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Report Writing - Things to Know

Why do we create reports?

In AFS operational information is generally stored in Global Link. This is a great central resource for all of the partners and the information held in it includes:
  • Volunteer records

  • Organisation records

  • Participant information along with their applications and placement details

  • Travel information

  • Support and Monthly contact records
and many many other types too.

Often in AFS a staff member may want to view multiple types of this information which are stored in different sections of AFS Global all at the same time, or generate a simple list of schools, volunteers, participants, etc. However, in AFS Global it would take a long time to search through each record individually to find this information that they are looking for. This is where reports come in...

Reports allow you to pull together the information you are looking for in one place, without having seeing the information that you do not care about.

An Example:

Here is a list of every school in the country with their name, address and contact person. It would have taken a long time to search through each school record individually to find this information, but using a report I can see a complete list in one go.

To give you an idea of the types of reports which can be created here is a list of general topics:
  • Financial reports

  • Hosting participant reports

  • Sending participant reports

  • Support and Monthly Contact reports

  • Travel reports

  • Volunteer and Organisation reports

  • General labels and automated letters
It is also possible to combine these reports to create something really useful. An example of this would be a placement reports which pulls together the participants name and home country, along with their placement information and contact details (host family and school), monthly contact information and travel.

Because of this, reports can be very powerful and invaluable for partner organisations.

Where does the information come from?

In AFS we have a large central database. This holds most of the operation information for AFS and it is the backbone which powers many of the commonly used tools in AFS.

Here is a list of the network wide tools which currently pull their information from the central database:

Normally in tools such as the the Program Module, Finance Module and Global Link  this information is filtered and formatted so that it can be used for a purpose. This is because they are 'process driven' tools and are designed to help partners transfer information from one to other. However, when writing reports you create a direct connection to this database and pull the information you choose, formatting it however you like.
Nick Cooper,
Sep 23, 2010, 1:17 AM