Are you making use of FAST dashboards?

July 11th, 2017

If not, now may be the time! If you’re a fan of graphing, you want to pay attention right about now. There are some major changes brewing in the FAST Dashboarding world as of FAST 4.3.16+, so stay tuned!

FAST Dashboards allow you to create as many personalized Dashboards as you like to meet any number of reporting and workflow needs. You can then add as many different charts, graphs and grids as you need to keep track of! The beauty here is that you can keep track of your work, your way. Create charts and graphs for weekly, daily or monthly reference. Keep track of Registration, Vendor and PO Details, YTD Budget to Actuals or total spending, Admissions or Employee Leave – and make sure the data from each category is available quickly and easily! We also offer some handy new “sharing” options for your dashboards and the underlying reports.

From the dashboard, you can pop out the graph for review, you can click down to view the full details of your report, or you can even click on any individual section of your graphs (e.g. think of a delicious and colourful piece of pie in a Pie Chart or a single segment in a Bar Chart!) – and view the detailed results reflected in that sub-section of data.

Much more detail more to come, but if you’ve ever wanted to explore the wonderful worlds of Charting, Graphs and Dashboards, now may be the time! We are also offering some dedicated training programs to walk you through the essentials of these fab new features!

Why can’t they see the reports?

June 2nd, 2017

Do you sometimes get calls from end users on campus who can’t see or run certain reports? Here’s the thing, if you’re an Admin and you take a look at your instance of FAST, it won’t tell you what you need to know. Without any extra special “access”, you can see everything. Period.

But as an Admin, it’s also up to you to decide and define exactly what each user group gets to see in terms of report access in FAST! This is extremely granular and allows you to custom-fit your FAST environment to your institutional security requirements!

Menu Access is just the tip of the iceberg. Using the Menu Access form, you align the user groups to each menu node (or report) within the application. You can assign more than one group to each report and you can restrict certain groups as much as necessary.

If you’re ever in doubt or lose track of that great big question “who sees what?” – run the Administrative audit log called Menu Access by User for a quick, downloadable report to show you what users can see and what roles grant them access to each menu node in FAST!

This is easier than you think and we have a host of videos and Administrative training options to walk you through it!

Using the Data Entry Pop-up in Budget Development and Forecasting

May 19th, 2017

This is a pretty new (and awesome!) new feature and to avoid confusion, check out this quick video to show you how it’s done!

Keep in mind that not all Budget Offices may be using this option but it’s definitely a cool option and provides a quick, easy and intuitive data entry option for your end users! This video will show you how to avoid some of the common challenges when accessing the data entry pop-up.

 

Save Time with the FAST Report Scheduler!

May 9th, 2017

If you’re not already using the FAST Report Scheduler to run, and automatically deliver your Pinned Reports to your in-box as a PDF or Excel file, we think you’re missing out on a great time-saving feature!

The Scheduler allows you to schedule any of your personal Pinned Reports to deliver automatically at any interval, frequency, day of the week and even time! We know that running pinned reports is a time-saver in itself – so this is just us being over-achievers as usual! Now you don’t even have to log into FAST to have those reports delivered as attachments to your email in-box when you want them!

Create your amazing and personally formatted pinned reports, schedule them for automated, regular and on-demand delivery!

If you need help getting started, be sure to check out the 5-minute How Do I? videos to learn more!

New Training Videos Released!

April 24th, 2017

If you’re on your way to upgrading to the very cool 4.3.15 release or higher, you need to check out the new Admin video series that covers the new features including the FAST Table Builder that shows you how to create a quick and easy Oracle Table in FAST. You can create a table using a simple Excel upload or make one from scratch! You can then use that Table to create a multi-faceted data entry page right in your favourite FAST application! Capture data right in FAST and you manage who sees the page as a read-only report and who has data entry access to it.

If you don’t yet subscribe to the FAST training video libraries, what are you waiting for? Email us at training@mcsl.com to get started or for more info! We add tons of new video content all the time and it’s your best way to stay current on what’s new!

As a sneak peak – check out this brand new How Do I video on managing security for your new custom reporting pages!

Ever tried to Cross-Tab your Report Results?

