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> Best Way To Ask Questions To Generate An Email?, Access 2010    
post Oct 26 2019, 08:37 PM

Posts: 453
Joined: 20-August 07
From: Ohio

This (database) is still in conceptual building stage. Structure is very malleable right now.

My end goal is that I need to generate a customized email to a single end user with a specific checklist of items to retrieve depending on the incident that occurred (Type of incident, and what occurred to know what to ask). Are there any suggestions on how to accomplish this? I'd love real world examples if known to be in use. I'm striving for minimal effort on the data enterer, as people in today's society are lazy and don't want to read a whole lot of rows of data to see if it needs to be included or not.

Example: Using my current paper method workflow as an accident example - it could go: was there a employee injury? No? How about 5 passengers or more injured? Yes? Ambulance or on site medical care outside of first-aid? Yes? Well, i need XX paperwork then. (There is also Drug and Alcohol aspects, cost thresholds, phone calls to be made, and certain reports necessary depending on the incident and details of it)

The way it works now, is that i, a knowledgeable person knows when certain things are needed just by experience - and utilizing my paper method. But i'm looking to push the database out to people who are not as informed/experienced. I want this to pull the data enterer through the process by asking all the pertinent questions so nothing is missed, but not a butt ton of them so as to discourage them. (So, do i ask small leading/cascading questions - or long descriptive/repetitive questions?)

Side thoughts: I thought about how i did my taxes online. They asked a bunch of questions to find out if i needed a certain form or to file a special thing i may not have thought about. I like it - but, with more than 4 unique incidents being generated a day - and endless follow-up after, i'm not sure pulling the data enterer through such an ordeal of small questions will encourage use of the program.

I was also wondering how medical professionals did their thing - like, when diagnosing a problem - it's on their right side, forearm, underneath the forearm, is a rash, US quarter sized, smooth in texture = prescribe ThisOrThat if not allergic. (This is my imagination ya'll, not sure how they do it - just pondering solutions)

Thank you


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post Oct 26 2019, 10:40 PM

Posts: 1,052
Joined: 26-January 14
From: London, UK

You'll need some form of decision tree - conditional questions that depend on previous answers. That's not too difficult to program if you have a suitably flexible user-interface.

I'm surprised that you'd want to do such a system in an Access form. Wouldn't it be more useful instead to build something that's accessible via a browser or mobile devices? I think it will be difficult to cover many different options using an Access form.

This post has been edited by nvogel: Oct 26 2019, 10:43 PM
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post Oct 27 2019, 06:46 AM

Posts: 7,115
Joined: 22-December 10
From: England

Have you thought about using a truth table:

This takes the form of a grid with Events as records, and actions as columns and then each cell is normally yes or no.
Cascading forms aren't too difficult, or making certain questions visible based on the previous answers.

When the user says finish, then output a list of what is needed, and attach any forms to the email.
Outlook is probably the easiest to work with. Certainly better than Notes or Gmail.

Hope that makes sense at a conceptual level.

If you're going to look at browser or mobile device deployment, you are going to use a different language.

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post Oct 27 2019, 06:47 AM

Posts: 2,010
Joined: 10-February 08
From: Ottawa, Ont, Canada; West Palm Beach, FL

I agree with nvogel regarding a decision tree of some sort. You can find many articles, template and algorithms via Google.
Here is one link that may be helpful with the concept and examples.

If you have users in disperse locations, then the option for a browser based approach certainly makes sense.

Design and testing the decision tree to ensure completeness is important. But it seems the interface will be critical to get acceptance.

Good luck.

Good luck with your project!
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post Nov 7 2019, 04:42 PM

Posts: 453
Joined: 20-August 07
From: Ohio

nvogel: Thanks - I believe i may be complicating it more than it needs to be - i just want to make sure nothing is missed with a wide variety of things that may apply. To go along with your decision tree - i may just keep it on paper and use that to determine what i need to ask for each type of incident.

As for why am i doing it in Access? It's not preferred - but it's all i know right now that can even come close to what i need it to do

dmhzx: Thanks - Truth Table? I don't know much about that. I can conceive a bunch of different things (Table: [Question]/[Y/N]/[ResultIfTrue]... making my definition of a bunch equal to one - ha ha) that it may be - but none sound workable in my current knowledge set of Access.

As for Python or .Net - I tend to agree with such suggestions - but to get it to concept and in some working form, Access is quicker for me because i know it. Thank you for your recommendations

orange999: Thanks - I work with flow charts (decision trees) often and am a fan - just couldn't convert it in my mind as to how to get Access to do that.

I also appreciate the note about utilizing a browser type option. But it seems i'm a current noob in that regard and not a clear clue as to where to begin to learn what i need to, to utilize such an animal. Plus, with my company that i work for, they demand everything reach a level of security that i don't know how to implement at this time.

Ultimately - it seems as though i lack knowledge on how to get Access to do a decision tree type thing... leaving me to just settle for the paper option till i learn more. Thank you all for your time - and i apologize for not getting back sooner

Humor is a rubber sword - it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.
--Mary Hirsch
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post Nov 9 2019, 10:21 AM

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Posts: 13,596
Joined: 6-June 05
From: Dunbar,Scotland


You may consider cascading Combobox's.

Your First Combobox contains a List of questions.
Your second Combobox would then only display the available answers for the Question selected.

Can you upload a sample database/excel spreadsheet which contains a list of questions and answers associated with each question?

Hope this helps?


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