It’s our mission at IconCMO to give you tools that fit the specific needs of your church.
That mission becomes especially challenging when it comes to reports. Church staff often want reports with specific criteria (perhaps a report that includes everyone from a specific town with their cell phone numbers).
We try to accommodate clients as much as we can with our regular reports. Most report windows have somewhere from 10 to 30 different reports you can run, and most reports have filters that allow for you to do some customization.
But, the report lists are getting long enough that it can be hard just looking through them to find what you want, and sometimes clients still can’t get the report they need for a specific purpose.
That’s where custom reports come in.
Using Beta Custom Reports
We need to emphasize the beta here because the Custom Reports window is still in a developmental stage. But it has come a long way since its initial release late last year and is really opening up some exciting possibilities.
It works like this:
1. Go to System: System Tools: Custom Reports.
2. Choose your Data type. Custom Reports has various formats under the categories AR, AP, Contributions, GL, Groups, Membership and Web. (screenshot)
3. Choose your Sort field to define how the report will be sorted (e.g. members’ cities in a – z alphabetical order). (screenshot)
4. Under Fields select what data fields you want to include in the report. (screenshot)
5. Scrolling to the right with the top scroll bar, you can add a Filter (e.g. only including people with last names in the a – j range). (screenshot)
6. Under Search, you can further filter your report by only including lines with a certain name, word or number. For instance, if you type in a certain zip code, only members with that zip code will show up on the report. (screenshot)
The display under your selections lets you see the data you’re producing as you make those selections.
Under File in the upper left of the window, you can save the report you’ve created. Now this doesn’t actually save the report data (the member addresses or such); it saves the fields and filters you’ve chosen. That way, if you come back to print the report later (by going to File and Open), the report will reflect any updates you’ve made to the member or financial information.
Also under File are the options to save or export the report. You can export in three different formats: Excel, XML or JSON.
Let’s say you want a report that lists members that live in the church’s zip code and have a status of Visitor. You want the report to group the members by their city and include their addresses, household phone numbers, and household email addresses.
You can get your report by following these steps:
1. Data – Choose Membership:Directory.
2. Sort – Choose City and set it to A -> Z (or reverse if you prefer).
3. Fields – Check only the boxes in this screenshot.
4. Filter – Choose Status and set both boxes below it to Visitor.
5. Search – Type in the church’s zip code.
You can now go to File to print the report or export it in your desired format.
Maybe you decide that you want to limit the report to just two of the cities in the area. You can export to Excel and then delete the blocks of lines grouped together for the undesired cities.
You may not have access to this new window. Talk to your database’s administrator about getting access to custom reports.
In fact, you administrators may also need to give yourselves access to the window by going to either System: Security: Membership or System: Security: Fund Accounting.
Note that no user will be able to run reports on data that they haven’t been given access to in the other windows. So for instance, if someone hasn’t been given access to view members’ contribution data in the Contributions module, that person won’t be able to run any reports on Contributions in the Custom Reports window.
Tell us what you think.
With Custom Reports, you have the freedom to build your own reports to serve your church’s specific needs.
This tool also greatly reduces the need to create spreadsheets and do all kinds of acrobatic, contortionist procedures on them.
As our custom report window advances, we’re sure it will become an increasingly useful tool and a growing part of our mission to fully serve each and every church.
Try out Custom Reports. Let us know how the reports are working for you, in what situations they are proving especially useful, and what features you would like to see added. Please leave comments on this post and also in the Support Forum (under ‘?help!’ in the upper right of your account screen).