Simple In/Out Reports - Automatic vs Manual Status Updates

At the very core of Simple In/Out are automatic status updates. Whether using Geofences, Beacons, WiFi Networks (Android), or desktop computer activity, having your in/out board always up-to-date has never been easier.

Even before we had our first paying customer, we’ve had requests to add more monitoring of automatic updates for administrators. These requests generally come in three flavors:

  • “I want to know whether an employee updates their status automatically or manually because I cannot trust them.”
  • “I don’t want my employees to ever make manual status updates, only automatic updates with their phones because I cannot trust them.”
  • “I want to see where my employees are on a map because I cannot trust them.”

We understand that not every industry can hire folks that can be trusted implicitly. We also understand that our solutions for updating from a physical place via a tablet running FrontDesk or TimeClock may not be for every organization. But, we always need to balance user privacy with new feature requests.

Most of the users installing Simple In/Out for automatic updates are doing so on their personal devices. We take privacy very seriously. We never transmit, store, or display location data. Period. That’s the commitment we’ve made since Day 1, and one that we will continue to honor each and every day. This precludes us from ever being able to show maps where users are located. That’s a feature, not a bug.

Not allowing users to make manual status updates at all presents a whole new set of challenges. For starters, removing manual updates also removes the ability for users to add comments that provide valuable context about status updates. Deeper still, if a user doesn’t have internet access then an automatic update can fail. Simple In/Out presents a notification to the user that the update wasn’t made, and the user must react by updating their status manually. Taking this away places more burden on administrators to correct the record.

That all being said, there is absolutely value in providing information to administrators so they can make determinations about whether users are performing dishonest status updates from their phone or computer.

To that end, we’ve added new information to many of Simple In/Out’s reports displaying whether statuses were updated automatically or manually. By displaying this information, we provide additional clarity to administrators and managers. This information can also aid administrators in properly configuring Geofences, Beacons, and WiFi Networks to maximize the effectiveness of automatic updates.

This information is now presented in the following reports: Activity, Print/PDF, and Export. We’ve also added this to our API, allowing access to third-party developers (with your permission, of course). This information is only available to those users either viewing their own report or to those users that have permission to run reports on other users.

We hope that by adding this information to reports, we’ve properly balanced the need to know how status updates were made with the privacy of all our Simple In/Out users.