The following helpful tips will allow you to use Query to its fullest potential.
When identifying a group, consider the following questions:
- What do the records you want to group have in common?
- What query type will best group the information?
- What operators will give optimal results?
- Do you want to use this query regularly (dynamic) or only once(static)?
- Where will you use this query? Can these modules filter out the
unwanted record information?
- What do all of the applicants, students, faculty/staff members or organizations you want to group have in common?
Selecting Query Types
Selecting query types can be considered the first step in narrowing the correct query type. Here are some guidelines for selecting the best query type:
- What type of records are you trying to group? Are you grouping constituent records for a mailing? Are you grouping gift records for a financial report? Determining your end goal is an important first step in choosing the appropriate query type.
- How will you use the query? If you are including the query in a report, mailing, or export, confirm which query types can be used in creating the task.
- The query type determines which criteria you are able to select. Not all criteria is available in every query type. For example, Summary fields are only available within appeal, campaign, constituent, fund, individual, and organization queries.
- If you are planning on merging queries, choose the query type that can be used for all of the queries. Queries must be of the same type in order to be merged.
Following are two common mistakes users make when selecting query type:
- Selecting an individual query instead of a constituent query when you want to group both individuals and organizations. To group both individuals and organizations, create a constituent query.
- Selecting a constituent query instead of a gift query. To group specific gifts for a report, create a gift query. A constituent query
groups the correct records, but it groups the entire record and makes all
related gift information available in the report. Gift queries group only
the gifts meeting the query criteria
Output Field Selections
Output fields are necessary only to view query results, not to make query available in other modules. The fewer the fields selected, the faster the query processes.
Control reports provide information about the options you selected when creating a query, such as query type, query format, number of records selected, etc. This report is helpful in identifying why a query is not producing the desired results. To print a control report, click the Print toolbar button while the query is in design mode.
Successfully using wild cards in filter values depends on the field types. For example, Constituent ID is an alphanumeric field in The Raiser's Edge and can consist of numbers, letters, or both. Alphanumeric fields are governed by rules for place holding so you must be precise when using a wild card. If you want to include Constituent ID 2345 in your query and enter the value 2?, this ID will not be included. You must enter 2??? for the ID to be included in the query. You may have to experiment with each field type (text, alphanumeric, date, etc.) to get the desired results.
It is best to save the original queries used to create a merged query. The only way to modify the filters in your merged query is to modify the primary and secondary queries and run the merge again. If you delete the primary and secondary queries, you have to start over.
To maximize query processing speed:
- Select a minimum number of filter and output fields.
- Do not sort the query unless necessary.
- Use negative operators sparingly. Negative operators create twice the work of positive operators and negate processing speed.
For example, if you want a group that excludes constituents who received the Annual Giving Appeal but includes donors who gave more than $50, do not use just one query. Reverse the query logic by selecting the operator one of for the values you want to include. For example, select Appeal one of [all other appeals]. Then create a secondary query of what you want to negate from your primary query and merge the two queries using the Subtract merge operator. In most cases, this achieves much faster results.