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27-Aug-2008 Unfiled reports, Collate, and Analyse-it 3

In May this year, we surveyed users of the Analyse-it Method Evaluation edition to gain insight into how we can improve Analyse-it in future. Thank you to all those who responded.

In the responses, one issue became clear: the unfiled reports feature causes confusion.

When you run an analysis, Analyse-it creates a new worksheet containing the statistics and charts for that analysis (what we call a report). Analyse-it places the report in a temporary workbook called Unfiled reports. From there you can then decide what you want to do with the analysis: keep it, print it, e-mail it, or discard it. If you want to keep it you click the Collate button (see below), and Analyse-it moves the report into the same workbook as your dataset.

You might wonder where the idea of unfiled reports originated. It was actually a carry-over from Astute, the predecessor to Analyse-it. We implemented the same feature in Analyse-it without really questioning it. We thought the feature would be useful to help you manage reports, plus most Astute users upgrading would expect it.

The survey revealed different. It seems the feature probably causes more confusion than it’s worth. It seems most uesrs tend to keep the analysis reports, and prefer Analyse-it to place reports in the same workbook as the dataset. The survey revealed:

  • Some users didn’t realise the report worksheets could be moved from unfiled reports to their own workbook, and instead used copy-paste to copy the statistics and charts to their own worksheet. This caused loss of formatting, and meant the reports couldn’t be edited or updated later.
  • Some users thought they needed to save the unfiled reports workbook containing the Analyse-it analyses. That meant they had two workbooks: one containing the data, and another containing the Analyse-it reports. Managing two workbooks caused more problems, especially if either were deleted.

We contacted the survey respondents reporting such concerns directly, to explain how they could better manage the Analyse-it reports. Since we're now working on Analyse-it 3.0, we've been reconsidering the unfiled reports feature.

What do you think?

Do you like the unfiled reports feature? Would you prefer Analyse-it place analysis reports in the same workbook as your dataset? From there you can choose whether to keep them, or delete them. Or do you think there’s a case for Analyse-it 3.0 to support both options?

Post a comment below to let us know your thoughts, so we can improve this feature in Analyse-it 3.0.

Comments

I would recommend that the "unfiled" reports feature be eliminated. I would prefer that the report be automatically be appended to the workbook which contains the data for the analysis.
I would prefer it in the same workbook.
I like having the choice of whether to file the reports or not. I would vote for keeping it the way it is.
Generate the reports in the same workbook but give the option to save or delete it after reviewing, i.e., delete or save without going back to the edit drop down menu and delete sheet option in Excel
I would prefer it in the same workbook
I'd prefer to have the reports in the same workbook having the option to save or delete after reviewing.
With reference to the moving of unfiled reports into a workbook, I have always used this facility and think it is very useful.
I never had difficulties working with the unfiled reports.
I even think that it is good to have a look on the results obtained during analysis of the data, to see if yes or no they are to be integrated in the "central file".
Personally I would absolutely like to continue working with the unfiled reports.
Best regards Marco Balerna, EOLAB, Ticino, Switzerland

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