Have questions?  info@icarol.com

Follow Us! iCarol software twitter iCarol software Facebook iCarol software YouTube iCarol software LinkedIn     |    FREE TRIAL     |     SIGN IN
Logo
Logo

How to Read Call Report Exports

Call report exports in iCarol contain a lot of data, and it can be challenging to understand what is being shown or where to find the particular data you are looking for. This article will review how to request a call report export, the different files one receives when they complete a call report export, and what data is shown in these files.

Requesting a Call Report Export

To request a call report export, users with Admin security will click Admin Tools, in the left hand menu, then the Tools tab, then the link “Extract all of your data” in the Data Export section.

request_an_export

On the data export page, the right hand column will be used to request a call report export.

Data export details

The first drop-down menu, which shows “7 days ago” in the screenshot above, is a quick suggestion list you can use to denote what time frame you want to use for the resource export. If you would like to indicate a specific time frame for the export, use the two date field to denote a start and end date. Next, there are 3 check boxes to indicate what kind of export you would like to request; place a check mark next to “Call Reports”.

Under the title “Call Report export options”, you will see some information that says “Custom field columns will be ordered alphabetically. If you prefer a specific form’s fields to be first, please choose it below”. This is referring to the custom categories, groups and field that are in your call report. In the call report export, there will be one column for every custom group in your call report form, and these will be identified in this format: Category Name – Group Name. For example, Demographics – Gender. These columns will be arranged alphabetically by Category name. If your export will contain data from several different call reports, all categories from all call reports will be listed alphabetically. To say this another way, the columns, representing Categories, will not be in the order you see in the call reports, and categories from different call reports will follow each other, instead of all Categories from one call report first, then followed by the second call report, and so on. By choosing a particular call report with this option however, you can have all the categories from that call report come first, in alphabetical order, then followed by all the rest of the categories from all the rest of the call reports.

In the next section, you will choose which call reports you would like to export. By default, all call reports in your system are checked. If you would only like to export certain call reports, you will uncheck those you do not want to export. For those clients that only have one call report in their system, you will not see a list of call reports.

Finally, to run the call report export, you will click the “Start creating” button, found under the list of call reports.

Start Creating

As indicated in the note above the “Start creating” button, you will get an email when the export is ready. At that time, you will return to this page and you will find a link, on the right hand side of the screen, which you will click to download the export files. Usually, exports will be ready in an hour or two, but sometimes will take longer. Exports that contain a lot of data and cover a large period of time will take longer to generate, and if you request an export at a time when many other clients are requesting exports (for example, at the beginning of the month), your export will take longer to generate.

Call Report Export Files Received

When you return to the exports page after receiving the email that your export is ready, the export will be found on the right hand side of the screen as below.

Exports ready

Click on the download you would like to open. When it opens, you will see you have received several different files, as shown below.

Export file list

Call Report Export Files Explained

CallReports

This is the most often referred to call report export file, as it contains all the data collected for every call report submitted in the time frame indicated for the call report export. This file has a column for every field in the call report, both “standard” iCarol fields, and custom categories, groups and fields. Some highlights of this export are outlined below.

call reports file detail
Click on the image above to see a larger version

Column C, LinkedToCallReportNum, will only have data in it if you are using embedded call reports. Embedded call reports are call reports that are related to each other. Many clients embed separate risk assessments to call reports, and other clients embed follow-up forms, for example. If there is an embedded call report linked to the call report shown in the row in the export, the call report number of the linked call report will be noted in this column.

Column G, CallerNum, will only show something different than -1 if a caller profile was chosen for the call report. iCarol gives a number to all caller profiles which will be noted in this column.

Column K, PhoneWorkerNum, will show the number iCarol assigned to each of your users.

call reports file detail 2
Click on the image above to see a larger version

Columns M through R refer to an old way of tracking non-transactional calls that we are not using for newer clients. Older clients may still be using this tool, which places a horizontal list of checkboxes just below the Contact Information section at the top of the call report, as shown below.

Call Report Contact Information

If you are not using this tool, you will always see Yes in column M, and No in columns N-R. If you are using this tool, No will be shown in Column M if Yes is shown in in one of the columns N through R, indicating that the call was a hangup, obscene, prank, wrong number, or silent call.

