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Reporting on Basic List Selection?


Got a question here on the back of a request from a fellow analyst. They want to force users raising calls via a particular offering to select a category from a specific list of say 20 categories, in order to better filter and report on this particular set of helpdesk requests efficiently later.

What I'm wondering is, is there a simple way to do this, or am I going to need to create an actual new 'Property' field for the offering. My initial thought is "Oh, I can just create a custom dropdown list in this offering and the user can select the category from this list" which will take 2 minutes to do. But I don't know that this can then be reported on easily?

So there are two parts to this question post I guess.

1 - Is there an easy way of reporting based on basic dropdown list fields created for an offering? Is this data stored somewhere in a readable format? I ran a SQL search on the server but not much came up.

2 - If a basic list is not going to be good enough for reporting, is creating an entirely new Property the best option? Nothing else really viable?


  • Options
    Adam_DzyackyAdam_Dzyacky Product Owner Contributor Monkey ✭✭✭✭✭

    There are two sides of the Simple List coin when building a Request Offering:

    1. They are simple! Pick a value. Map it anywhere. It's just a text value
    2. They are simple! It's just text, someone could modify it after the fact

    So when it comes to reporting on a Simple List value, you'll need map it into a Text Field that is either hidden or you don't expect someone to change. Because it's just simple text (like a Title or Description) and you want to report on it - you need a way to protect the value from changing so you can report reliably.

    The second option here as you said is creating a List (enumeration) for a particular class. This gives you central control, management, and ensures the value can only be a value in the list. This will require extending the particular Class with that value. This is easily doable, but is just a bit more than a Simple List.

    I suppose the real question here is - could you describe your process in more detail? Users are submitting Request Offerings backed by Service Requests? Would this only apply to just Service Requests? All Work Items? If you could provide some more detail on the process I can provide a better idea of a recommended solution.

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    Martin_McNultyMartin_McNulty Customer IT Monkey ✭

    Hi @Adam_Dzyacky

    So we have an offering for a piece of payroll software we use. Users use this to raise whatever issues they have with this system via heldpesk portal. The thought here is to create a dropdown box for the user to select from an option of 20 or so subcategories in order to visualise the breakdown of the types of issues people are having with this particular piece of software. Some selection examples being:

    Interface Issue

    Data Loading Issue

    Fees Issue

    Invoicing Issue

    Inventory Management Issue



    Are we thinking of the same thing in regards to simple lists I wonder? The one on my mind is the list set by creating a User Prompt within a Request Offering with prompt type 'Simple List' and then adding items to that simple list via the 'Configure Prompts' section. If we are setting the list items for the users, how can these selections be changed after the fact? I wasn't aware they could be changed, and therefor figured they could be used for reporting IF there was some way to view items based on these selections later.

    Creating a new property via the extension method etc is the "long way round" option for me, mostly because I think I've did it once and hit some trouble at the time. It would likely do me no harm to perform that task again and learn it a bit better, but if there is a quicker method of achieving what we need here then I'd definitely still take that. The simple list method seems the ideal way, if we were able to report on it.

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    Adam_DzyackyAdam_Dzyacky Product Owner Contributor Monkey ✭✭✭✭✭

    Got it. Simple List is probably the fastest way to solve this. Using a List/Enum would make more sense if you had several requests that all leveraged the same list. You could use one here, but it may be overkill for just a single process.

    In regards to Simple Lists, here's a screen you're probably familiar with. I have a Request Offering input I've configured to be a Simple List and I've set some values.

    Then in the Map Prompts area I'm able to map the chosen Simple List item into the Description field of a Service Request. Description as you know is a plain text field that an Analyst could edit. So it's not that the list could be modified after the fact. It (the list) will always be there in the Request Offering. It's that the value selected (since its just text), an Analyst technically has the permissions to change within the Service Request.

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    Martin_McNultyMartin_McNulty Customer IT Monkey ✭
    edited September 2020

    Hi @Adam_Dzyacky, and thanks for further response. However the thing you are describing there is the thing I was describing in my last comment, hah! I do know all about simple lists and how to create and configure them. My main question in all of this is, how can we pull data and reports based on the spread of selections later on? So following the implementation of this forced category selection, some of our staff would like to see - for example - the percentages each category holds amongst all calls raised via that offering. For example, pulling a report that might show the following breakdown:

    Interface Issue - 15% of all calls

    Data Loading Issue - 15% of all calls

    Fees Issue - 10% of all calls

    Invoicing Issue - 25% of all calls

    Inventory Management Issue - 15% of all calls

    Other - 20%

    My question is mostly in regards to reporting. Is it possible with a simple list to pull report data? Or will I need to to go down the class extension new property path if I'm looking to report on this?

    (Apologies if I have been a bit vague)

  • Options
    Adam_DzyackyAdam_Dzyacky Product Owner Contributor Monkey ✭✭✭✭✭

    Continuing on with the mapping the Simple List to the SR Description field, yes - totally doable. It'd be something to the effect of...

    SELECT count(SR.Description) as 'Total', SR.Description as 'Category', SR.Title

    FROM ServiceRequestDim as SR

    WHERE (SR.Description = 'Interface Issue' OR SR.Description = 'Fees Issue')

    GROUP BY SR.Description

    ORDER BY Total desc

    Since it isn't a formal List value, there aren't any joins required to get a plain text display name. You can just query the field directly. I think this answers your question?

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