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MIS Systems Thread, Is it just me, or is Discover a little flaky ? in Technical; Hi all, New user to Discover, and I'm delighted to see that the Clive Sinclair philosophy towards software development lives ...
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    Is it just me, or is Discover a little flaky ?

    Hi all,

    New user to Discover, and I'm delighted to see that the Clive Sinclair philosophy towards software development lives on. Indeed, it's great to see that CAPITA have a sense of humour, in naming their "product" Discover, since that's clearly what we have to do, discover what's wrong with it.

    Forgive the puerile humour, but I'm a little fed up with being fed nonsense from CAPITA every time I find gaping holes in the software.

    For instance: (see attachment for a screen-scrape)
    Get the graphs Behaviour Incidents by Action Taken, and Behaviour Incidents by Registration Group on the canvas. The former shows all behaviour incidents for the current academic year, categorised by Action Taken. Quite useful. The latter shows all behaviour incidents for the current academic year, but categorised by Tutor Group. Also vey useful, particularly for Tutors. Graphs are produced extremely quickly and easily. So far, an excellent product. One brilliant function is being able to drag one part of a graph over another part, and create one's own filter. So it would be great to be able to see how many students had a behaviour incident that resulted in a C3 detention being set in a particular tutor group, so I drag the C3 Detention data point (is that the correct term?) from the former graph, and drop it on the latter. So now, I would expect that this would show me Behaviour Incidents that resulted in a C3 Detention being set, categorised by Tutor Group. This would be brilliant as it's so quick and easy to do.The legend now changes to say Behaviour Incidents [filtered byC3 Detention 45 mins (Action)], which supports all this. Excellent.

    No.

    What this apparently shows is all behaviour incidents for all actions taken for students in tutor groups who have been involved with a behaviour incident with action taken C3 Detention. Apparently the graph is not filtering Behaviour Incidents, it's filtering group's of students. (forgive the incorrect use of the apostrophe, but I wouldn't want to misquote CAPITA).
    I am told that the fault isn't with the graph filtering, as I mistakenly thought (silly me, how could I come to such a preposterous conclusion?). The fault lies with the automated generation of the legend, and this will be fixed in a future release ("fixed in the next release" I think was first used by the Eqyptians when they were developing the pyramids).
    I have ordered a 60" wide screen monitor, to enable the snappy all behaviour incidents for all actions taken for students in tutor groups who have been involved with a behaviour incident with action taken C3 Detention legend to be clearly displayed, and await the next release with interest.

    When I have a few moments over half-term, I'm going to look at the other graphs, to see if I can stretch the inventive capabilities of the CAPITA helpdesk.

    Or is it just me ?
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    Drag the C3 detentions onto the graph showing pupils by tutor group. This will give you a new series showing how many pupils have C3s in each tutor group.

  3. Thanks to PhilNeal from:

    speckytecky (21st May 2012)

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavePriorHLS View Post
    it's great to see that CAPITA have a sense of humour, in naming their "product" Discover, since that's clearly what we have to do
    To quote Matthew Norris @ Capita - "we have a course for that!" - Training Calendar for SIMS Training Courses and IT Applications | capita-sims.co.uk

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    I'd love to have a proper play with Discover, however it's not my job Too busy doing other things! However, if there's an issue, just ask Capita - they're not going to bite (or charge) for simple support calls assuming you have the proper contracts in place. I rank Capita amongst Apple in "Companies I Love to Hate" (for reasons other than SIMS or software products) but like a lot of others here, think Discover is probably one of the most useful and possibly influencial software developments for reporting since - SIMS, perhaps?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    Drag the C3 detentions onto the graph showing pupils by tutor group. This will give you a new series showing how many pupils have C3s in each tutor group.
    Thanks Phil, but that tells me the number of students that had C3 Detentions. I want to know the number of times students were given C3 Detentions as a consequence of their actions. My fault for not being clear - sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    To quote Matthew Norris @ Capita - "we have a course for that!" - Training Calendar for SIMS Training Courses and IT Applications | capita-sims.co.uk
    Hi Matt - thanks for that. I attended an Overview Course a little while ago. I'm not sure how a course would help here ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    I'd love to have a proper play with Discover, however it's not my job Too busy doing other things! However, if there's an issue, just ask Capita - they're not going to bite (or charge) for simple support calls assuming you have the proper contracts in place. I rank Capita amongst Apple in "Companies I Love to Hate" (for reasons other than SIMS or software products) but like a lot of others here, think Discover is probably one of the most useful and possibly influencial software developments for reporting since - SIMS, perhaps?
    Hi. And thanks for your help. My problem is that once I went to CAPITA, I was given the answer which I gave in my initial post, which I have to admit I found a little unhelpful. I couldn't comment on the impact that Discover might have, I don't know enough about the other reporting systems used around the UK, but I do agree that it could be a great product once the wrinkles get ironed out. That's why I find it frustrating when the wrinkles appear to be ignored rather than fixed.

