How to make the most of Outside List Processing - Part 2

This is part 2 of a discussion on "How to make the most of Outside List Processing"  In an earlier Tech Topic, we discussed the need to preprocess data prior to loading it into Research Tracker® II.  Instructions for separating (also called parsing) first and last names in the same field were provided.

How to eliminate formatting characters in phone numbers:

Telephone numbers in a client-provided list may also require preprocessing.  Frequently they need to be stripped of formatting characters such as parentheses and/or dashes.  The "Find" and "Replace" tools in Excel can be used to accomplish this task.

    a) Open the outside list as an Excel spreadsheet
    b) Position the cursor above Row 1 in the column containing the phone numbers
    c) Click Edit, then Replace ...
    d) In the "Find what" box, enter the first formatting character you want to delete
    e) In the "Replace with" box, leave the box empty
    f) Select "Search by Column"
    g) Click "Replace All" to make the desired changes to your data
    h) Click "Close" or enter a different formatting character in the "Find what" box and repeat the process

How to reformat birth dates:

Once the data is loaded into an Excel spreadsheet, you should be able to reformat any date entry to the format by Research Tracker® II.

    a) Open the outside list as an Excel spreadsheet
    b) Position the cursor above Row 1 in the column containing the birth dates
    c) Click Format, then Cells ...
    d) Select the "Number" tab, then click "Date"
    e) Under "Type" scroll to 3/14/1998, then click OK

Loading or Checking an Outside List

Once the spreadsheet is correctly formatted and preprocessing has been done, the file is ready to be read by Research Tracker® II.

    To Load an Outside List, you must first create a Job and Quota. To Check an Outside List, a job and quota aren't necessary.

      To Load an Outside List, If you have not already done so, create a Job using the Job Data screen in Research Tracker® II.  Be sure to set up a Quota with "L" as the designated Source.  Then proceed to "Outside List Processing" , and "Load Outside List".

      Use the Locate Job and Locate Quota fields to identify which job and quota the outside list is going to fill.  Only open jobs that have a quota with "L" as the Source will appear in the dropdown.

      Locate the spreadsheet containing the outside list from the Browser.  Make sure "Sheet 1" is the correct name of the worksheet to be loaded.  This is the default name for the first sheet in any Excel spreadsheet.

    Click "Load List" to import the names.  When the loading procedure is complete, a series of messages will display informing you how many records were read, loaded, and identified as duplicate records.  Duplicate records (i.e. respondents who already reside in your database) are not loaded for the job, however a Duplicate Report can be printed to determine their names.

At this point, recruiting and all remaining aspects of job processing can be handled routinely.  You can print recruiting lists, schedule respondents, release unscheduled respondents, and print rosters, confirmation letters, mailing labels, and profile sheets.

When the job is ready to be closed, you may wish to delete the Ineligible Status of participants so they can be recruited for future studies.  This can be done on the Job Completion screen, just prior to closing the job.  If not, leave the Ineligible Status set to "L" and close the job.

To purge the list, return to "Outside List Processing", then "Purge Outside List".  Locate the job and quota and click "Purge".  This will delete all records on the outside list from the system, except for those who participated in the job.