DataFlex is very simple to get started with, but that doesn’t mean its capabilities end there. There are many advanced features that are very powerful and add a lot of flexibility in building reports. I’d like to go over three of these features: filters, custom groups, and metrics.
First, I’d like to talk about filters as they can be used by themselves and as building blocks in custom groups and metrics, which I’ll discuss later. From a basic point-of-view, a filter allows you to pick certain and restrict them based upon an element or group of elements in that category. Some examples include: auto loans, a credit score range, a minimum balance, an age range, members that live in a certain state, etc.
The simplest example of creating a more advanced filter is dynamic dates. For example, you may want to build a report showing members between 35 and 55 in order to target them for a promotional offer for July 2018. DataFlex has their birthdates, so you get to work building filters for birthdates between July 1963 and July 1983. But what happens if you want to run this promotion two or three times a year? The months need updating. And then next year, the years also need updating. Enter dynamic dates. You can add in offsets by days, months, and years from the current date, the posting date, the date the member joined, etc. Once this type of dynamic date filter is built, your report for 35-55 year olds will work without any changes to the filters, now and a year from now.
Earlier I mentioned that filters can be used as a building block. This is how: the same complex filters that can be built for a report can also be used inside custom groups. Normally, when looking at an attribute such as Product Category, you might be breaking out some data and metrics by each Product type. What if you don’t want to break things out that way? What if you wanted to group your CD products by term length, e.g. all 6 month CDs grouped together, all 12 month CDs grouped together, etc.? With a custom group these groups can be set up, and with filters, the term lengths for each group defined.
You’re also not just restricted to 1 filter per group. You can add nearly any other filter you can think of. For instance, add a minimum and maximum balance amount for those CDs, and an age filter. Now all of a sudden, instead of having a chart displaying information about each individual certificate product, you’ve got a chart that breaks out certificate products according to term, high and low balances, and age range of the members, allowing you to find more nuanced pattern in the data.
Similar to how filters can be used to build advanced custom groups, filters can also be used to build complex metrics. The straightforward usage of a metric is to have a metric column displaying the values (such as balance or quantity) associated with the product or member that is listed on the given row. DataFlex has the capability to build a filter into a metric to display a metric value for a more narrow (or in some cases, an entirely separate) portion of the data. What do I mean by this? Here’s an example:
You have a basic report that shows members and their current balances (perhaps this is a group of members that recently took advantage of a promotional offer of some sort). But you want to see what their balances are for a specific product (this could be the product in the promotional offer) while also comparing it to their overall balance. Creating a new balance metric and adding a filter for that specific product to this metric will now show the balance for that product, and this new metric can be displayed alongside the existing overall balance. Alternatively, adding a date filter to that metric would instead show the balance for that member for a previous date. Just as with the custom groups, even more powerful and complex filters can be added to metrics to create a more advanced, detailed report.
Contact us today to find out more about DataFlex
The advanced capabilities I covered make DataFlex more powerful and flexible to use than ever. I just barely scratched the surface with my examples. With skillful and creative use of custom groups, filters, and metrics, more complex and focused reports can be built. Contact LKCS today to learn more about DataFlex and what it can do for you.
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