Columns U-AA indicate the caller’s location as noted in the location fields in the Contact Information section (shown in the screenshot above). Each iCarol client can determine which of these location fields appear; some clients choose to turn some or all of these location fields off. Even if these fields are turned off in all your call reports, these columns will still appear in the export, they will just be blank.

call reports file detail 3
Click on the image above to see a larger version

Columns AF-AP all refer to fields in the Contact Information section of the call report. Again, some clients choose to turn some or all of these fields off. Even if they are turned off, they will still appear in the export, but will be blank.

call reports file detail 4
Click on the image above to see a larger version

Column AQ is first default text field on the Content Tab of the call report. By default, this field is called “Call Description”, though this name can be changed.

Column AR is the “Worker’s Comments” text field on the Content tab. This field can be turned off; even if it is turned off, this column will still show on the export, but will be blank.

Column AS is the “Feedback from supervisors and staff” text field on the Content tab. This field, and therefore, the feedback function, can be turned off but again, the column will still appear in the call report export.

Column AT is the “Caller’s Feedback” text field on the Content tab. This field can be turned off but again, the column will still appear in the call report export.

Columns AU-BC are additional text fields that can be added to the Content tab. These additional text fields are added via the “Overall settings for this call report form” page when editing call reports using the call report editor. Again, even if these additional fields are not used, they will appear in the call report export.

call reports file detail 5
Click on the image above to see a larger version

Column BD will contain a number other than -1 if the worker who entered the call report is not a deleted user. iCarol assigns a Worker Number to all users in your system.

Column BH refers to the “reviewed for accuracy” function that clients can turn on via the Calls tab in Admin Tools.

Columns BI-BK refers to the feedback function in iCarol. If feedback is being given on call reports, there will be data in these columns.

Column BL will show all the referrals given to the caller, both those found in the resource database and linked to the call report, and out of database referrals, if that functionality is turned on. Please note that if more than one referral was given, the referrals will be separated by semi-colons in this column of the export.

Column BM refers specifically to instant messaging call reports where the IP address of the visitor is recorded in the call report.

call reports file detail 6
Click on the image above to see a larger version

The custom categories and groups added to the call report begin at column BN. All columns before this point were “standard” iCarol fields, some of which can be turned off in the call report. All custom categories and groups, as stated earlier, are arranged alphabetically by Category name, then Group name. In the example call report export shown in the screenshot above, you can see the first 5 custom groups in the call report listed by their Category name, then Group name. The data you find in each row for these columns will indicate what Field was selected in the Group if it is a drop-down or checkbox Group, or what text was entered if the Group is formatted as a text Group.

CallReportCustomFields

Call Report Custom Fields

This report shows the selections made in custom categories, groups and fields for all call reports submitted in the time frame of your export. Each block of color in the screenshot above represents one call report, as indicated by the call report number in column A. Please note that column F is labeled “SubCategoryName” which is also known as the Group, and column G is labeled “Answer”, also known as the Field. If a Group is formatted as text, the text entered into that group will be shown in column I.

CallReportFollowups

Call Report Follow Ups

This file will show follow-up activities created or edited during the time frame of the call report export. Please note, a follow-up activity created outside of the time frame indicated will not be included in this file, but if that same activity was edited in the time frame, it will be shown in this file. The columns in this file refer to the fields found in the “Schedule a Follow-up activity section” on the Finish tab of call reports. Each client can control which fields appear in this section via the Calls tab of Admin Tools. However, all of the columns will appear in the export even if you have turned off a specific field, they will just be blank.

Please note columns J-L. These fields will be populated if the client has turned on, via the Calls tab in Admin Tools, the function to note follow-ups with a purpose (assistance, advocacy or survey). If this function is turned on, the follow-up purpose will be selected from a drop-down menu that will appear at the top of the “Schedule a Follow-up activity” section.

