Planchette Online is a dedicated web service that allows you to create, collect and consolidate reports using Excel spreadsheets as a medium. You don’t need to have prior knowledge of any programming language – all important functions and features can be configured using built in visual controls. The most catching feature of Plachette Online is that you can use your existing Excel spreadsheets as templates for your reporting forms and each report can be exported as Excel spreadsheet, making it ideal reporting tool.
In short, process of creating new reporting form can be separated into following steps:
- Create reporting form by using existing Excel spreadsheet as template or by designing one using built in Excel-like editor
- Define editable areas and add validation rules (if you didn’t added them yet in existing spreadsheet) to ensure that all entered data will be valid
- Add list of respondents – individual users, workgroups or independent respondents.
- Add permissions for reporting form or individual respondents to individual users
- Create reports and start collecting data
Creating reporting form
Reporting form can be created by administrator or by user who has permissions to add new reporting forms to Reporting Structure. Just switch to “Reporting Structure” navigation item and select “New” -> “Form“.
It is important to set reporting form name before moving further. When you are ready, upload your spreadsheet that is going to be used as template for reports – just switch to “Template” page, “File” tab and press “Open” button.
Once your spreadsheet is uploaded, you can switch to Full Screen Mode and continue editing spreadsheet as you see fit.
After you finished designing your template, it is time to define editable ranges on each worksheet. Just select area and press “Add To Named Range” button at “Home” page.
That’s it – users will not be able to edit anything beside this range of cells. You can add as may ranges as you like to single Named Range from any worksheet or you can create separate Named Range for every editable range – its up to you. Set “Type” to “Editable” to let users edit cells of this range. Set “Type” to “Dynamic” to let users to clone this range – everything in dynamic range can later be cloned by user, this includes editable ranges parts that overlaps with dynamic range.
Now you are ready to add a few Respondents to this form to define who and under what name will fill out reports. Switch to “Respondents” tab and add a Respondent:
As you see, you can add several kinds of Respondents:
- Unbound Respondent is useful when you want to control Respondent permissions yourself
- User Respondent is useful if you want designate specific user to fill out report, this user will automatically receive Edit permission on every report of this Respondent
- Workgroup Respondent can be used when you want to delegate your authority of appointing users to edit reports of this Respondent. In this case, administrators of workgroup will decide which workgroup member will be able to edit the reports.
Create Respondent and assign it a name. In case of User Respondent and Workgroup Respondent, the name field can be left empty- display name will be taken from workgroup or a user.
Its ready, but don’t forget to save your newly created reporting form!
You may want to assign someone to validate the reports. You can do this by assigning some user an “Auditor” role by adding him to Respondent permissions or directly to Form permissions. Form permissions affect all Respondents, while Respondent permissions affect only the Respondent they are bound to.
Working With Reports
Once you defined reporting form template, editable areas and respondents, you can move on to create new reports. Just click on “Create Reports” button at the top of the form view and set report date:
After a few moments, new report for each of the Respondents will be created and ready to be filled in:
Now you can simply wait for users, responsible for filling in reports, edit them and send them to validation:
These reports is ready to be validated and approved. If you assigned special user to validate reports then this user will take on their duties and validate entered data. Or you can do it yourself by opening the report and beginning the validation:
If something is off, just leave a message to respondent and send it back to correction:
And if everything is correct, approve the report, this will lock its state and cells values.
That concludes this Quick Tour on Planchette Online features and operation workflow. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!