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Posts Tagged ‘data collection’

3(.14) ways to use pie charts

Pie Chart

Happy Pi Day! What’s that exactly? Remember geometry and learning about finding the area and perimeter (aka circumference) of circles? To get your calculation correct, you need Pi in your equation. You might also see pi as the Greek letter “π”. It’s the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is always approximately 3.14159… (it’s actually been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond the decimal point!).

In the US and some other countries we write our dates in a MM/DD/YY format so today, March 14th, is 3/14. If you round Pi to it’s ten thousandth decimal place you get 3.1416 which means this year today is the ultimate Pi Day! And even though most other countries write their dates in a DD/MM format, today is generally accepted as Pi Day worldwide since we only have 12 months. If you’re nerdy like me, you can read more about Pi Day here. Yes, it’s a real thing. Yes, it has its own website.

In honor of Pi Day, here are 3 interesting uses of pie charts in iCarol.

1. A Bird’s Eye View

Use Pie Charts to give you a sort of broad overview of how the numbers or percentages are shaping up for a certain sub-category of your call form. Or, use it as an overview of your location breakdowns.

In the Analysis tab of Statistics, when selecting Chart Type, you have two Pie Charts to choose from, either Caller Issues and Demographics (which will start by showing you all the Categories on your call form) or Caller Location.

pie chart

The resulting charts are below. If you selected the Caller Issues and Demographics chart you get this broad overview of your call form Categories.

categories pie chart

And if you selected the Location pie chart you’ll see a high level look at the geographic location entries.

location pie chart

2. Drill down to get more detail

Once you’ve got that high level pie chart available, you can click on pieces of the pie to drill into the data below. Drilling into a Category will then show you the sub-categories that are available. These sub-categories are the Groups or questions asked within each category on your call form. On a location chart, drilling into the State or Province piece of the pie will show you the county level information.

If we take our Caller Issues and Demographics chart above and drill into the mauve colored “Issues” category, we’ll see the Issue choices of sub-categories.

Issues pie chart

If we click on the “Mental Health/Counseling” piece of the pie, we’ll drill down to the lowest available level, which are the field choices or answer options within that sub-category. These are the items you may find in the drop-down or list of check box choices on the call form.

mental health field choices

As mentioned, if you drill further down into the location pie chart, you’d get the counties breakdown. So if I click on Nevada, I’ll see the Nevada counties chosen.

Nevada counties

Clicking on Eureka county shows me how the city numbers shape up for that county.

Eureka cities

3. Percentage vs. Count

Remember if percentages aren’t really your thing and you’d like to see a count instead, just click the “Total Count” option for any of the pie charts shown.

Count vs Percentage

Now that I’ve told you a bit more about pie charts in iCarol, I suggest you go celebrate Pi Day in the truly best way possible — enjoy a piece of real, edible pie.


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New SMS Options: Text Notifications and Send Text Messages to Other Users in your iCarol System

Our clients spoke and we listened! Many clients expressed a wish for iCarol to be able to leverage text messaging in new and different ways. Therefore, we added three new ways to use text messaging in iCarol. This article will outline how to send text notifications and text messages to other users in your iCarol system, and a future article will outline how to conduct follow-ups via text message. These new options carry no set-up fee, but you will be charged a monthly fee for the text messages sent, at a rate of $40/1000 messages/month.

The new SMS options will first need to be turned on by an Admin in your iCarol system. They can be found by clicking Admin Tools in the left hand menu, and then the “Messaging” tab. Doing so will take you to the page pictured below, where you will want to click the box next to the first two options to place a check mark there, then click the “Save all settings” button at the top of the screen.

1 Admin Tools

Those individuals who would like to be able to receive SMS messages from other users or would like to receive notifications via SMS will need to edit their user profiles to include a mobile phone number, and to give permission for SMS messages to be sent to them. To do so, the user, or an Admin on their behalf, will click Vols-Staff in the left hand menu, then click on the name of the person whose profile they would like to edit. Next, click the Contacts tab, the click the Edit button at the top of the screen. Next, enter a phone number into the Mobile Phone field, and click the box next to “I permit SMS’s to be sent to this mobile phone” to place a check mark there. Finally, click the Save button at the top of the screen.

