2 Strategies for Updating Yearly Data Records for the Upcoming Academic Year

In our first blog post this month we focused on the importance of creating and updating user accounts. For the second part of this three-part series, we’ll focus on updating the administrative information about your faculty. Now that you ensured that your faculty and administrators have access to the system, you should spend some time reviewing your administrative records.

Note that while the location where this information is housed may vary depending on the faculty activity reporting solution you are using at your university, there are two universal reasons why it’s crucial to ensure that this administrative information is correct and kept up-to-date.

1) Ensuring Proper Data Security

Administrative data records indicate the college and departmental assignments of your faculty members in addition to capturing other position information. As it is common for security to be assigned based on these buckets—for example, one might receive access to report on or manage accounts for the College of Arts and Sciences or Department of Electrical Engineering – maintaining such data for each faculty member ensures that the appropriate people have access to their information. These assignments also affect which reports are available to each user and on which reports each user appears. For example, if you’re running an accreditation report for the College of Nursing, you want to ensure the proper faculty showthe users’ administrative data record will dictate this.

2) Giving Users the Visibility They Need

A faculty activity reporting solution is only as good as the data your faculty enter. Be sure that each faculty member can see the data collection fields and screens they need, and only those they need. This is where administrative data records come into play as they dictate what each of your users can see. This is especially important if you’ve made a customization in your system that is specific to a college or school, to which only the users in that unit should have access. As an example, take faculty in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, who require a custom section for capturing extension efforts. The administrative data records will determine which faculty qualify as part of that college, and will ensure they have access to that custom section.

Strategies for Updating Your Data Records

There are two suggested ways for updating your data records. Which method you use for updating your records depends on how engaged you’ve been in updating your records throughout the past year. Do you need to make many changes or just a few? Depending on the number of changes you need to make, you can update records one-by-one or in bulk.

Take an initial look through your records to determine if only a handful of changes need to made or if this is a larger effort. Then, clean up your data accordingly. Here are a few pointers on which method to use based on your needs.

  • Did many faculty members lapse in managing their data record properly? Consider a bulk edit to ensure everyone is starting the academic year on the right page.
  • Were there many school-associated changes in the past year? Import a bulk record change to make edits to schools, ranks, tenure, status and so on all at once.
  • Want to make a few one-off changes to a faculty status or faculty rank? Do this manually to ensure the proper edits to the correct records.

Now that you’ve spent some time reviewing your administrative records to ensure they accurately reflect your faculty members, you can move forward confidently in your reporting and activity tracking. There is one last step we suggest taking to prep for the year—keep an eye out for the third blog post in the series coming next week.

Are you a client of Digital Measures? You can find specific instructions on how to update your administrative data records in the Resource Center. To find this information, head to the Resource Center from within Activity Insight. Then search for “Yearly Data” for help center articles, webinars and more.