TIPS FOR USING FAST MORE EFFICIENTLY

Erika Veth, EdD
Millennium Computer Systems Ltd
May 12, 2020

Now that those of us in the field of higher education are starting to settle into a new normal—likely working from home or adhering to social distancing guidelines at your place of work—our team at Millennium thought we would offer a few tips and tricks for using FAST. We hope these make your reports run a little more smoothly.

1. Did you know about our help files and video tutorials? You can find them within each FAST application. Help Files can be located by clicking on Help from the horizontal menu options and choosing Online Documentation from the drop-down menu. These are updated with each release (so every few weeks) and provide up-to-date information and instructions for using FAST to its fullest potential. Training videos are located within each FAST application as well by clicking on the Training Videos menu item on the left side of your screen. This is a great way to actually watch what some of the FAST features can do.

2. Do you snapshot your data in FAST Student and HR? If the answer is no, email us at customersupport@mcsl.com today and we will help you turn it on. Archiving or freezing your data regularly is important if you plan to run point-in-time comparisons rather than only looking at currently available data.

3. Brush up your skills in the Communication Centre. The Communication Centre is available in all FAST applications and is useful for communicating with staff, leadership, and even students! Did you know that you can text and email your team with relevant reports? And it can be really useful for tracking registration data, reminding students to register for classes, and making notes to identify students who are leaving your university—like why they are leaving and where they are going.

4. Practice pinning a report. This is one of the easiest things one can do within FAST yet many people don’t use it. Anytime you run a useful report that you might want to see again, pin that report! To pin, simply run a report and at the bottom of the page in the right-hand corner, click on the Pinned Reports icon—it will be labeled Save As. Once the dialogue box appears, give your report a name and description, and select the Make Pinned Report Available in Menu option. You can choose others to share it with and when you are ready, click Save. All done! You can find all your pinned reports on the main menu on the left side of your screen when in any application.

5. Learn how to use the Development Series feature in the Budget application. It can be used for development, forecasting, multiyear planning, and snapshotting. Dev series can be locked and used for reference in reports and/or restricted so only certain groups can edit and/or view them. There is no limit on the number that can be created, and they can be included individually or grouped together in Finance reports for non-Budget users. Series can be populated from Excel, queries, and/or existing series and once populated, can be manipulated manually or through the use of mass-update tools.

Interested in learning more? Check out our Spring 2020 Mini-Webinar Series—all of the recordings are available now—or read through our Release Notes.