Core Data Demographics

Overview Importing These Files
Populating These Files Products That Use These Files

Overview

Demographics are used in Beacon and Insight to present interesting data visualizations, generate logical filtering, and create rules-based actions within the platform

There are two types of Demographic Imports; 

  • Faculty (69 available data points)
  • Students (126 available data points)

Best Practices for Populating Demographics

Scope

These files typically includes demographic data for all students registered or enrolled in a section during the term and all faculty teaching a section during the term, so the scope should match the queries of the Accounts file.

At least once a semester you should also send student demographics for students who are not enrolled due to dropping, withdrawing, or graduating to update their enrollment status to support analytics around retention and graduation.

Data Relationships

To properly link demographic data to the accounts it describes, the PersonIdentifier AND the ExternalID should match the PersonIdentifiers defined in the Accounts file.

EffectiveOn Date

Generally, the EffectiveOn date should be populated with the current datetime that the data is extracted from the SIS. The initial load of Demographics data should use the start date of the current term. 

Nulls

Because many of the Demographics fields are optional or may not be populated for all individuals, many tables must be left joined, and the files will likely contain many null values. Build the script to convert null values to blank values to ensure they are imported correctly.

Pivoting

For some datapoints, the Demographics file provides multiple fields, permitting up to 3 unique values. For example, the fields Major1-3 accommodates students with multiple majors. For most of these datapoints, the SIS stores each value associated with a user on its own record, so the script must pivot this data from a derived table that assigns each value a row number partitioned by user.

Selecting the correct records

Some tables used in Demographics retain historical data when changes are made. These records may be differentiated by inactive statuses, sequence numbers, timestamps, term identifiers, or other datapoints. When joining these tables, build in conditional statements to prevent duplicates and inaccuracies. For example, this may require the script to join on subqueries that find the most recent record for a given user.

Student EnrollmentStatus

Files containing updated EnrollmentStatus for the following scenarios MUST include all fields used in your enrolled students demographics file. Do not send a partial file that only includes the updated fields because the data import sees a blank field as an update to that datapoint.

  • Dropped/Withdrawn Students: Can include students who officially withdrew or did not re-enroll from term to term (and did not graduate). Consider populating EnrollmentStatus with "Withdrawn" and/or "Not Currently Enrolled" for these students.
  • Graduated Students: Include students who graduated in the previous term after graduation data has been entered into your SIS. Send a separate student demographics file to avoid duplication issues if the student re-enrolls in another program the semester after graduating (ex. A student who graduates undergrad and immediately begins graduate school at your institution).  This file should include changes to the following fields:
    • EffectiveOn: use the graduation date
    • AnticipatedGraduationDate: use the graduation date
    • EnrollmentStatus: "Graduated"

Term Logic

Demographics term logic should typically align with the Accounts term logic, with the caveat that the same student should not be pulled for multiple terms simultaneously. Because demographic data can change from term to term, pulling demographics for a future term will overlay the data for the current term. If your Accounts term logic starts at the web registration date for a given term, consider delaying your Demographics term logic until the term begins. This may require exceptions for new students to ensure their data is populated ahead of the term if needed.

Suggested SIS Tables

Important Information About Importing These Files

Import Order

Demographics should be imported after Accounts, to ensure that the accounts referenced exist in the repository.

Record Updates

The Demographics importer will add new records and update existing records based on the EffectiveOn date.

Products That Use Demographics 

Product Required Optional Not Applicable
Baseline - Rubrics     2000px-Checkmark_black.png
Beacon   2000px-Checkmark_green.svg.png   
Course Evaluations      2000px-Checkmark_black.png
Engage     2000px-Checkmark_black.png
Insight   2000px-Checkmark_green.svg.png   
Outcomes      2000px-Checkmark_black.png
Planning     2000px-Checkmark_black.png



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