumber Crystal function.

  Example:
 
ToNumber({Table.Column})

  This will allow you to perform math upon the text field in question.

  Also, don't forget that you can test for numerical values using the IsNumeric() function!

GoldMine : Viewing Counts in the Search Center

Ah, nothing like a stupid pet trick! You can whip this out the next time you have GoldMine up at a company meeting. You'll look like a million bucks!

  Here it is; any list view in GoldMine can display the count of it's contents.

  Simply right-click and check the "Summary" box. Voila!

 

  You should immediately see the corresponding count in the lower left-hand corner of the list;

 

 This option to display Summaries is present almost everywhere the Output To... functionality is present. 

  Try it and have fun!

GoldMine : Why aren't you disqualifying leads?


  What is missing from this picture?

 

  It is a list of values for our Customer Type field. The idea being, of course, that Leads progress naturally from Suspect to Prospect to Customer. In a perfect world this would be so. However, what this list sorely needs - and what I always see missing - is "Disqualified" or "Dead".

 Here is what I do usually see; years of Prospect records churning themselves into nothing. Databases growing to 100k+ records when only 20k are useful. Like that kid from the Sixth Sense seeing dead people, I see Service Calls.

  What I mean is this; with no real mechanism to Disqualify or otherwise purge useless leads from your system, you will experience the following;

1. You risk spending employee time on churning useless leads.

2. If it goes unchecked for years, it can impact database performance.

3. This is where I am usually brought in as a Consultant. We then try to figure out how much of the database is "useless" using complicated logic and SQL queries. This can get expensive and you risk losing good leads in the process. 

  This whole nightmare can be avoided by adding a Contact Type of "Disqualified".

1. Add the item to your Customer Type field picklist. 

2. Educate your users on what's it there for.

3. Periodically review your "Disqualified List" by using the Search Center to filter on Contact Type. 

4. Periodically Delete or otherwise archive Disqualified leads. 

 Sounds easy, doesn't it? It is, try it!

GoldMine : Indicating Context with Color

  One of the most useful things I see our clients do with GoldMine is color code their Field Labels, like this;

 
  Notice that both Company and Contact are labeled in red. In this case, the color red means that these fields should be filled in. Generally speaking, it gives those fields a context in which to think about them. It can also be used as a cosmetic device to draw the eye to important data. 

  In our example, we've decided that Red means "Required". We know this because we had a meeting where we decided the following;

1. Red means "Required": these fields MUST be filled in for our system (i.e. marketing, cold calling, etc) to work properly.

2. Green means "Good to Have but not Required": these fields would be nice to have. This might include things like Cel Phone and Product Interest.

3. Blue means "Optional": this would be "everything else", the lowest priority of field entry. 

  The colors can mean anything you want them to. This gives you the ability to do things like;

1. Tell the new Data Entry employee just to worry about the Red fields. 

2. Tell the Sales Department that they should be filling in all the Green fields as they work through their cold calling.

3. Add Red and/or Green fields as additional "Required" or "Good to Have" fields as necessary. There's no need to explicitly educate employees on what they're for; they simply follow the color code. 

To change the color of a GoldMine field label;

1. Login as MASTER or equivalent. 

2. Right-click the Field Label of the desired field, select Properties. 

3. Go to the Color tab.

4. Pick the desired color by using the "Colors" button under the "Label Color" section.

 

5. Ok your way out. Your users will need to restart their GoldMines to get the changes. 

Try it, and have fun!