CallReportNeedsMetAndUnmet

Call Report Needs Met And Unmet
Click on the image above to see a larger version
Call Report Needs Met And Unmet 2
Click on the image above to see a larger version
Call Report Needs Met And Unmet 3
Click on the image above to see a larger version
Call Report Needs Met And Unmet 4

This export only applies to those clients using the Needs by Taxonomy function, where each call report notes a need, and any referrals made are noted as meeting the need or not. This file includes:

  • the referral made (columns D and E)
  • the Need noted (columns F and G)
  • the caller’s location and phone number (columns H-N)
  • if the Need was unmet, and if so, the reason (columns O-P)
  • the breakdown of the taxonomy term chosen as the need (columns Q-Z)
  • the AIRS Need Category the need falls into (column AD)
  • the parent agency the referral belongs to (columns AF and AG)

CallReportsLinkedTogether

Call Reports Linked Together

This very small export (only 2 columns of data) only applies to those clients using embedded call reports. As noted earlier, embedded call reports are a way to link two different call reports together. Two common ways this is being used is for separate risk assessment call reports, and follow-up call reports. This report will show the call report numbers of those call reports that are linked together, or related.

CallReportsOutofDatabaseReferrals

Call Reports Out of Database Referrals

For those clients using the Out of Database Referrals functionality, this file will contain the details of the out of database referrals made during the time frame of the export. Any details of the resource that the call taker included (Agency name, Program name, phone number, address, website, etc.) will be shown in this file.

Analysis of Export Files

The files are exported in .csv format, which can be displayed by Microsoft Excel. It is highly recommended that one have some knowledge of how to use Excel and its various functions to aid in analysing the data in the export files. There are many books, websites and courses that can teach one to use Excel.

One particularly helpful function is filtering. Using filtering, one can find very specific call reports. For example, you could use filtering to find all call reports from male callers (assuming, of course, that the gender of the caller is recorded in the call report). You can add an unlimited amount of filters to find increasingly specific call reports, such as male callers over the age of 60 who lives in Beverly Hills and discussed physical health concerns during their call.

In some cases, the particular data you might like to analyse will be contained in separate export files. For example, details on follow-ups are not contained in the same file as selections made in custom Groups. In this case, learning how to create pivot tables in Excel is very useful. In this way, you can link two files together to get a full picture of the call itself and the follow-up.

One last note – if you would like to save an export file to your hard drive, ensure you save it as an Excel file extension (.xlsx or .xls for example).

Continue Reading

AAS conference registration now open

Registration is open for the 49th Annual American Association of Suicidology (AAS) Conference in Chicago.

AAS is a great organization for any crisis or suicide prevention center to be involved with. They offer certifications and accreditations for both crisis centers and individuals, as well as membership benefits like discounted trainings and conferences, free consultations and webinars, and more.

Their annual conference is always filled with learning opportunities and chances to connect with experts and network with members of the industry. For an idea of what it’s like, check our our blog recapping the conference in 2015.

You can access more information like the conference brochure and online registration at the AAS website.

We hope to see you there!

Continue Reading

4 staffing strategies to help you weather the storm

blizzard snow storm

Ample staffing at your non-profit helpline is always a top challenge, but bad weather brings with it a whole new set of staffing hurdles. Snowy and icy conditions* can especially spell trouble for seamless shift coverage. Particularly powerful storms not only disrupt travel for days, but they have the potential to impact essential infrastructure like electricity and running water. These weather events take strategy and pre-planning to work through them successfully.

Depending on the severity of the storm, you may have no special plan at all except to tell your specialists that they are expected to be there for their shift or find a substitute to cover for them. In many snow storms, travel is possible so long as precautions are taken, such as driving at slower speeds and being extra vigilant. Call centers in urban settings may also benefit from having volunteers living within walking distance or taking public transportation.

But sometimes travel conditions can become extremely hazardous or even impossible. What then? Here are some methods we’ve commonly seen:

  • The show must go on – Shifts go on as scheduled no matter what. Workers who can’t make it in must give ample notice and find substitutes who are able to travel. iCarol’s shift scheduling tools support you and your staff throughout this process; automatic substitute request emails greatly improve the visibility of your needs and the chances of pick-ups from others.
    • Pros: Little to no prior planning or change to your normal operations.

