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Advanced tools to refine your resource search

Our resource search allows for you to set several parameters and filters to help you find what you need. However, logged in users to iCarol can also use an advanced search system called “Query Language” to even further refine their results.

The Query Language is an advanced search system that allows you to refine search results by looking for specific values in resource record fields. iCarol Admins can turn on this feature in their iCarol system by following these steps:

    1. Click Admin Tools in the left hand menu.
    2. Click the Resources tab.
    3. Scroll down to the “Other settings” section.
    4. Click the box next to “Enable Query Language in Resource Searching” to place a check mark there.
    5. Click the Save settings button at the top of the page.

How to use the Query Language

    1. Log into iCarol from an account with viewing access to the Resource database
    2. Click on “Resources” from the left menu, or click on “Search resources” from a call report.
    3. Enter a search term in the search text box, and click search (eg. Food)
    4. To refine your search results you will add a specific code to the end of the initial search term. The code consists of a short code (or abbreviation) for a resource field, then an equals sign, followed by the value to search. (eg. Food elg=homeless), then click search. iCarol will then look for records were the original term exists AND where the additional field values exist.

    Please note, Query Language searches can be added to Taxonomy, Resources and custom Category searches.

Available Codes for Query Language searches

    Code Resource Field Searched (Example)
    adr= Exact address (eg. “adr=10025 106 Street”, “adr=Cambridge”)
    str= Address Line 1 & 2 (eg. “str=”Jasper”, “str=cambridge”)
    loc= City/Town (eg. “loc=Toronto”, “loc=Washinton”)
    pcd= Postal/Zip Code (eg. “pcd=”T6K 2W8”, “pcd=91210”)
    des= Description (eg. “des=taxes”, “des=women”)
    elg= Eligibility (eg. “elg=homeless”, “elg=unemployed”, “elg=low income”)
    enm= Main Contact, Senior Worker Verifiers Name (eg. “enm=Carol”, “enm=Neil”)
    hrs= Hours Opened (eg. “hrs=9:00am”, “hrs=3:00pm”)
    lng= Language (eg. “lng=french”, “lng=spanish”)
    acc= Accessibility/wheelchair (eg. “acc=yes”)

    Note: Multiple codes can be used on the same search, for example “Food Bank lng=french elg=feed”

Here are a few examples of searches using Query Language.

Below is a taxonomy search for “Food Pantries” with no Query Language codes added. There are 34 resources that meet the search parameters:

Search - no query language

In this next search, the Query Language code des=food is added, to find the resources assigned to the taxonomy term Food Pantries that also have the word “food” in their description. This reduces the total number of search results to 22. You can see in the first few results where “food” is found in the description of the agency or program.

Search - des=food

And in this final search, two Query Language search codes are added, des=food and loc=Gary. This search will find those resources assigned to the taxonomy term Food Pantries that have the word “food” in their descriptions, and that are also located in Gary. There are now 5 search results.

Search - des=food loc=Gary

With these advanced codes added to the search area, you can tell iCarol more specifically what criteria you’d like your search results to meet.

If you have any questions on how to use this feature, please send a request using the Online Case Submission Tool, found in your Help menu, for support.

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What are Preferred Language Settings in iCarol?

We recently added a new feature to iCarol that allows users to set their preferred language on the Volunteer and Staff member profile. This Preferred Language setting controls how date and currency values are displayed throughout iCarol. Previously this was typically controlled by your web browser language settings, however our new Preferred Language Settings within iCarol allow for more control and consistency while using our application.

There are three primary options including:

    English (US)
  • Date: MM/DD/YYYY (eg. 4/12/2015 = April 12, 2015)
  • Currency: periods (eg. $299.00)
    English (Canada)
  • Date: DD/MM/YYYY (eg. 12/4/2015 = April 12, 2015)
  • Currency: periods (eg. $299.00)
    English (Great Britain)
  • Date: DD/MM/YYYY (eg. 12/4/2015 = April 12, 2015)
  • Currency: commas (eg. £299,00)

For our clients elsewhere in Europe, Asia, and Australia, you are welcome to choose whichever format above aligns best with your business practices.

Volunteers and Staff can change their Preferred Language Setting. The preferred language can be changed directly by the User, or by an Administrator. To make these changes, take the following steps:

    Note: By default all new users are created with English US as their preferred language.