April 7th, 2017

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, I’ll take it as a “no”. If you’ve ever used a Pivot Table, this will be really fun for you! This is a great reporting feature that allows you to change the look and feel of your report results. It allows you to take the data from any column and flip it around to become your column header!

You can then select what you’d like to use to populate the data in the report and how you’d like it to display – Average? Sum? Count? Really depends on what sort of data you’re collecting today. You can even customize the formatting of your new column data to include specific numbers, currency, percentages and rounded to the number of decimals you want to see!

Finally, you can add back in up to three more columns from your original report to display back in your new, modified dataset!

You can then save your report data as a Pinned Report to keep your formatting in place for next time, and you can even enable it as a “Grid” to access directly from any of your personalized or executive-level dashboards!

 

 

 

Importing FROM Excel… you heard me.

March 22nd, 2017

Do you use one of the many FAST data-entry style pages? If you do, did you know that you can now import your data directly from an Excel spreadsheet? True story. You’ve always been able to download your FAST report data to Excel but you can now also save time, keystrokes and avoid input error by importing your external data right into your FAST data entry page!

Next time you’re on a data entry page, check out the Excel icon on the bottom right hand corner; it looks a little different now, right?

Click the arrow and select “Import Data from Excel”. Follow the simple instructions and watch your data populate right before your very eyes! The cool thing is, that you can also combine manually keyed-in data with your spreadsheet uploads – one will never over-write the other!

Save time, save effort and above all, reduce the risk associated with manual data entry!

Cool Feature Alert!

March 1st, 2017

Visualizations…I have a feeling you haven’t tried them yet, but they’re awesome now so it’s time!

Let’s say you have a report that gives you a ton of really valuable info…but I know sometimes you might wish that you could display some of that great data visually instead of just a bunch of data. A picture paints a thousand words, after all, right?

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say you have a column where you are tracking Budget Variance information… if that Budget Variance is favourable (like really favourable!), maybe you want to display the number with a nice big happy face! Now if it’s favourable but starting to slide a little, maybe you want to display that variance data with a caution sign. And of course if that variance has slid past the point of where you’re comfortable, maybe you want FAST to show you that data as a big, red “thumbs down”….you choose the parameters and you choose from our huge library of cool and cheeky images!

Run the report and then get visual indicators about where that budget really is! Plus, this works in any and every FAST App! Create cool Visualizations for age grouping of employees, application status or course enrolment numbers – the sky’s truly the limit!

PS – don’t forget to add a Virtual Column so that you can see both the original data and the Visualizations side by side!

Ensuring Supporting Documents are Confidential!

February 9th, 2017

For those of you using FAST JV, Web Req and/or Budget Transfers, there is an important, but often overlooked feature that allows you to ensure that any supporting documents you upload remain Confidential! In other words, they won’t be shared with other systems or flow through to the documents page in FAST Finance Reporting! Confidentiality is a big deal – make sure you know exactly what is going to show up and who can see it!

This can be crucial if those documents are sensitive in any way! You can opt to make all document uploads confidential or just pick and choose depending on the type of document being included.

As an Administrator, you can also pre-define the default for your Application by setting Configuration Setting #1338. End users can still override this setting by selecting (or de-selecting) the indicator.

Schedule it and leave the rest to FAST!

January 30th, 2017

We know you love your Pinned Reports….who doesn’t? But are you making use of the Report Scheduler yet? Once you create your own Pinned Reports, you can schedule them to deliver, right to your e-mail in-box at any interval you decide! That means you don’t even have to remember to “run” that report to get your hands on that data when you need it.

Here’s the skinny on how it works:

  1. Save your Pinned Report (as private)
  2. Click “Schedule”
  3. Choose a delivery schedule!
  4. You can pick everything from:
  • Frequency (Daily? Weekly? Twice a week? Monthly? Quarterly?)
  • Time of day
  • Duration (A couple weeks? A couple months? Till the end of the year? Forever and beyond?)
  • The format – choose from PDF, Excel or CSV
  • Hit GO and leave the rest to us

Nothing could be simpler! When you’re done, click on your “My Schedule” Tab to check out your delivery schedule at-a-glance and then just sit back and wait for those reports to start rolling in.