Stage 1: Initial Data and Process Considerations

The first step in transitioning from a legacy system to Slate is to perform an audit of your current data and process needs. Once the fundamental needs of the office are understood, an institution can begin to create processes and bring data into Slate. When sharing a database, keep in mind that the admissions office has already created many data point destinations and objects. It will be essential to collaborate with these stakeholders to avoid duplicating objects in Slate or deciding to use objects already created.

Asking the Right Questions

When auditing, ask your key stakeholders the following questions about stored data points:

  • Is this data point accurate?
  • Where is the data point created (SIS, LMS, etc.)?
  • Is this data point necessary for us to do our job?
  • Who uses this piece of information? In what capacity? 
  • Is this value something that can change? Or is it purely historical?

Knowing the purpose of a process will assist in building objects in Slate that accomplish the desired goal. Additional questions to ask are as follows: 

  • Why do we collect information in this manner?
  • What are we looking to achieve with this form/event/report?
  • In an ideal world, how do our current students interact with us?
  • What do we care about—and what is ultimately necessary for us to address those desires?

Translating Legacy Elements to the Language of Slate

Once the audit is complete, each institution should list the various elements they wish to capture within Slate. Having a conversation with a Technolutions Client Support Engineer at this point will be advantageous and allow for discussion as to what the equivalent element within Slate will be. 

Depending on their intended use, these elements may be a single value field, multi-value field, interaction, entity field, or standard field. A Slate specialist will provide guidance based on each school's unique needs as to the optimal method of storing both legacy information and the future implications of collecting new data.

Once the translations of legacy data points and processes have been established, institutions can start building the system elements required to house the information—the first step in preparing the database to receive imports of legacy data. This is a critical step in the process, and each institution should consider the following:

  • Prepare the data - Before importing legacy data, it is essential to ensure that the data is in the correct and compatible format (CSV, Excel, etc.). 
  • Create data points and objects in Slate. 
  • Map the data - Once the legacy data has been prepared, the next step is to map the data fields to the corresponding destinations and objects in Slate. This will ensure that the data being imported to Slate will store properly. 
  • Once the data is imported and mapped, it is essential to review it to ensure that fields are populated correctly and that no errors have occurred during the import process. 

By following these steps, institutions can ensure that data and objects are accurately imported into Slate. 

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