    1. Log into iCarol
    2. Click on “Vols – Staff” from the left menu
    3. Navigate to the User profile to update, click on the users “First Name”
    4. Click on “Edit” on the User Profile
    5. Navigate to the “Profile” tab
    6. Update the “Preferred Language” setting
    7. Click “Save”
volunteer staff profile preferred language setting

Admins can change the system setting for Regional Formatting for Exports. Exported information from iCarol requires a system default for how to format data in exports. Here’s how you set those controls:

    1. Log into iCarol as an Admin
    2. Click on Admin Tools
    3. Click on the Setup tab
    4. Navigate to the Regional Formatting for Exports section
    5. Change your preferred language to receive data exports in
    6. Click “Save all settings”
Admin tools language setting for exports

NOTE: The system setting for Regional Formatting for Exports does not affect the default that users are created in, all new user will default to English US (as it’s the first in the list).

Now you can begin choosing what date and currency formats your users will see when using iCarol, as well as how those formats will appear in Exports. If you have any further questions about this, please contact our support team.

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Configure Details Displayed in the Search Results List

We recently added the ability for clients to configure which details of resource records are displayed in the search results list. This provides additional information to users, without having to open the resource record by clicking details.

Fields that may be included are:

  • Coverage Areas (may slow performance)
  • Application Process
  • Eligibility
  • Languages Offered
  • Hours of Operation Note
  • Fees
  • Closest Site, or Location Description

The last setting “Closest Site, or Location Description” will be included in the results when a city value has been chosen from the Geographic Filters on the resource search page, and when the Program is linked to a ProgramAtSite record with location information.

Here is an example of a resource search results list without any of the above additional fields added:

no fields chosen

Here is the same search with all of the available additional fields chosen:

All Fields chosen

If you would like to turn on any of these options, please submit a case via the online case submission tool.

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Pre-Populating Searches on your Public Resource Directory

Note: This blog describes a process that helps you or your web developers create guided searches of your iCarol Public Resource Directory. While this is still relevant to users of that version of the Public Resource Directory, as of July 3, 2017 a new version of the Public Resource Directory includes a built-in Guided Search builder. Learn more…

Passing parameters from your website to your Public Resource Directory (PRD) is a great and easy way to help guide your users to helpful resources. This feature is included in the Public Resource Directory add-on at no additional cost.

Guided searches can save time, help your users find what they need, and if you use the 211 Taxonomy, can help improve your statistics by encouraging exact Taxonomy searches. Webmasters can pre-load the Public Resource Directory public search page by sending search parameters in the URL hyperlink.

A current example of a client who does this is http://montana211.org/. They put a custom search box on their main page, which was developed by their webmaster. When a search is conducted by a PRD user, they generate a URL for the resulting page. Not only can search terms be passed to the Public Resource Directory (PRD), but other search filters such as location can be passed to the initial search.

Another client who uses pre-populated searches is http://www.211oc.org/211oc-guided-database-search.html. The guided search enables the public users to choose a general category, and then presents them with a list of more specific categories. Once a more specific category is chosen, the public resource directory is pre-populated and the user is presented with a list of appropriate search results.

Basic PRD URL vs. Populated URL

Example of Basic PRD URL:
http://www.icarol.info/Search.aspx?org=2229

pre populate search public resource directory

This link will open the PRD in a new tab/window, with empty search criteria. A user will then have to enter a search term, choose geographic filters to refine their search, and initiate the search by clicking search (or choosing from the drop down list).

Example of a populated PRD search URL:
http://www.icarol.info/Search.aspx?org=2229&country=United%20States&stateprovince=NY&city=Rochester&county=Monroe&Search=food&
sort=Alphabetical&pst=Coverage&NameOnly=True

guided search pre populated public resource directory

This link will open the PRD in a new tab/window, but will include populated specific search criteria. iCarol will also complete the query before the page loads for the user, removing the extra step of clicking “search”. The user can change any of the filters or search terms to further refine sequential searches.

How to read the Populated URL

The parameters are passed within a defined section of the URL, and by programming the hyperlinks from your website to the pre-populated URL, you can pass these criteria to the PRD. Search parameter starts with the field name, includes an equals sign (=), then includes the parameter value to pass. Each parameter is separated by an ampersand (&). Example: &Search=food&sort=Alphabetical& You can get the populated URL by completing a search in your PRD system, and copying the URL from the address bar. For a more dynamic approach, your webmaster can use text boxes or drop down boxes to help guide a user’s input.