      Cons: The absence of any back up plan can spell trouble, so you should have some alternative options in mind just in case. Your volunteers may have the best intentions of making it in, but the reality is that Mother Nature can easily stop us in our tracks and there’s only so much a person can realistically do when faced with heavy accumulations and impassable roads. You won’t want to be faced with the scenario where the previous shift is stuck with no relief. Take a moment to also consider the consequences of a potential road accident and injury to your volunteer when traveling in dangerous conditions, and the emotional and potentially litigious repercussions of demanding that volunteers travel in unsafe conditions. Further, when a State of Emergency is declared, it often requires that road travelers have their vehicle outfitted with special equipment, and drivers disobeying the order may even be fined.
  • Transfer your calls – In some instances there may be a partner agency, satellite office of your program, or a back-up center in an area unaffected or less affected by the weather, and they can take the lead on operations for a period of time. Our Call Report form sharing functionality makes it easy for you to pass your service delivery on to other centers, while they use your preferred form(s) to log the interactions they’re taking on your behalf. This also ensures your data collection and the resulting reporting can be seamless regardless of who is actually providing the service.
    • Pros: Less direct impact on you, your volunteers, and staff during the event. Being able to simply forward your service to someone else is very convenient.

      Cons: This does come with a few sacrifices. First, your service delivery is being entrusted to others for a period of time. Necessary MOU’s and other contracts should be in place well in advance to ensure that same or acceptable level of service will be provided by the back up center. Consider any financial compensation that must be paid out as well. And you’ll want to have understandings about proper data collection, call handling policies, and more.
  • Work from home – Technology has made it easier than ever to turn any setting into a call center, even your workers’ homes. Calls could get forwarded to that worker’s personal phone or a phone loaned to them from the office. Chats or texts can be taken from virtually anywhere as well. Special tip for iCarol users who might employ this method: You must either turn off ‘Restriction’ (the feature that makes it so your workers can’t see call reports from a personal computer outside the office) or give your staff and volunteers permissions to install the iCarol Certification Tool on their computer. You can read more about this here.
    • Pros: You’re unlikely to get much push back from your volunteers or staff about this plan; the idea of staying warm, cozy, and off the roads will send many a helpline worker to their happy place. Plus, you won’t have to worry about people physically making it in to the call center for their shift. Worried about productivity? The term is referred to as “shirking from home” — the concern that your employees won’t actually get anything done and left to their own devices will shirk their responsibilities. The good news is, numerous studies have discovered that this is a generally unfounded fear. A Stanford University study of call center workers found home work resulted in a 13% performance increase, people took fewer breaks and sick days, and 4% more calls per minute handled thanks in part to a quieter and more convenient working environment. Home workers also reported improved work satisfaction, and their attrition rate was cut in half. These days there are plenty of communication methods available making it so that remote workers won’t feel disconnected. Keep in mind that with iCarol your supervisors can remotely silent monitor chat and text conversations, leave feedback on logged interactions, put out News alerts, send instant messages to your workers via Internal Chat, send emails and SMS messages, and more. Technology has made us more connected with one another than ever before, even if we’re physically separated by many miles.

      Cons: Most modern phone systems have many remote controls that allow you to sign in remotely and forward calls as needed, but some might require you to be on-site to activate the call transfers. If there are no remote capabilities for controlling where the calls are landing, then that means someone has to make it into the office to flip the switches, possibly rendering the work-from-home scenario moot. You’ll also want to consider home office digital security, and whether or not having employees work off-site violates the terms of any of your contracts. There’s also the matter of assuring your volunteers and staff have a suitable work environment free from distraction or disruptive noise or potential confidentiality violations. They also won’t be able to take advantage of some of the infrastructure that may be available at your center, like battery backups or generators in case of a power outage.
  • Camping out – Marshmallows optional. When the forecast calls for dangerous weather and snow accumulations that might make travel impossible, make a decision ahead of time to suspend the usual schedule, and instead have a crew arrive prior to hazardous road conditions developing. This crew will stay for a period of time until travel is safe again and shifts can resume.
    • Pros: Again, you’ll be free from having to worry about workers traveling or one shift getting stuck because relief didn’t arrive. The whole idea here is that they know they’ll be stuck for awhile, and they’re (hopefully) okay with that. This is a policy you could develop long before winter weather strikes, so that you aren’t faced with a chaotic scramble for a solution just before a blizzard hits. You may even cultivate your list of willing participants ahead of time as well. Being able to make these decisions in advance without the storm bearing down on you is certainly a benefit, simply activate the plan when needed.

