No-Show or Dataset Management allows you to adjust how the nightly import process handles your no-show data. This article will walk you through how to best handle the data that is removed from your core data import files day to day in order to keep your data updated and correctly reflecting what you see in your student information system.
Note: This article applies to districts importing core data files nightly from their existing student information system.
What is a no-show record?
In the process of importing the data, there are times when we run into what Illuminate refers to as no-show records. A no-show record is one that was previously present but is no longer being sent. Think of a student enrollment record. Yesterday you were sending us data for a given student, but today the record is no longer being sent over to Illuminate in the data files.
What causes no-show records?
Typically, no-shows are the result of the processes or workflow in your student information system. For example, if a student were enrolled at the beginning of a school year but then never showed up for school, the student enrollment record is sometimes removed from the student information system. Illuminate only recognizes that there used to be an enrollment record and now there isn't one. Another example is if a student is given a schedule, then that schedule is changed in such a way that the original schedule records were removed. Again, from an Illuminate perspective, the records are just not in the files anymore. Illuminate
What problems do no-show records cause?
The data in Illuminate relies on enter or start and exit or end dates. We receive initial records with enter dates but then we never receive a record indicating that the student's records should end. As a rule, Illuminate does not automatically assume that data no longer in the import files should be deleted entirely. This could potentially result in accidental deletions of enrollment and roster data if files were incomplete for some reason.
Without an end date being provided in the records and the data no longer being present in the import files, these no-show records manifest themselves in Illuminate as roster, enrollment, or program errors. The most common instance is when a teacher asks, "Why is this student still on my class roster in Illuminate? He was never in my class to begin with!"
How can we handle no-show records in Illuminate?
No-show (or dataset) management allows you to tell Illuminate how to process your no-show data as part of the nightly import process.
Dataset Management options are available for the following datasets only: users, roles, mastschd, enrollment, roster, programs, and attendance. There are three options available for each dataset unless noted otherwise:
- This is the default behavior that does nothing with the records that are missing from the core data import files.
- No-shows will remain active in Illuminate.
- This is the default because it is the safest option. Until you identify that there is a no-show issue, it's best that the setting be left to "ignore."
- When a no-show record is discovered, the original record is deleted or completely removed from Illuminate.
- If we received an enrollment record yesterday but that record is no longer in the file today, the record from yesterday is deleted from Illuminate.
- This option is not available for the users dataset as the deletion of user records could be detrimental to the existing historical data in Illuminate.
- When a no-show record is discovered, the original record is "ended."
- This means that Illuminate will put an end or exit date on the original record. The historical record remains in Illuminate but is no longer an active record. The end date is set to the last day the record was included in the file.
- This is the safest way to handle a no-show but may not be best for your situation depending on why that no-show record exists in the first place.
- This option is not available for the roles or attendance datasets.
When do the no-show settings take effect?
The no-show settings take effect right after you enable them. No shows will be processed accordingly with the next batch of data that is processed via the automation. However, it is important to know that no shows are processed using the "DIFF" processing that runs with our automated imports.The no shows are a result of comparing "tonight's" data file to "last night's" data file.
It is very important to note that just turning on no-show settings will not solve problems that were created in the past. It will only solve problems that surface after you enable no-show settings. In order for no-show processing to truly be effective, a "data refresh" is necessary.
Here is the process:
- Set the no-show settings accordingly.
- Request a "data refresh" of the affected datasets from our support team. Remember, this is a critical step!
- Automation and the "diff" process will take over from there.
Here is how it might look for an enrollment no show record:
08/18/14 - An enrollment record for John Smith was created.
08/19/14 - The enrollment record is still in the import files.
08/20/14 - John Smith is deleted from the SIS since he was a no-show. Therefore, he is no longer in the enrollment file.
No-show settings have not been enabled yet. Therefore, John Smith's record remains active in Illuminate.
08/21/14 - We can no longer see John Smith's enrollment record in the import files.
08/25/14 - No-show processing is enabled and the nightly automation processes the no show records based on comparing yesterday's and today's files.
08/26/14 - Nothing happens to John Smith because he is not a part of the data anymore.
Instead, on 08/26 the enrollment data is wiped, then the "bad" John Smith records go away. Current data is then reimported, and any no-show data from here on out is handled appropriately.
To learn more about how to maximize your data in Illuminate, read Unlocking the Power of Illuminate.