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"Random" order in sorts

"Random" order in sorts

We had KE build an admin task for us some time back, to generate a list of randomly selected catalogue records and save them as a group.  It was intended for generating stocktake lists, however it doesn't allow any filtering. It can include Crates, Frames, Aux Elements, works that have been returned to their owner, or worse, never were received in the building! And it's hard coded into an Admin task, so there's no flexibility.

This got me thinking: how good would it be to have a Random option for sorts? We can already choose Ascending or Descending. Adding Random to this would allow us to generate our own random lists, with whatever filtering we so desired.

Possible?

Mark Bradley – Assistant Registrar, Documentation (EMu)
National Gallery of Australia

Mark Bradley
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Re: "Random" order in sorts

This would be a nice feature, which we would also like to use to take a collection sample for stockchecking/auditing.

Stephen Johnston
MHS Oxford

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Re: "Random" order in sorts

Anybody else keen for this? Anyone? Bueller?

Mark Bradley – Assistant Registrar, Documentation (EMu)
National Gallery of Australia

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Re: "Random" order in sorts

There is apparently no such thing as random!

... but if a random order function was supplied we would probably use it.

During our recent externally conducted valuation project we actually had a methodology that required us to make random and targeted samples so I guess it all depends on the purpose of the exercise and the methodology chosen. In addition depending on the size of your institution you will still need to consider how to ‘sample’ unregistered (electronic or manual) objects.

We used random.org (http://www.random.org/) which sells itself as  :D ‘true’ random rather than ‘pseudo’ random to select electronically registered objects for our internal Collection audit in 2009 and it worked well. We sent the parameters to David Zhang, our Collection Systems Senior Developer, and he used random.org to generate the sample for each of the collection disciplines based on Catalogue IRNs.


Manager, Collection Information Systems
Museum Victoria
PO Box 666
Melbourne Victoria 3001
Australia

T +61 3 8341 7130
F +61 3 8341 7722

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Re: "Random" order in sorts

Thanks Nancy

I have found some success by exporting a list of IRNS to csv, opening in Excel, adding =rand() in a column and copying forumla to all rows, then sorting by that column. That's random enough for our purposes (though your comments on true randomness are interesting).  The issue is that Excel can't handle any more than 65,536 rows  (we're still on Excel 2003), so useless for large collectons.

It is possible for EMu to run a random selection - our stocktake script does it. I'd just love to see that implemented as a standard feature, which will only happen if enough clients want it. Sadly, we don't have the budget to fund this ourselves.

Happy holidays, all.

Mark Bradley – Assistant Registrar, Documentation (EMu)
National Gallery of Australia

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Re: "Random" order in sorts

Hi folks. Just checking in again.

Would auyone else benefit from a "random order" sort if it were included by default?

KE tech support have said (and I quote) "there are not many people for this issue on the EMu User Forum.  If there were more people contributing to this issue on the wishlist in EMu User Forum, it would make it happen faster."

Sadly it seems there are just not enough users engaging with this forum to add any weight to such requests.

Mark Bradley – Assistant Registrar, Documentation (EMu)
National Gallery of Australia

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Re: "Random" order in sorts

Museum Victoria is happy to 'add weight' to the request.

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Re: "Random" order in sorts

We would definitely find this feature useful for the exact same issue of our annual collections audit where random sampling is necessary. Like Mark we have so far used the =rand() function of excel but that is convoluted and only experienced excel users can perform it.

So +1 for this feature.

John Peel
Manchester Art Gallery

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Re: "Random" order in sorts

Hi all
Just revisiting this post. Like Mark used to do, we usually export the list out to Excel then use a formula to generate a random selection. This is unfortunately not very user friendly and requires someone with the skills to do. It would be awesome to supply a random sort function within EMu.

Another way I'd like to do it is to set up my search query to find the required records, including a filter whereby only a random selection of 20% of the search results are retrieved.

Anyone got ideas? I'm wondering if I set up the search as a Saved Query, could I also include the texQL for spitting back only a random 20% result?

Edited by: Karen Biddle - 07-Jul-17 11:45:21

Karen Biddle
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Re: "Random" order in sorts

Hi all


I've just revisited this topic and found that I can easily set up a Crystal Report that will display a nominated number of records as a random selection from the total records included in the report.... it works like a charm and means that all users can easily get a random selection of records.

The basics:

(1)
Set up the report with the field/s you want in a details section. For a random selection, you probably just need one field. For us it is most likely to be the object registration/accession number.


(2)
Create a formula called, say "Random"
In the formula, simply put this expression:

rnd()


(3)
Now choose Report - Record Sort Expert and choose your "Random" formula as the sort for the report, in ascending order.

(4)
Now set up a Parameter field (called say "HowManyRecords", that prompts the user with "How many records do you want to be randomly included in the report?"

(5)
Now go to the Details section where your field/s are and enter a suppress formula for the section, as shown here (choose your parameter field where indicated):

recordnumber > (tonumber({?HowManyRecords}))


This will randomly sort your records then display only the number of records that you have nominated with the parameter.

Easy!

cheers
Karen

Edited by: Karen Biddle - 25-Jul-17 16:43:18

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