      Cons: Directors, Managers, and other decision-makers will want to stay in close contact and clearly communicate expectations, especially concerning staff arrival time and decisions about when normal operations should resume. Volunteer or staff health and well-being is a concern. Does your call center have adequate facilities to keep them comfortable for an extended stay of 24 hours or more? Think about bathrooms, bathing and personal hygiene, and food access and preparation. Mentally and emotionally, how will your staff deal with being at the office for a long period of time? They’ll need to have regular breaks and take time for uninterrupted sleep, which means this plan usually requires at least two participants. You’ll also want to review labor laws in your area to be sure your policy doesn’t violate ordinances relating to a worker’s right to ample breaks, and whether or not additional financial compensation is required.

    How do you keep your helpline operating in spite of dangerous travel conditions for your volunteers and staff?Do you employ one of the strategies above, or do you handle winter storm scheduling some other way? We’d love to hear about it! Leave us a comment!

    * While this article refers specifically to blizzards and other winter weather conditions, these strategies could be employed during any disaster scenario, natural or man-made.

    Continue Reading

    The hottest trend in self-soothing

    A unique, and nostalgic, activity has gained quite a bit of attention in recent months.

    I’m talking of course about adult coloring books. I first started hearing about them last summer and by the holiday shopping season ads and stories filled my news feed. I LOVED (seriously, I cannot emphasize enough just how much) coloring and drawing as a little girl, so the idea that this was now an acceptable past time for me 30+ years after I first used a crayon was exciting.

    In addition to being just plain fun, there are many reasons to believe this activity has mental health benefits.

    According to this article in Psych Central, part of soothing our stress comes from calming our amygdala, the part of our brain that alerts us to danger and gives us a panicked feeling. Problem is, if this area is overactive we might feel highly stressed even when we’re actually not being threatened, and that can lead to anxiety and levels of stress seen in other mental illnesses. Focusing on something like coloring an image can have a centering effect that gives your amygdala some time off, experts suggest.

    Other experts note that when you color, you’re using both hemispheres of your brain. On one hand it’s a very creative activity, but behind that creative action is a focus on a strategy, whether or not you realize it at the time. You’re also making color choices as part of that strategy, and practicing fine motor skills.

    Now where did I leave those crayons…
    young dana washington post

    Engaging in coloring and art projects before bedtime can also help you sleep. Many authorities on sleep and circadian rhythm advise against using your mobile phone, computer, or watching TV within an hour or more of bedtime, because their screens and deeply engaging content have a stimulating effect. Like reading, coloring could be a great non-technology activity to help you wind down before your head hits the pillow.

    Of course there’s something to be said for any activity that reminds you of back when you were a kid and had far fewer worries on your mind. We might not have realized it at the time, but being picked last for dodgeball or not being invited to the popular kid’s birthday party was small potatoes compared to the stressors we’d face in college, careers, relationships, raising kids, or caring for aging parents.

    So not just because I used to love it so much as a kid, but also because I struggle with mild to moderate anxiety, I’m anxious (see what I did there?) to give it a try. Have you gotten in on this latest trend in mental health? Let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment.

    For more on this topic, check out some of these articles:

    Self-Soothing: Calming the Amygdala and Reducing the Effects of Trauma
    The Therapeutic Science Of Adult Coloring Books: How This Childhood Pastime Helps Adults Relieve Stress
    Coloring books for adults: we asked therapists for their opinions
    7 Reasons Adult Coloring Books Are Great for Your Mental, Emotional and Intellectual Health
    Anti-Stress Coloring Books for Adults: The Latest Way to Relax
    Will a coloring book help you sleep better?
    Why adult coloring books are good for you

    Continue Reading

    Our next Quarterly Enhancement Webinar is next week!

    Available space is filling up fast! If you haven’t already, please be sure to register for our Quarterly Enhancement Review scheduled for next Wednesday January 6th at 12pm EDT.

    Because iCarol is a web-based program, our software is updated and new features deployed via regular releases. In this webinar we plan to review some of our best and most useful features from recent months, and give you a few exclusive sneak peeks at features being released very soon. Just some of the advantages of these new tools? You can:

    • Improve your chat and text service delivery
    • Increase productivity and efficiency when providing resource and referral services
    • Enhance communication within your networks
    • Meet your follow-up mandates with less impact on your staff
    • Gather data from the public, your clients, potential volunteers and others via new channels
    • And more!

