As part of the requirements gathering process for your export build project, we ask that you provide us with a data dictionary listing the fields from your target system with definitions and sample values. This data dictionary is used to help determine how to collect data on your SchoolAdmin site so that it can be transferred to your target system, and what fields to include in your custom export configuration. This guide will give you some additional tips to keep in mind when filling out the data dictionary template.
Data Dictionary Template Overview
You will be provided with a data dictionary template by SchoolAdmin. The first sheet of the workbook gives a detailed description of what is contained in the data dictionary template and what you should include when filling it out as shown below:
Refer to the overview page for a good explanation of the data dictionary template. In addition to the information on the overview page, there are a few other things to keep in mind when filling out your data dictionary template, as explained below.
Data Dictionary FAQ:
What fields should I include in the data dictionary?
You do not need to include every field from your target system in the data dictionary. You should only include a field if you need to populate it with data that will be collected in SchoolAdmin. [Note: Only data that is relevant to the admissions or enrollment process should be collected in SchoolAdmin. Any data that is related to post-enrollment processes (such as class schedules or attendance) should continue to be maintained outside of SchoolAdmin.]
At a minimum, you should include the following fields (if they exist in your system):
- The unique identifier used to update records in your target system when importing data. This varies from system to system, however, in many cases this would be a Student ID with the format: 123456.
- Any fields your target system indicates are required when importing data.
When should I include reference tables?
If there are any fields in your system that will only accept a specific set of values, please provide a reference table for each of those fields. This guarantees the results of your export will use the correct field values that your target system accepts for import.
If my target system requires multiple files for import, do I need to fill out more than one data dictionary?
For each file you need to import into your target system, include a separate tab in the data dictionary worksheet with the field names, sample values, and descriptions required for that specific file. All reference tables can be combined onto one tab.
- Data Dictionary - The requirements document SchoolAdmin needs to configure your custom export and build your SchoolAdmin site. This is to be filled out and returned by the school before the export build process.
- Target system - The Student Information System (SIS) or other system of record that you want to import data from SchoolAdmin into. You may have multiple systems you track data in, but for the purposes of SchoolAdmin “target system” refers specifically to the system or systems you have purchased a custom export configuration for.
- Custom export configuration - A framework of data transformation used to correctly output a file (or multiple files) with headers and data that matches what your target system expects for an import
- Reference Table - A list of valid values for a specific field. If a field uses codes instead of display names, the reference table should include both the display name and the valid value accepted by the target system.