Datasets are a type of record in Slate that allow for data collection and querying. They are analogous to person records: a person record is just a special type of dataset with additional features. On the Lookup page, the datasets in your database appear in a list on the right.
Slate comes by default with two standard datasets: Organizations and Organization Contacts. The Organizations dataset is pre-populated with the approximately 50,000 organizations identified by the College Board with a CEEB Code. Organization Contacts, which starts out empty, can be populated with individuals associated with those organizations.
Datasets can have parent/child relationships. In the same way that an application records lives on a person record, Organization Contacts records require an associated Organization record to exist.
Custom Datasets can be created for a number of purposes. Like person records, they can contain custom fields, addresses, devices, and relationships. While Slate's standard datasets are related to schools, custom datasets can keep track of volunteer records, churches, alumni interviewers, community-based organizations, and more.
Organizations and Organization Contacts are the standard datasets that come preloaded with every Slate database. Organizations represent schools, and Organization Contacts represent the contacts at the schools with whom you communicate. These datasets are preconfigured and don’t require any additional setup to use in your database.
Further ReadingRead more about Slate's standard datasets.
Custom datasets can keep track of alumni interviewers, churches, community-based organizations, employers, companies, volunteers, and more. If there is a need for a type of record that is not an applicant, person, or organization, creating a custom dataset may fit the bill.
The creation and maintenance of custom datasets are time consuming processes. Upon creation, they contain almost no features or functionality. Creating a custom dataset is a long-term project that should only be attempted with ample planning time.
Custom datasets can represent institutions and individuals that:
- have many data points which need to be stored, queried and reported on,
- exist independently of person records, or
- exist outside the normal scope of person records.
Not sure whether a custom dataset is right for your process?
Check out our Custom Datasets article, attend a community conversation to bounce your ideas off Technolutions staff, or explore the Record Management section of our Community Forums for inspiration from fellow Slate users and dataset aficionados.
Further ReadingRead more about custom datasets.