How to get started with ParishSOFT IQ
Step 1. Watch the ParishSOFT IQ Demonstration Video
We highly recommend that you go to PS IQ - Recorded Training and watch ParishSOFT's video demonstration of ParishSOFT IQ. The video provides an overview of ParishSOFT IQ and explains how you can use the application's features to get the data you need from your database without having knowledge of SQL or any other query language. The video covers the fundamentals to enable you to start building queries using data from other ParishSOFT Family Suite modules, including Family Directory, Offering, Religious Education, and Ministry Scheduler.
Step 2. Familiarize Yourself with the ParishSOFT IQ User Interface
The next step is to familiarize yourself with the components of ParishSOFT IQ's user interface. To do this, start the ParishSOFT IQ application and explore the main panels and command buttons. As shown in the following illustration, the ParishSOFT IQ user interface consists of four main components:
Brief descriptions of these panels are provided below. For more detail, go to About the Intelligent Query Page.
Column Picker Panel
The Column Picker panel is your starting point for designing a query. Open the Column Picker panel and explore the groups listed there and the columns of data. The columns are organized into main groups (entities) and presented in a tree-style list. Click to expand a group to the columns it contains.
To pick a column for your query, you simply select its checkbox and then drag it into the Result Columns panel. Only the columns you specifically select are included in your query.
Result Columns Panel
The Result Columns panel lists all of the columns you select for your query. These are the columns that will appear in your results after you run a query.
Note that each column listed in this panel occupies a line by itself. A column entry consists of two elements: an Expression, which is the name of the selected column, and a Title, which displays as the column header in the Query Results panel.
Query Conditions Panel
The Query Conditions panel is where you can limit the results your query by specifying specific conditions on the columns you select. The results of your query will include only the data that satisfies the conditions you specify.
Each condition is an expression that consists of three elements: the column name, an operator, and a value. For example:
The condition in the previous illustration is applied to the Members Age column. The operator is between, limits the records selected from the Members Age column and instructs the query to return records only those of members whose age is between 13 and 19.
Query Results Panel
After you run a query, the results appear in the Query Results panel. The results displayed are reflective of how the query was constructed: the sort options and column arrangement used and the conditions applied to the data.
Controls located at the top of the Query Results panel provide functions that enable you to control the number of records returned by the query and to remove duplicate records. A special option lets you expand the panel to create a larger viewing area for viewing results. You can also select different output options to export results to a .csv file or use them as a data source for a performing a mail merge or for creating the family and member workgroups.
Step 3. Practice Designing Queries
Now that you are familiar with the elements of the user interface, try playing with a few sample questions and designing queries to answer them. We have provided a couple of tutorial lessons to get you started. Try working through the lessons in the order given.
The tutorials familiarize you with the process of query design and show you how to build a query in the application.
After working through the tutorials, try the practice problem as a self-test. After that, you have a basic grounding in query design. Feel free to experiment with your own questions and designs.