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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Searching for Christmas

The FCDLs have apparently been issued, but we still can't get commitment info through the Data Retrieval Tool.

Yes, I'll be able to get the info tomorrow (I assume), but it just grates that service providers have had the info on Wave 1 since last month, but I can't get it until the day after the FCDL.  It's like telling a kid he can't have his Christmas presents until the 26th, but all his siblings know what he's getting.

I know, I can use Search Commitments, but that tool doesn't even give you the FRN. How could they leave out the database's primary key? How about showing the service provider?  And who wants to see the address, anyway?  While we're on the subject of this tool's shortcomings, the sorting ability is chock-full of flaws:
  1. If you have a list that has multiple pages and click on a column heading to sort based on that column, the sort only works for the first page; if you jump to page 2, it is as if you had not sorted.  And if you try to sort any later page, it dumps you back to page 1.
  2. If you make a sort, it tosses out any previous sorting.  So you can't, for example, click on "Name," then click on "Discount" to get a quick look at an alphabetized list of 20% applicants.  Once you click on "Discount," the names are randomized.  (I'm betting that FRN is the secondary key in that sort, but I can't say for sure, because I can't see the FRN.  Grrr.)
  3. You can't click on a column a second time to reverse the sort order.  So the only way you're going to see all the 90% applicants is to increase the number of FRNs per page so that you're looking at all the FRNs, sort on discount, and then scroll to the bottom of the page.
  4. But wait, you can't do that, because you can't look at all the FRNs on a single page.  You can increase the page size, but only in increments of 50.  So for example there were 7,981 FRNs in CA in 2011, but you can only increase the FRNs/page to 7,950.  So if you want to look at the 90% applicants, you're screwed, because if you sort based on discount, 31 of the 90% FRNs will be on page 2, and when you go to page 2, the sort vanishes, and page 2 has 31 FRNs from applicants whose names fall at the end of the alphabet.
Thank goodness for the "Export to Excel" button.

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