The import process allows you to bulk create accounts and update user information. This process is advantageous because it allows you to upload user data that you already have on file, like card IDs, demographic information, and more. You do not have to create accounts through an import in order for a user to sign in, but it allows you to pre-populate information. This is beneficial to you because it stores the user’s information in the system which will be exportable on reports and it saves the user time because they are not required to complete information already stored in your student information system.

The import process is easy and breaks down into a couple of steps:

  1. First, download the import template file.
  2. Work with your registrar or records office to populate the import file with your user information. Utilize the rest of this article for help with this process.
  3. Upload your import file to our transfer site using your campus's SFTP credentials.
  4. Contact Support to let us know that the file is ready to be processed, or if you need your SFTP credentials. Do NOT send your file to this address - we always want to ensure that student information is sent securely. You may choose to CC your Consultant to keep them in the loop!

The Import Template File

The same import template is used to create new accounts and update user information. You can import everything from basic information, such as name and email, to other fields like demographic information or enrollment status. Check the import file headers for the complete list of importable fields.

When populating the import file, keep in mind these important reminders:

  • Do not alter the template headers. These headers are pre-defined and if they are changed, they will not properly import your data into the system.
  • Ensure your data is formatted properly. Specific fields can have specific formatting requirements. Check this PDF document for the complete list of fields. This includes a description as well as formatting requirements and examples.

Note: If you do not format your import file correctly, it could lead to bad data or a delay in processing of the import file. Please make sure to double check before passing it along to your Consultant.

Creating New Accounts

When creating new accounts, you’re required to provide the following four fields. If any of these fields are missing, the user will not be imported.

  • Username
  • Email address
  • First name
  • Last name

Feel free to provide as many other fields in the import as you would like (according to the standards discussed above). Note: You do not have to provide a value under the "Action" column for new accounts.

Updating Information on Existing Accounts

As mentioned earlier, updating existing accounts uses the same import template. There are only two differences in the process.

  • You only have to provide the username, plus any additional information you’d like to update.
  • You must fill the "Action" column to determine how your data will be updated.

Regarding the second bullet point, if you’re updating existing accounts, you must identify how you’d like to update the data. As an example, you may run into a situation where you want to completely replace all of the user data in the system. Down the road, you may want to only update specific fields. In these two examples, the "Action," or method for updating the data is different. This is why we provide you a couple of options when it comes to updating existing account information. See below for a full explanation of these values.

  • Update: Replace the data in the system with the data on your import file. Blank fields on your import file are ignored and will not replace existing data in the system.
  • Append: Only update the data in the system if it currently has a blank value. Data on the import file will not be added if there is currently a value for that field in the system.
  • Overwrite: Completely replace the data in the system with the data on your import file. Unlike the “update” setting, this will not ignore blanks. If you use the “overwrite” attribute, expect whatever is in the system to perfectly match the data provided on your import file – blanks and all.

Now that we’ve defined the three attributes used to update accounts, the next step is applying them to your import file. The first column on the import template is titled "Action." This is where you should indicate if you’re hoping to update, append, or overwrite user information. By default, if this is blank, the system assumes you’re trying to import a new account. So, if you do not enter a value under the "Action" column, you must provide all four required fields (explained in the previous section).

If the three methods used to update account information is still confusing, see the following examples.

Update
Note: that only populated fields on the import file affect the data in the system. Blanks do not replace anything.

  Username First Name Last Name Campus Email Mobile Phone Class Standing
Data pre-import alice12 Alice Appleton alice12@hometown.edu 555-962-2305  
Import file alice12 Alice David     Sophomore
Data post-import alice12 Alice David alice12@hometown.edu 555-962-2305 Sophomore

Append
Note: the only fields that are updated are the ones that were previously blank in the system.

  Username First Name Last Name Campus Email Mobile Phone Class Standing
Data pre-import bob387 Bob Boucher bb387@hometown.edu    
Import file bob387 Bob Thomas   972-555-2943 Senior
Data post-import bob387 Bob Boucher bb387@hometown.edu 972-555-2943 Senior

Overwrite
Note: that the import file replaces everything in the system – blanks and all.

  Username First Name Last Name Campus Email Mobile Phone Class Standing
Data pre-import carl90 Carl Edwards robert@hometown.edu 214-555-9000 Junior
Import file carl90 Carl Abraham bob@hometown.edu    
Data post-import carl90 Carl Abraham bob@hometown.edu    

Final Steps

When you are finished with your template, reach out to your Consultant to finalize the process. They will help you complete the secure file transfer process that will transfer your template over to our team. If you are looking for more information about the Import Automation process, please click here.

 

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