Piestar Periodical – August

The Piestar Periodical is a blog about updates, changes, and improvements to the Piestar systems. We gladly welcome requests, suggestions, comments, feedback, and referrals.

New Piestar Names

Piestar systems have evolved. The original name of the online database was PIE, meaning Project Impact and Evaluation. The online database became a reporting hub for large research programs, and the name changed to Piestar Reporting Hub. As new features were added, the online reporting hub evolved into a cloud-based environment optimized to support collaborative data and project management systems. The Piestar data/project management system has been named Piestar DPx, and is designed for the purposes of collecting and visualizing data, managing projects, monitoring progress, evaluating impact, and reporting results.

Piestar DPx

As Piestar DPx has evolved, Piestar Proposals has been changing too. Piestar Proposals was designed for requesting, reviewing, rating, and selecting applications and proposals. Since there are competitive applications other than research applications and proposals, such as scholarship applications, the name of the Piestar Proposals system has been changed to Piestar RFx to expand into different application review areas.

Piestar RFx

New Dashboard Overview

The Piestar DPx Dashboard Overview area has changed to allow for better use of the space. We have added social media images, as well. Please let us know if you want to add or change information in the Dashboard Overview area of your Piestar DPx system.

Dashboard

Piestar RFx Changes

Unique Proposal numbers have been added to the Review and Select Proposals lists for easier searching.

Piestar Proposal

List views show the name of the applicant along with the accompanying institution.

Name

Users of Piestar RFx can choose from a set of predetermined fields and edit the labels and help text for those fields.

Entry Fields

Travel & Equipment Management Changes

  • Site Coordinators can edit Travel and Equipment Requests after they have been approved. Site Coordinators can simply emulate users of the Piestar DPx system to view and edit their requests.
  • The fields in the Travel Requests email messages have been reordered to make finding the most critical information easier.
  • Equipment Requests under the $5,000 can now be entered and managed.
  • When viewing a Travel or Equipment Request, the Original Request section is the first section of the page.
  • An Edit Request button in the Original Request section allows for direct editing of the Travel or Equipment Request.
Travel & Equipment Management
Edit Travel & Equipment Requests

Changes Upon Request

  • Requiring a flight itinerary on the Travel Request form is not conducive with requiring long advance notice for travel. We can change the Piestar DPx system to provide the choice to upload a travel itinerary and then ask for the itinerary and FAA compliance fields during the Travel Report as well. If you would like this change for your Piestar DPx system, please let us know.
  • Disaggregated Non-USAID funding fields can be added to Short-Term Training modules to meet TraiNet requirements. Please let us know if you would like this change for your Piestar DPx system.

Miscellaneous Updates

  • Instead of having to manually open the modules by project on the Manage Reporting Periods page, sessions automatically open any closed modules if there are multiple sessions per year.
  • Leading and trailing spaces are now automatically removed in fields throughout the system. For example, if a publication title is entered as “ Growing Oranges in Winter ”, the Piestar DPx system will properly remove the leading and trailing spaces.

 

As we continue to make improvements to the Piestar systems, our goal is and always will be to meet the needs of those we serve. We are also interested in providing information and training for users of the Piestar systems. If there are areas of the Piestar systems that need further explanation for users, we are happy to conduct training sessions or even make short video tutorials. We are very grateful for the teams we support, and are so proud of the important work they are doing for people around the world. The more people using the Piestar systems, the better they are for everyone. We welcome thoughts, ideas, requests, suggestions, comments, feedback and questions. We also gladly welcome referrals.

Ben Kohl
Vice President