In this blog post, we’ll look at how you can use NetSupport DNA to give you the specific information you need to help you understand in more detail how your school’s technology is being used.

NetSupport DNA makes all your data easy to use and presents all the common information in ready-prepared charts and reports … but if you want to find something different or unique to your school, you can create a query.

So, first things first: what is a query and why would you need to use one? [[READ_MORE]]

A query can show you your own customised view of all sorts of information. For example, you can find out things like how much memory each of the Year 11 computers has; the number of applications used across the school for durations of more than one hour; or the top 10 websites visited by students over the last week. You can then store this query so you can run it again and again, without having to set it up each time. So, it’s both useful AND time-saving!

The custom Query Tool in NetSupport DNA makes it easy for you to extract the information you want from the database. You simply drag and drop the elements you want into the tool; it compiles them – and then sends them off to conduct a search of the database for your answers. The results are then delivered back to you in an easy-to-read format – and you can print or export them for sharing with others if you want to.

Let’s get started with a straightforward query…

1)  To create a new query, simply click on the Query icon in the Tools tab and the dialog box will appear. From here, you can create new queries, see and edit existing ones, delete, run or import/export queries.

2)  Click New. The New Query dialog box appears. It’s here where you give your query a name and enter the ‘questions’ you want to ask of the database.

3)  So let’s say we want to display a list of the length of time students are using applications. From the “Source Field” box on the left, we can pick the details we want our search to display. And by dragging and dropping, you can move each detail to the “Display Fields” box on the right. So in this example, you can see that as well as the detail about the start time, end time and active time of applications being used, we are also asking for the identity of the user to be displayed (via their computer name and user name).

4)   If you wish, in the “Condition Field” box, you can add any additional instruction that will help you hone your data. So, in the example here, you can see that the database will return the results where the active time an application was in use was more than 3600 seconds (or, to put it another way: more than an hour).

5)  Once you’re done with setting out what information you want the tool to find for you, click OK to save your search, then simply press Run (the arrow at the top).

6)  The results are now displayed in a table – and you can print or export them, if you like. 

 Easy! Now you can start to think differently about queries and databases and what they can do for you.

In the next post, we’ll look at some other clever tricks to do with queries.