Tinderbox Forum

Some TLC for cross-tabs

I was intrigued by a recent post that explores managing a team of anesthesiologists with Tinderbox. On paper cross-tabs could offer a good solution if you consider the following:

  • there are mainly three variables: Day, Name of the anesthetist, Hours they worked
  • the challenge is to display these three elements in a 2D grid and for instance count how many times a given anaesthesist was called and worked the night shift (perhaps adding notes for each shift to record what was done or similar)

Cross-tabs should be a useful tool for this. I created a sample file of anesthetists covering one month with the following key variables
$Name: the name of the anesthetist
$Shift: which ranges from 1 to 3 with 1 = AM shift, 2 = PM shift and 3 = Evening shift
$DayOfMonth: which defines the day of the month (e.g. 1-31 or similar)

This is illustrated below (I use French names)

I can book some quick successes such as identifying the number of evening shifts for each anesthetist. Here the name of the person is assigned to rows and the shift to columns. I can see that Delphine for instance worked 9 times on the evening shift ($Shift between 2.33 and 3) and should be compensated accordingly. This being Tinderbox I can also retrieve every note for her evening shifts and perhaps check the main issues that were recorded in the corresponding notes (or create an agent to do so on the fly)

However this also illustrates improvements in the cross-tabs which would help the user make use of this feature. Note that my shifts have integer values e.g. 1, 2, 3 whereas the columns consider only ranges. In addition to specifying the number of bins via the current interface, it would be very useful for me as a user to specify the actual bins for either the columns or rows. In this case I would specify each column as a 3 element set (1;2;3).
For dates its more challenging. I explicitly use DayOfMonth as it allows me to assign a number rather than date. However, the setting of the bins becomes impossible due to the limitation of bins to a maximum of 24. Below an illustration of what I mean. This time I have a range dates for each row and I’ve used the setting unlimited bins.

I guess what I’m requesting is the opportunity for the user to define the matching attribute values of the rows and columns which can be a subset of the total range of values within the retrieved notes. I hope that makes sense. I attach my example file to support the discussion and investigations.

anesthetists.tbx (112.6 KB)


Really nice idea, Malcolm!!