    We hope you can join us next week and hear in person about all the latest tools that help your daily workflow. Please click the link below to register. Can’t join us on the 6th? The webinar recording will be up on our site shortly after the webinar ends.

    Click here to Register

    Continue Reading

    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

    Like many others, we’re excited for the new Star Wars movie opening this weekend. The Star Wars universe has captivated imaginations for decades and many of us on the iCarol team count ourselves among the millions of fans around the world. Not only are they entertaining and action packed, but we identify with the values promoted throughout the films: friendship, integrity, bravery, loyalty, and passionate belief in a cause that will help others.

    Enjoy the movie, and May the Force Be With You!

    iCarol-Star-Wars-Force-Awakens

    Pictured from left to right:

      Tonya as C3P0
      Christa as Rey
      Jackie as Princess Leia
      Dana as Wicket, an Ewok
      Neil as Han Solo
      Jet as Darth Vader
      Polly as Yoda
      Britt as Shaak Ti
      Carmen as Obi Wan Kenobi
      Margitta as Luke Skywalker

    Continue Reading

    Join our next Quarterly Enhancement Review Webinar

    Our next Quarterly Enhancement Review webinar is scheduled for Wednesday January 6th as 12pm EDT.

    In this fast-paced webinar, with time for questions, we’ll review some of the features released in recent months that help you:

    • Better identify and serve chat visitors at risk for suicide
    • Share information and communicate with partners
    • Find resources for your clients
    • Be educated on iCarol response times and network availability
    • …and more!

    The webinar will be most beneficial and interesting to current iCarol clients who are Program Managers or Directors and use iCarol at an Administrator security level, or those who are considering subscribing to iCarol. That said, all are welcome to attend.

    We’re committed to providing excellent communication about iCarol capabilities, updates, and enhancements on a regular basis. We hope you’ll join us!

    Click here to Register

    Interested, but can’t make it on the 6th? No worries, we’ll have the recording available on our website shortly after the live broadcast.

    Continue Reading

    CONTACT Care Line to open new call center in 2016

    CONTACT Care Line has announced that they’ll be moving ahead with a new call center in Knoxville, TN in 2016. Their current center has serviced this same area for years, but the new call center will be more centrally located, is not far from the University of Tennessee campus, and will be more convenient to access for their volunteers living in the area. This is all thanks to a very generous investment from an anonymous donor.

    We’re so happy to hear about this wonderful growth in their organization and excited to see what 2016 holds for them. Congratulations!

    To learn more about CONTACT Care Line please visit their website.

    We love spreading the word about the great work and accomplishments of helplines. Got a story to share? Please !

    Continue Reading

    A special message from our CEO

    santa claus st nicholas sack bag gifts present

    2015 will be remembered in our minds as iCarol’s best year ever by just about every metric. More non-profit help lines joined than in any previous year, making our adoption rate for crisis lines, information and referral agencies, and topic-specific help lines as high as it’s ever been. Along with several large statewide, multi-state and provincial projects, we’ve helped implement many dozens of new clients.

    The industry trend towards offering multiple channels of communication continues to surge. The majority of our existing and new clients are choosing to implement live chat, texting, or both to augment their phone-based services. Fortunately, iCarol handles these channels very well via iCarol Messaging, embedded directly in the platform.

    And we continue investing in iCarol’s capabilities, releasing over 1,600 coding changes and enhancements this year to advance and refine its capabilities. Our product roadmap is full of great new ideas driven largely by our clients which means many years of continued improvements to come. With just a month left in the year, our total uptime is 99.955%, which exceeds our annual goal. We’re planning to migrate our Canadian data centers early in 2016 to bring even more performance and stability.

    We’ve hired a number of bright experts from the non-profit help line world and our total staff has nearly doubled in size from the end of last year. You can expect to see expanded self-service tools, content and training as next year progresses.

    From all of us here at iCarol, thank you so much for traveling this journey with us and best wishes for your new year.

    Neil McKechnie
    CEO and Co-founder, iCarol

    Continue Reading

    Follow Us On Twitter

    iCarol Helplines Around the World!

    Copyright © 2020 iCarol

    iCarol helpline software   iCarol helpline software   iCarol helpline software   iCarol helpline software