Understanding Available Parameters

Org – Org is your Organization number, the unique number used by iCarol to represent your system

http://www.icarol.info/Search.aspx?org=2229&country=United%20States&stateprovince=NY&city=Rochester&county=Monroe&Search=food&
amp;sort=Alphabetical&pst=Coverage&NameOnly=True

Country – Geographic Filtering for Country

http://www.icarol.info/Search.aspx?org=2229&country=United%20States&stateprovince=NY&city=Rochester&county=Monroe&Search=food&
amp;sort=Alphabetical&pst=Coverage&NameOnly=True

StateProvince – Geographic Filtering for State or Province

http://www.icarol.info/Search.aspx?org=2229&country=United%20States&stateprovince=NY&city=Rochester&county=Monroe&Search=food&
amp;sort=Alphabetical&pst=Coverage&NameOnly=True

County – Geographic Filtering for County

http://www.icarol.info/Search.aspx?org=2229&country=United%20States&stateprovince=NY&city=Rochester&county=Monroe&Search=food&
amp;sort=Alphabetical&pst=Coverage&NameOnly=True

City – Geographic Filtering for City

http://www.icarol.info/Search.aspx?org=2229&country=United%20States&stateprovince=NY&city=Rochester&county=Monroe&Search=food&
amp;sort=Alphabetical&pst=Coverage&NameOnly=True

PostalCode – Geographic Filtering for Zip/Postal Code

http://www.icarol.info/Search.aspx?org=2229&country=United%20States&stateprovince=NY&city=Rochester&postalcode=14603&county=Monroe
&Search=food&sort=Alphabetical&pst=Coverage&NameOnly=True

pst – [Coverage | Physical | All ] – Filter resources based on coverage area (“Resources serving”), physical location (“Resources within”), or omit this parameter to use your systems default.

http://www.icarol.info/Search.aspx?org=2229&country=United%20States&stateprovince=NY&city=Rochester&postalcode=14603&county=Monroe
&Search=food&sort=Alphabetical&pst=Coverage&NameOnly=True

Search – [Food] – Is the actual search term you want to find using the filters above. This can include the name of a specific resource, a general concept or phrase, or be specific such as a customized category or taxonomy term.

http://www.icarol.info/Search.aspx?org=2229&country=United%20States&stateprovince=NY&city=Rochester&postalcode=14603&county=Monroe
&Search=food&sort=Alphabetical&pst=Coverage&NameOnly=True

Sort – [Alphabetical | Proximity] – Is the sort order that the results will display in.

http://www.icarol.info/Search.aspx?org=2229&country=United%20States&stateprovince=NY&city=Rochester&postalcode=14603&county=Monroe
&Search=food&sort=Alphabetical&pst=Coverage&NameOnly=True

NameOnly – [True | False] – Set your search type to “Search Names” or “Search All Fields”, or omit this parameter to use your system default.

http://www.icarol.info/Search.aspx?org=2229&country=United%20States&stateprovince=NY&city=Rochester&postalcode=14603&county=Monroe
&Search=food&sort=Alphabetical&pst=Coverage&NameOnly=True

If your organization wishes to use this feature, or if you have any additional questions on how to use it, please submit a case to the iCarol Support Team via the Online Case Submission Tool, found in your Help menu.

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Using the Automated Verification Tool

The Automatic Resource Verification tool is a powerful tool used to update and maintain your Resource database. You can create any number of custom Verification Requests, to update large groups of Resources (up to 1,000 records at a time), or only specific records that need to be reviewed. Your Resource Contacts, or Verifiers, receive an email, with a link requesting them to review their information and submit any changes. They are able to work on the update over multiple sessions, and can submit their changes to you for approval when ready.

How to Create an Automatic Verification Request:

1. Log on to iCarol, using an account with Resource Editor privileges.

2. Click on Resources from the left menu, then to the right of the Geographic Filters choose “Verify” which will change the page to allow you to create a request.

automated verification of resources

3. Choose the automated verification request method (see explanation below) that best meets your needs.

4. Create search query/find the records you wish to include in the automated verification request. Here are some examples:

  • Find all Resources with a specific Taxonomy term. eg. “Suicide Issues”, “General Counselling”, “Homeless meals”, “Homeless people”, etc.
  • Find all Resources with a specific Keyword/Category term eg. “Meals”, “Income Tax”, etc.
  • Find all Resources that have a specific word in their Resource Name. eg. “Meal”, “Counselling”, “Mental Health”, etc.
  • Find all Resources that have a specific word or phrase in any field on the Resource Record. eg. “Low income”, “form filling”, etc.
  • Find all Resources that have a Custom Field Value chosen. eg. “Update Quarter”, “Update Month”, etc.

5. Apply any additional filters to the request, such as including only Agency or Program Records, Geographic Restrictions, or Resources that have not been updated within a specific time frame. Once you have applied all the filters you wish to the search, click the Search button. You will be presented with a list of resources that meet your search criteria. Here is what the list will look like:

Verification search results

6. Deselect any resources you do not want to send in the request by unchecking them. Please note, as soon as one Resource record is deselected, Setup Method 2 will apply to the automated verification request (see below).

