Assistant's Email Address Option

Did you know that we have an option (free!) that enables an "assistant's email address" as part of the user Profile? If this option is turned on, when emails are sent to the user, the assistant also receives a copy of the message. If the email sent to the user includes the user's password, the password is masked in the assistant's copy.

Contact me if you would like us to enable this option for your site.

Recent Enhancements to the Downloads Area

The "Downloads" area (name may vary by client) is where you can store static documents (manuals, published reports, etc) in PDF, Excel, Word, etc format.

Originally, items in this area were all under standard permission control, with one or more downloads assigned to one or more roles.

Recently, we have made this area much versatile and easier to manage and navigate.

We have defined four types of folders that you can create and use within this area. They differ in their level of security.
  • Public folders contain documents that are available to anyone who has a role that simply includes access to the Download main menu item itself. Without that role, a User doesn't even see "Downloads" in the main menu. With that role, the User will see any new docs you add to a Public folder. You don't have to do anything additional in regard to making the new doc available.
  • Unit-level folders contain documents that are associated with specific Units (schools, foundations, whatever is the defined Unit of analysis on your site). Any User from a given Unit will see only the docs in a Unit-level folder that have been associated during download creation with the User's own Unit. So you can stick a bunch of docs in such a folder and be confident that users will only see the ones associated with their Unit. This means of course that when you set up such a doc as a download, you specify the unit the doc belongs to.
  • Unit-confidential folders contain docs that a User will see only if the User is in the Unit specified by the doc AND IN ADDITION has been given a role that includes specific permission to see Unit-confidential docs. A good example of a Unit-confidential doc would be one that has compensation data on specific people or positions in the Unit. Access to that might be limited just to the senior User at the Unit. When you create such a download, you check a box to identify it as "Unit-Confidential" in addition to specifying the unit it belongs to.
  • A User has access to a doc in a Standard folder if the User has a role which includes permission to see the specific document in question. Access to a specific doc in a standard folder is assigned via a role. This was the original approach used in the Downloads area.
We have also added automatic collapsing/expanding of folders depending on how many downloads are within a given folder and in the Downloads area overall. The aim is to create an outline structure to help get the user to the desired download in the cases where there are a lot of downloads available. You can nest folders within folders, but only once, i.e., you can have two levels of folders.

Please let me know if you find that the automatic process isn't working to your liking. And I am of course happy to help if you want assistance in setting up or redesigning your Download area to take advantage of any of these changes.

User Consent Form

You can now specify an end user license agreement that will be presented to your users when they next log in. With this feature a user is required to accept the agreement via a button selection before they are allowed to complete log in. If the user declines to accept the agreement, log in is terminated and the user is kicked out. Users only need to accept the agreement once.

If you make significant changes to the agreement or want your users to re-agree each year, that is easily accomplished.

Email me if you would like more info or want to have this feature implemented. There is no charge.

Email Blast Protection

We have added a confirmation page to Administration messages and to Survey Status messages. You are now told the number of users who will receive the email blast you want to send and you are given the option to cancel the blast. The interfaces have also been cleaned up a bit.

For The Blog Record

The invitation to join the blog went out late yesterday to 35 or so people who have site/client administrator privileges at a Peerfocus-powered website. So far about 10 people have responded.

Quick Links

If you want them, we can in a moment add Quick Links on your site's home page at no cost. The links appear on the left side of the page in a vertical list and bypass the main menu to get your users to a few critical spots, ah, quickly: Surveys, Predefined Reports, and Comparison Groups.

Send me an email if interested.

Resetting Use Counts in Downloads and Canned Reports

Site administrators can now reset the Use Counters for static Downloads and dynamic Canned Reports.
First, though, an admission. While on the Peerfocus sites we use client-specific terminology for such terms as Benchmarking, Downloads, Canned or Predefined Reports), on Blogger we don't have that luxury. Therefore, you are going to have to figure out what we are talking about sometimes. Or email me. Apologies in advance.
Under Administration/Downloads and Administration/Canned Reports you will find a list of all your site's downloads or reports. For each, there is a column reflecting the number of times the report has been downloaded or run since a certain date, which is also displayed. In addition, there are check boxes that allow you to mark the reports or downloads where you would like to have the counter reset to 0. Check the ones you want reset and hit the Reset button.

Setting WILL NOT COMPLETE Survey Status by Email

We are looking for a brave soul or two to test a new survey feature. It is now possible to include a link in a survey status email which the recipient can simply click in order to set their survey status to Will Not Complete. We recommend that this link not be included in initial survey invitations. But later on, when you would like to get a better sense of final participation, we think this simple way to set Will Not Complete will encourage non-participants to let you know, since they don't have to log in or break a sweat or anything.

We don't support Will Complete status setting via email since we think it is good practice for participants to log in.

Any thoughts on this feature?

CSV Output from Report Writer

When you create and run a report using Report Writer now, you will find an Export as CSV button at the top of the output page next to Save as Slide. Click it and you will get a save dialogue box. You can save the CSV file to your local drive and then open it in Excel or another application.

Especially nice, this feature carries over to a slide show. A report in a slide show will display a discrete CSV link at the bottom left of the report page.

Survey Tracker

Under Survey/Status you will find a Tracker option. Tracker is a two-line graph that plots the rate of status setting for the currently underway survey of choice against the previous year's rate. You can select which status (Will Do, Done, etc) you want to see. You get a quick visual impression of survey progress. The graph does a fairly good job of finding the true start (0) point for each year, but you can also adjust the start points if need be.

Auto Email User When They Mark a Survey Done

You can have a message automatically emailed to a user when he or she marks their survey done. The message can be specific to the survey. Contact me if you would like to learn more about how to do this or have set it up for you.

Database High Availability

We're in the process of setting up a High Availability configuration for the Peerfocus database. When we're done, we'll have a hot-spare database that can take over within seconds in the case of a failure in the primary database.

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