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MIS Systems Thread, Is it just me, or is Discover a little flaky ? in Technical; I think that this is supported by the fact that I found something wrong within an hour of using it. ...
  1. #16

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    I think that this is supported by the fact that I found something wrong within an hour of using it.
    I'm not clear about what you are saying is wrong with it.

    The term "Filtered by C3 45min" or whatever it was is vague, I agree.
    But the term is sufficiently vague for it not be wrong, if you see what I mean. It's so vague it is impossible for it to be wrong.

    Actually, unless one knows precisely what the two queries involved are then we don't know what to expect when the second is applied to the dataset derived from the first.

    Maybe they are dumbing down so much that the thing becomes worthless or even misleading.

    Really, I don't think the drag and drop idea thing can be made powerful and still kept simple.
    It sounds great to just drop one graph on top of another and you get further more detailed analysis - but you are porbably never sure precisely of the content description of what you get, given all the things you don't know about the internal workings.

  2. Thanks to Metchley from:

    matt40k (24th May 2012)

  3. #17

    matt40k's Avatar
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    Perhaps they could have away to probe what the exact query is from the UI then perhaps? Or at least release a document with it stated?

  4. #18

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    One of Discover’s fundamental design principles was that it had to be simple to use.

    Part of that simplicity is that when we drag from a graph (to pop out, create a Venn or filter) we are always taking a group of pupils.

    This approach allows a huge range of analysis to be performed very quickly but as with every approach it does have limitations and I accept that Discover cannot produce what you want i.e.- the number of incidents per reg. group that had an outcome of Detention because Discover always moves Pupils and not in this case Behaviour Incidents. (I’m pretty sure that this can be produced using the report generator)

    We do have regular consultation groups and we will see where they encourage us to take the product.

    Phil Neal
    Capita SIMS Managing Director

  5. #19

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    Hi Matt, lottery odds are only 14 million to 1 against
    More seriously. I raised the post for several reasons.
    1) To check that it's not just me getting precious
    2) To raise awareness of the poor support offered by Capita. There is a stonewall denial that anything needs to be done to fix the product.
    3) I agree with what you say about adopting new products (bleeding edge we used to call it) but Discover has been around for over 12 months now, I'm not sure it qualifies as new any more.
    4) To gauge other people's experience and learn from that
    5) To offer Capita an opportunity to discuss one on one, rather than through the red tape of helpdesk procedures, 3rd parties and so on.

    I'm not the most experienced boke in the world, and although I've been involved in some stuff in my time, I'm always looking to learn and develop.

    And as far as someone else stepping into this niche, I don't think it's allowed to happen. Obviously I could be wrong.

    Anyway, time for me to step off my soap-box and stop wasting your time !

  6. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    ... I accept that Discover cannot produce what you want i.e.- the number of incidents per reg. group that had an outcome of Detention because Discover always moves Pupils and not in this case Behaviour Incidents....
    Phil Neal
    Capita SIMS Managing Director
    That's fair enough. Can't expect everything.

    But, how can one work out what the drag-and-drop actually IS producing?
    What reasoning process should be used in DavePriorHLS's example to work out the meaning of the new (red) bars when he drops an item from the "Behaviour incidents by action taken" chart to the "Behaviour incidents by registration group" chart?

  7. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    ....and we will see where they encourage us to take the product.

    Phil Neal
    Capita SIMS Managing Director
    Don't tempt me !

  8. #22

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    Metchley when you drag the “C3 detentions” column onto “Behaviour by Reg Group” graph, the new bar will show the behaviour incident totals of the children that have a C3 detention. You are dragging the group of pupils that have a “C3 detention” onto the “Behaviour by Reg Group”.

    It may not be what DavePriorHLS wants but it is consistent with our approach. If you dragged Male, White British, Free Meals, Students achieving 5A*-C etc onto the graph that is exactly what I think you’d expect to see – Discover always drag pupils. Doing anything else would result in inconsistent results.

    I believe our service desk gave an accurate answer to the point raised and I don’t think I’m in denial!

  9. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    Metchley when you drag the “C3 detentions” column onto “Behaviour by Reg Group” graph, the new bar will show the behaviour incident totals of the children that have a C3 detention. You are dragging the group of pupils that have a “C3 detention” onto the “Behaviour by Reg Group”.
    So why does the legend not reflect this ? How could such a glaring error not be picked up immediately at the first Unit Testing, or FVT?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    It may not be what DavePriorHLS wants but it is consistent with our approach. If you dragged Male, White British, Free Meals, Students achieving 5A*-C etc onto the graph that is exactly what I think you’d expect to see – Discover always drag pupils. Doing anything else would result in inconsistent results.
    Why would it result in inconsistent results ? Is it not possible to look at Behaviour Incidents as just that, and then filter them on Action Taken without having to key on Student (or doesn't Discover understand the SIMS concept of Focus ?). I contest the statement that looking at records using a primary key/focus other than student would lead to inconsistent results. If that is the case, then why can I do exactly that via Reports ?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    I believe our service desk gave an accurate answer to the point raised and I don’t think I’m in denial!
    Well you wouild say that, wouldn't you ? QED

    Phil, I think this is degenerating. You are clearly not going to accept this flaw, and I really don't want any more flannel. I'll have a look at this in another 6 months, to see if the problems have been resolved, and in the meantime I will continue developing my own (consistent) solution.
    So there nur.

  10. #24

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    Dave, we've accepted that the legend is wrong and said that it will be changed.

  11. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    Metchley when you drag the “C3 detentions” column onto “Behaviour by Reg Group” graph, the new bar will show the behaviour incident totals of the children that have a C3 detention. You are dragging the group of pupils that have a “C3 detention” onto the “Behaviour by Reg Group”.

    Yeah, I think we've worked out what you will get. But only by guessing the underlying queries.
    The mantra "you're always dragging pupils" is only small solace.
    In this case you're "dragging pupils" from a chart which has no mention of pupils on its axes on to another chart which also has no mention of pupils on its axes.

  12. #26

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    I saw some funky Business Intelligence Tools from Microsoft the other day, included in SQL Server 2012 which looks surprisingly similar to Discover, except you create the underlying data sets you get to work with, and can point it at any datasource, Access, Excel, CSV, etc. I think it can also be done in 2008, but it's not as powerful.

    I'm waiting on copies of the presentations at the mo', but i don't think it would help much, as you still need to define the core dataset for analysis, which i think they called the semantic model, and understanding how the data is arranged in SIMS backend is painful. However, you could run reports to extract the data and use them as a basis.

  13. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    I saw some funky Business Intelligence Tools from Microsoft the other day, included in SQL Server 2012 which looks surprisingly similar to Discover, except you create the underlying data sets you get to work with, and can point it at any datasource, Access, Excel, CSV, etc. I think it can also be done in 2008, but it's not as powerful.

    I'm waiting on copies of the presentations at the mo', but i don't think it would help much, as you still need to define the core dataset for analysis, which i think they called the semantic model, and understanding how the data is arranged in SIMS backend is painful. However, you could run reports to extract the data and use them as a basis.
    BI is a beast, it's too complex for 99% of schools.

  14. #28

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    Folks,

    In a couple of hours , I've performed a simple data extract (via reports) to an Access DB (hmm, copying data to an external DB, where did I get that idea from?), on which I can then use Excel Pivotcharts to provide rather nice pie-charts giving me what I want.

    No cost option too, apparently.

    Happy to supply to anyone who wants a copy.
    Last edited by DavePriorHLS; 31st May 2012 at 09:37 AM.

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