Possibility to change view time zone

Comments

5 comments

  • Official comment
    Tom Andres Lomsdalen

    Hi all,

    The UTC/local time issue has been discussed several times over the years, but we have not yet concluded an acceptable solution that fit all customers. Our experience is that dealing with time synchronization is never easy and especially since our customers receive data from all (24+) time zones. From this, we always end this discussion with UTC being the most "correct and easiest to explain" way of handling the time issue.

    That being said, Virinco are still eager to find a more flexible solution as this is a reoccurring issue for both us and our customers.
    Short background for further discussion:

    In reporting, we are dealing with 3 date/time types (in addition to the time zones):

    • Report origin UTC date/time
    • Report origin Local date/time
    • The User login (web, app, etc.) Local date/time

    In WATS, there are several “services” that handle data like triggers, aggregating data, alarming, data warehousing, syncing data between Local/Master server and clients, syncing Client status with reports, assets etc. etc. all from different time zones.

    If all reports (Clients) and users were from the same time zone, adding UTC offset as an account setting should be simple, but this is rarely the case. This means that a time offset most likely have to follow the login user when they look at data. Some topics we always end up discussing:

    • How do we make sure users look at the same data? If you get a print screen of a WATS report or reported statistics based on WATS sent from a user in another time zone (either internally or support). How do you know what the users offset was? Compare Weekly yield could be very confusing?
    • If we start using local data/time, should we also allow setting first day of the week (Sunday or Monday), first week of the year etc.?
    • The triggers and automations in WATS can be e.g. “If Yield drops below NN% from one day to another”. What is a day? UTC or Local (user or report) time?
    • In WATS we look at data per hour, day, week etc. in aggregated view. A report created 23:00 UTC falls into the same day globally. A report created 01:00, the next day. When using local time in reporting, how do we define this without having to aggregate data on all 24 time zones?
    • If a user set UTC offset in my settings, how would reports like Yield be displayed? If the filter is set from 9 AM local user time (UTC +2), does that mean 9 AM in china and 9 AM Europe? Or does that mean 9 AM in Europe and 3 PM (+8) in China?
    • If a user update data (or log user actions in CP etc.), what date/time to use? How should a Manager see this date/time from a user in a different time zone?
    • If UTC offset follow the user, how would you handle dashboards with global views? If you want to show 9 AM from a different time zone, would he have to calculate this “manually” or should we implement a more advanced date/time picker in the dashboard filters? If so, how can we drill between dashboards and reports where you most likely do not want the same advanced date/time picker?
    • Other issues?

    As we see the comments in this topic, we also believe that adding a UTC offset in My Settings may be the best solution, however we need to make sure we implement this in a way that all users do not get MORE confused about date/time synchronization, and are still able to see and understand the correct data.
    We know UTC may be annoying, but it is at least easy to comprehend.

    We invite you to continue the discussions based on our input as we hope to find a good solution for this issue in 2020.

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  • Christmertz

    Perhaps it would be a potentially quick solution to add UTC offset to the filter screens. This would allow the user to place the UTC offset on the filtering page system the underlying query could easily use this for the calculation of data. We've created a quick excel spreadsheet showing UTC time converted to local time for our various sites to help work around this issue but it would be nice to not have to manually make the conversion every time. 

     

     

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  • Tero Leppanen

    Virinco, any progress on this proposal?

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  • Kfuhrer

    As mentioned in my request (#13660) it would make sense to have the possibility to make timezone specific analysis/statistics.
    For example we have a site in China and if they start their production at 07.00am it will be 11.00pm in UTC time.
    This causes all units produced before 08.00am would fall into the statistics of previous day what doesn't show the actual daily output then. I guess to take UTC as the standard and reference time makes totally sense but we should also to be able to make time zone specific analysis,statistics and searches.

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  • Lasse Lange

    This is the first request we get from all our new WATS users. Was this rejected by Virinco, or maybe not even considered? Seems like a pretty simple thing to implement?

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