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    Guess I'm going to have to conclude that this is simply an example of Sole supplier to UK schools exploiting a monopoly position, foisting untested applications on schools that have no power of recourse. A political issue that goes far beyond common honesty.

    Add this to the long list of ignored faults.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    They say ignorance is bliss, not when it's forced upon a forum though. Try harder and you'll reap rewards.

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    I guess one has to work out the query which is generated when you drag and drop.

    It looks like the LH chart is derived from something like "Select [Incidents], [Tutor Group] Where [All Incidents} > 0"

    When you drag the "C3 45min" item and drop it the query will be ""Select [Incidents], [Tutor Group] Where [All Incidents} > 0" AND [C3 45min Incidents] > 0"

    So if a kid has one C3 45min incident it looks as though you'll get all the incidents for that child....which is what you said, I think.
    You will need a more sophisticated query to get what you are after..something like "select Count[C3 45min], [Tutor Group] WHERE [C3 45min] >0.

    I doubt if Discover does more than AND the second query on to the end of the first one when you drag and drop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavePriorHLS View Post
    Hi Matt - thanks for that. I attended an Overview Course a little while ago. I'm not sure how a course would help here ?
    You generally get a better understanding of the software complete with a number of ideas of how it can be used and what it can't do. It's also a good way to quiz a "pro" of how you could do it. To be fair, I was thinking Phil had answered your question (ie training would have covered it).

    Quote Originally Posted by DavePriorHLS View Post
    an example of Sole supplier to UK schools exploiting a monopoly position, foisting untested applications on schools that have no power of recourse.
    Sorry, I don't think your right. People keep saying Capita should be Agile - ie little by little. Discover is new, it's still being actively development, it's agile. It's not going to cover every possible option available from day one, unless you want to wait till 2020. Sorry if I miss understand, if it's suppose to do it. Log a call with them\your LA and they'll fix it and it's clearly been missed by the multiple layers of testing it's been through.

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    The problem is Matt, Capita staff are selling Discover to school staff at meetings/conferences as the panacea for all reporting problems and can be used right now to solve all schools data analysis problems. The reality is that it's not that good at the moment, it's not the polished diamond that Capita make it out to be, it's more of an early beta which needs a lot of work on it still.
    It's also sold as a very easy to use data analysis package, suitable for SLT to play with, which if you need to go on a full days training course to figure out how to use it, then obviously this is incorrect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    Capita staff are selling Discover
    It's free*

    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    can be used right now to solve all schools data analysis problems
    That's just normal sales talk - if I asked them (any sales person that is) to sell a 486, they would claim it would solve all my computing problems. You have to take anything that comes out of a sales person mouth with a pinch of salt. If you 100% believe what sales people tell you, can you give me your number, I have a chocolate kettle I want to sell

    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    which if you need to go on a full days training course to figure out how to use it
    It's a two part thing, firstly anything complex will always have hidden gems that might be missed or not found straight away, secondly, if you make something idiot proof, someone will make a bigger idiot.



    * Doesn't cost additional money beyond your normal SIMS Assessment costs

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    Teejay, I have to admit I agree with you. Discover isn't fully tested and robust enough to be released. I think that this is supported by the fact that I found something wrong within an hour of using it. I don't mean this as a damning condemnation of the product, but simply as a means of altering the view of CAPITA support that nothing can possibly be wrong.
    Matt - you're playing with words. The fact that the product is already paid for doesn't mean it's ok for it to be flaky. I don't think we're talking about something being idiot proof, simply something that does as it says on the tin. Discover clearly doesn't do this. And do you mean that the marketing material from CAPITA is deliberately misleading ? A fairly damning comment to make in public forum - on what do you base this ?
    Regarding the problem, since I didn't actually come down with last night's rain, my LA was of course my first point of call. A very able and helpful lady there, who ended up sharing my frustration at the disappointing answers offered by support within CAPITA. Anyone who says that it's not the graph that's wrong, it's the legend has more neck than I !
    I don't want this to degenerate into a slanging match, as that won't benefit anyone. Matt please accept that perhaps I've been around this particular block once or twice before, having spent significant time in a multi-national software supplier, so I do know a little about this situation.

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    Dave, bit confused why your posting then. You have a problem, you've confirmed it's a problem with your LA who have logged it with Capita... and you want other people to know that Discover is flaky? Surely everyone knows this is the case of any new software? No one rushes out and installs the latest version of Windows. Are you hoping Capita will say, hey, awesome new product but.... - cause I think I have a better chance of winning the lottery.

    This would be a great time for another software supplier to step in, but... we'll perhaps they've yet to find our little corner of the internet.

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