2 Profile

Please note the text in red. SMS messages from iCarol may be sent at any time. It is suggested that if you would not like to receive SMS messages during certain time frames, you explore your mobile phone options to determine if there is a setting you can use to delay delivery of SMS messages to certain time frames. Most mobile phones have this option so that, for example, it can be set so that SMS messages are not delivered between the hours of 11pm and 9am. Any message that might have been sent during that time frame is not delivered until after 9am. Alternately, most mobile phones also allow users to set their phone to silent, so that the notification sound that usually plays when a phone call or text message is received is not heard. Once the option to send SMS notifications is turned on, additional options are displayed on the Notifications tab of user profiles as below.

3 Notifications

Each individual, or an Admin on their behalf, can edit these options to indicate which notifications they would like sent via SMS.

To send a SMS message to another user, follow the steps below.

1. Click Vols-Staff in the left hand menu
2. Click on the name of the person you would like to send a message to
3. Click the Contact Info tab of the user profile
4. Click the mobile phone number
5. A new tab or window will open where you can type your message and send it

4 Send SMS

Non-Admin users can only send SMS messages to one user at a time. Admin users can send a SMS message to multiple users at once. They would do so by following these steps:

1. Click Vols-Staff in the left hand menu
2. Click the boxes next to the names of the people you would like to send a SMS message to, so there are check marks placed there
3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on the Send SMS link

5 Select coworkers

4. The form to type your message and send it will appear

6 Send SMS

A new report has been added to the Statistics page of iCarol to help you track how many SMS messages are being sent from your system. Admins can access this report by clicking Statistics in the left hand menu, then the Messaging menu. This report contains several filters so you can determine from what area of iCarol the SMS messages are being sent. “Between Staff and Volunteers” is the option to choose if you would like to see how many notification messages and messages between users are being sent.

7 Statistics

If you have any questions or need any clarification on this functionality, please do not hesitate to send a case to iCarol Support!

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Our Most Popular Statistical Reports explained

There are a plethora of reports available in the Statistics section of iCarol that can be used to illustrate many different facets of your service. Please see below for further information on some of the most commonly used reports.

One of the most basic reports is the call volume report. It shows how many call reports were submitted during the time frame specified.

iCarol Statistics Call Volume Chart

This report, and any report found in the “Chart Type” menu on the Analysis tab, can be filtered in a number of different ways. The filters available are:

Location – If you enter a specific location or list of locations, the resulting call volume chart will just show the calls from callers located in those locations. If you have a geography based funder who is interested in how many calls you received from a specific area, this filter can assist you in creating a report for the funder.

Time frame – You can enter a very specific time frame for your reports to cover, and you can also change the interval to such options as daily, monthly, hour of the day, day of the week, etc. You can also limit the report to specific days or the week or hours of the day. In this way, you could build a report that showed your call volume during business hours (9am-5pm Monday to Friday), and compare it to the call volume during non-business hours (5pm-9am Monday to Friday plus weekends).

Call Reports and Phone Workers – The Phone Workers drop-down menu will list all the users in your iCarol system. In this way, you could see how many calls each user is submitting. If you use several different call reports in iCarol, you can also user this filter to run call volume reports on just one of your call reports, or any combination of them you wish.

The final filter available is the Call Content Filter. This filter enables you the filter the call volume chart by any piece of data you collect in any of the custom fields on your call reports. You can add up to 5 call content filters. In the chart below, I have filtered to show calls on the topic of Gambling where the caller appreciated the service they received.

iCarol Statistics call content filters

Many clients have managers, board members or funders who are interested to see how many calls are being received in regards to a specific demographic or topic. A pie chart is a great way to illustrate this. When you first select the pie chart from the Chart Type menu on the Analysis tab of Statistics, the pieces of the pie will represent the categories on your call report. You will want to “drill down” into one of the categories to get to the more specific data by clicking on a piece of the pie. The pie chart will then show the groups in the category selected. You will want to “drill down” once more to get to the field level of your call report, where the most specific data is stored.