7. Click “Start a verification request with these search results” to configure the automated verification settings.

Note: Only one query can be used per automated verification request. If you want to send a request to all Resources with “Meal”, or “Food” in their name, you will have to create two separate requests, unless you can find a search query that will include records in both searches. This is an example of where Custom Fields may be an option.

Setup Methods for the Automated Verification Request:

Method 1: Preform a search, and create the automated verification request from ALL listed/found resources. As soon as you deselect any displayed Resource, you are now using Method 2. Important to note, the query you use to create a Method 1 automated verification request will be saved, and repeated at the time the request is actually sent. If any changes happen to your Resources between the initial creation of the automated verification request, and when it is sent, all records that are found in the same query will be sent.

Use example: On Monday, you decide to send an automated verification request to all resources that have a “Suicide Issue” term applied. However, you end up busy and unable to send the automated verification request that day, and decide to delay sending it, until Friday. In the meantime, you or other team members have added a new service, and updated the taxonomy/category of other services, with the “Suicide Issue” term. When the automated verification request is sent on Friday, all records that match the initial query will be included, including those that were not included when the automated verification request was first created on Monday.

Method 2: Perform a search, and deselect/select only the specific resources that you want to contact.

Use example: You receive a complaint that an agency “Fruit Rescue Coop” is no longer running. You want to send an automated verification request to just this agency to inquire about the status of their programs.

Explaining the Automated Verification Request Email Settings:

AVR Settings

Setting 1 tells the automated verification request what email address to send the request “From”. You can choose to use the iCarol default (which a verifier cannot reply too), or to setup your own “From” email address by contacting iCarol Support. Please note that verifiers are only able to reply to a verification request to you directly, if you setup your own “From” email address.

Setting 2 tells the automated verification request what template you want to use when sending the request. You can setup multiple templates with custom phrasing for your verification requests by using the “Create and edit email templates” link at the top of the automated verification request page.

Setting 3 tells the automated verification request in what order to look for email addresses. The default is “Main Contact” first, “Senior Worker” second, “Last Verified By” third, and “General Email” fourth – however, you can customize this to any order that you prefer. When the automated verification request is sent, it will look into each of these fields, in the order you specify, to determine where to send the request.

Setting 4 tells the automated verification request what records to include in the request. This setting modifies the initial request creation method.

  • To all the Agency’s child records” no matter which setup method you choose for the automated verification request, ALL the agency’s records will be included in the request, even if they do not match the initial query in method 1.
  • To child records only that match the search criteria above” will expand the initial search, to include the resources that match the query in the first method of setting up the automated verification request.

Setting 5 tells the automated verification request what emails to look at to send the request, and if one does not exist, which email to use instead.

  • Ignore the parent Agency, just use whatever email is found in each Program or Site” tells the automated verification request to ignore the Agency (Parent) record, and to use what is found in the Program or Site record (Child records), in the order specified in Setting 3. If no email is found, the record will not be sent.
  • If no email address is found in a Program or Site, then try to find one in it’s parent Agency” This is a good option for when Programs may or may not have their own contacts. The automated verification request will look for an email address in the Program or Site records (Child records), in the order specified in Setting 3.
  • Only use email addresses from the parent Agency, not from the Program or Site” tells the automated verification request to ignore any emails found in the Program or Site records (Child records) and to send all records to the Agency (Parent) record, in the order specified in Setting 3.

Setting 6 tells the automated verification request how to include ProgramAtSite records, if they exist in the request (a combination of Setup Method, and Setting 4). If they exist, they are sent either “merged” or “separately”.

  • “Merged” – “Program Contacts” tells the automated verification request to merge ProgramAtSites with the attached Program. Verifiers can confirm/remove which sites are linked to the Program, and can provide general notes about the changes. Setting 5 and Setting 3 then determine which email to send the merged record too.
  • “Separately” – “ProgramAtSite Contact if one exists, otherwise program contact” tells the automated verification request to include the ProgramAtSite records separately. The automated verification request then looks at Setting 5 and Setting 3 to determine which email to send the separate record too. Note: The ProgramAtSite record exists independent from the Program, and may, depending on Setting 5, and if an email exists in the ProgramAtSite record, be sent alone, with an Agency Record and/or with a Program record.

If your organization wishes to use this feature, or if you have any additional questions on how to use it, please submit a case to the iCarol Support Team via the online case submission tool.

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