Here is an example. This pie chart shows the categories in the call report:

iCarol Demographics Pie Chart

I clicked on the “Caller Issues” piece of the pie. This chart shows all the groups in the “Caller Issues” category:

iCarol Statistics Demographics pie chart sub category

Finally, I clicked on the “Addiction” piece of the pie. The chart below shows the specific addiction issues the callers spoke about:

iCarol Statistics Demographics Pie Chart fields

Many iCarol clients track the needs of their callers via the AIRS taxonomy. With the “Needs by Taxonomy” report, these clients can see the most common needs of their callers. This information can be used to ensure call takers are trained appropriately, that appropriate resources to fill these needs are available in the resource database, and even to inform funders and policy makers about the needs of the community.

iCarol Statistics 211 Taxonomy AIRS Needs

The “Count of referrals to resources” chart shows which resources have been referred to the most often. This chart is another way to illustrate the needs of the community and could even be used to illustrate the need for expanded programs and increased funding.

iCarol Statistics Top Resources with most referrals

This is only a small number of the reports available in the Statistics section of iCarol. We encourage you to explore all the reports available and view the tutorial videos on Statistics to learn more. If you have any questions about Statistics in iCarol, please feel free to contact the Support Team at any time.

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New Call Report Form editing tool – Available now!

Starting today, administrators have editing control over nearly all aspects of call report forms. You can add all new categories and sub-categories, and arrange them where you like. Create pop-out categories that only appear when a certain field is chosen on the form. Add new options to your check box and drop down lists, custom order them, and remove options you no longer wish to appear. These tools and more are now at your disposal, giving you more control than ever before. In the time it would have taken to submit a request to make a change, you can now make that change yourself and see the results on your forms instantly. No more wondering what a change will look like — you can see it onscreen and adjust as needed.

Administrators access this tool on the main calls page by clicking a new button called “Manage Call Report Forms” found near the “New Call Report” button.

Manage Call Report Forms

Controls are easy to use and straightforward, with help tips available throughout when you hover over the different controls.

We want to make sure you understand how to use these tools, and so our team has prepared lots of resources for you to use. To get the most out of this new tool, we strongly suggest you read our a downloadable user guide you’ll find after you click the Manage Call Report Forms button, when editing one of your forms.

Call Report Admin Editing Tools Guide

We’ve also added nearly two dozen focused Help Articles located in the Help section. And, beginning with the release of iCarol version 2.25 scheduled for release on Friday, there will be many help videos to watch as well.

Prefer to learn via webinar? We’ll have several available, the first of which is happening this Thursday at 3pm EST. Find out more about what we’ll present and sign up for the time most convenient for you here.

We sure hope you love these new controls and capabilities, and that you’ll find value in being able to make these additions and changes without needing to submit support cases.

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On Deck: New Call Report Form Editing Tool


One of the greatest benefits of using iCarol is the ability to collect important data from the interactions you have with clients. Whether those interactions take place over the phone, via live chat or texting, or even in person, iCarol helpline software helps you collect exactly what you need using our customizable Call Report forms.

For awhile now, those with Administrator security permissions have had access to some tools that let them make some small changes. For example, they can change the name of a category or sub-category. They can also add items to a drop-down or check box list, and deactivate items that they no longer wish to appear. But we understand that many of our users have been eager to control and change even more on their own, without needing to contact our support team.

Graph with magnifying glass

This year our team spent a lot of time planning and mapping out how to give you more controls over Call Report form editing, and we’re excited to say that next week we plan to deploy a new tool which will greatly expand your options, so you, as an Administrator, will be able to edit nearly every aspect of your forms. Add, move, and deactivate categories, groups, and fields. See the impact of rearranging items in real time. Set up your own if-then field relationships.

What will this mean to you? Well, in the time it takes to submit a support request to our support team, you’ll be able to make your own changes. If you need to make timely changes, or changes that need to occur on a weekend or holiday, you’ll now be able to make those changes at those exact times since you directly control them. No more lag time between when you want it and when it’s complete, and no more wondering how it might look. We’ll of course offer short video tutorials and help articles to help you get the most from this new tool. Watch our blog and dashboard for more details, and the launch announcement, next week.

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iCarol to present at Child Helpline International’s Seventh International Consultation

We’re thrilled to have been invited by Child Helpline International to present at their upcoming global conference in London at the end of this month. Our founder, Neil McKechnie, will be discussing how professionals at centers manage and harness the power of helpline data and he’ll emphasize how folks analyze that data to better help children.

With iCarol’s integrated helpline software, users worldwide will log more than 5 million interactions this year alone through phone, live chat, and text messaging channels. This data, collected by over 45,000 users worldwide, is empowering individual organizations and collaborative groups to spot critical trends, improve their services and prove their value to their communities and funders. So in this presentation, we’re looking forward to highlighting how organizations; large and small, standalone or collaborative have used actionable, real-time data to create a safety net of concern to better help children.

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