Data Import and Validation
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Data Import and Validation

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Article Summary

Data Import and Validation

If you are moving from an existing student information system (SIS) or even paper records, the data must be entered into the Campus Café platform. Campus Café provides conversion services for importing legacy data.

Once data is imported, data validation is a crucial step in launching Campus Café. Validation occurs after Campus Café has imported data from the institution’s previous system(s). Institutions know their data best and are best positioned to ensure the resulting import accurately reflects their data.

The validation step should not be rushed and will likely involve a cycle of identification of a possible issue, approach to solving, adjustment to import and validation that change resulted in desired outcome.

General Considerations

What is being converted

Campus Café offers clients the opportunity to convert only certain segments of their data. Selecting only some pieces can reduce cost and speed implementation. It is important to be familiar with the contract to understand what data is missing by design and what data is missing unintentionally. Especially important is to understand the timeframe of data and how Campus Café converts notes and documents, how Campus Café converts student financial data, and the impact of ancillary systems.

Timeframe of data

Records imported may consist of the entire previous data set or data starting at a specific timeframe. It is important to consider that if not bringing in all previous data that there may be “missing” data in Campus Café. For example, if academic data was imported from 2010 forward, the portion of a student’s academic record that occurred before 2010 would be lost. However, the longer timeframe of data increases the complexity and time required for a successful data import. Clients may wish to consider archiving data prior to a certain point and only converting more recent data. The legacy data could be stored in PDFs of transcripts and bills or in an archival database.

Notes and documents

Campus Café uses a module called Activity Tracking to house notes and documents that can be categorized by type, e.g. academic, financial, registrar, etc. Campus Café only converts notes and documents if Activities is specifically stated in the contract.

Student financial data

Campus Café considers student ledger data and student financial aid data separate modules for the purposes of conversion. If only student ledger data is selected on the contract, Campus Café will import ledger transactions but not the underlying financial aid packaging and origination data. Clients should carefully consider the consequences of not importing underlaying financial aid data if launching Campus Café in the middle of a financial aid year.

Ancillary systems

Your institution may use ancillary systems to store additional data about students, courses or financial aid. For example, you may use a separate student success program to track notes or a leaning management system to track attendance. If data from those systems do not feed into the systems being converted by Campus Café, that data will not be converted. Typically, Campus Café only converts from one legacy system. Converting from additional systems may increase the complexity, time and cost of conversion.

Validation Approach 

Once the data is imported, the validation of data – or user acceptance testing – will differ depending on what the institution is converting and its business processes. Typically, it is not necessary or practical to validate every record. Instead, take a statistically significant subsample of records that capture a wide array of situations. For example, you will want to review transcripts of students who enrolled, withdrew and graduated across all your programs. You will want to review ledgers of students who utilized financial aid and those that did not.

Ensure that you have access to the original data set. This is required to make comparisons and to will assist with if something really missing or was never included in the initial data set.

Configuration Considerations

Campus Café populates some records based on configuration rather than converted data. For example, the “class level” of freshman, sophomore, junior or senior would be populated based on earned credits and then a rule set in Campus Café rather than converted data. Below are some items that are calculated rather than converted. If these data elements are incorrect, a review of the confirmation is necessary.

 Key Configuration Item      
Ensure you check the Quality Point Maintenance table before proceeding as this controls the quality points assigned to grades and will impact GPA and credit calculations. 
  • Student Class Level (configured, see above)
  • Student Enrollment Status (automatically calculated)
  • Student Semester/Cumulative GPA (configured through Registrar > Quality Point Maintenance)
  • Student Total Attempted/Earned Credits (automatically calculated based on repeat rules set in Custom Control)
  • Academic Program (major) titles (configured through Admin > Major Maintenance)
  • Degree Titles (configured through Admin > Major Maintenance)
  • Descriptions of Student Ledger Items (configured through Student Financials > Transaction Codes)

Biographical Data

Campus Café is designed to store each individual’s biographical data once, regardless of if the individual has multiple roles such as student, faculty, donor, etc. 

Campus Café’s biographical data is not effective date driven, the system stores only the most recent data. However, the system does contain a field for former name.

Validate date under 

Person Selected > Bios

Person Selected Bios > Address/Phones

Person Selected Bios > Email Address

Key items to verify 

  • First, middle and last name
  • Nick Name (Preferred Name)
  • Maiden Name
  • Former Name
  • Gender
  • Birthday
  • Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Citizen Status
  • Citizen Country
  • Visa Code
  • Hispanic?
  • Race
  • Email
  • Address, including street 1, street 2, city, state, zip and country
  • Phone, including proper area code

Student Admissions Data

Campus Cafe does not convert actual applications. However, it will convert data important to processing the application itself. For example, whether the individual was accepted and the desired start semester.

Validate date under 

Person Selected > Inquiry (for inquires; shows only the most recent inquiry)

Person Selected > Applicant (for applicants; shows only the most recent application)

Person Selected Bios > Activity Tracking (for notes or documents associated with an inquiry or application)

Key items to verify 

  • Inquiry Date
  • Application Date
  • Admissions Site Code
  • Transfer Code (This codes drives the delivered IPEDS report. College indicates the student had prior college experience and would not be considered a first-time student by IPEDS. GED indicates the student completed a GED and had no subsequent college experience. High school indicates the applicant earned a high school diploma and had no subsequent college experience.)
  • Inquiry Major(s)
  • Inquiry Minor(s)
  • Admissions Progress Code
  • Entering Semester
  • App Major (the major for which the applicant applied)
  • Accept Major (the major for which the applicant was accepted)
  • Prior School (High school attended)
  • Prior School Grad Month
  • Prior School Grad Year

Course Data

Campus Café course data is not effective date driven; the course catalog keeps only the most recent data on the course. However, each semester is independent and course data such as title, credits or description may vary by semester. Campus Café does not convert pre-requisites.

Ensure that you validate courses at both the course catalog level and for individual semesters.

Validate course data under 

Registrar > Course Finder

Key items to verify

  • Courses appear under the correct semesters
  • Course code (e.g. MTH100)
  • Course title (Course tab, description field)
  • Course start and end dates (Course tab)
  • Course credits or clock hours (Course tab, Credits/CEUs and Contact Hours fields)
  • Instructors (Course tab, instructor fields)
  • Number of times a course can be repeated (Codes tab, Repeatable Flag field)
  • Course description (Extra Info tab, full description field)

Student Academic Data

A first step to validating academic data is to compare transcripts from the legacy system and those in Campus Café. Select a wide variety of students, including those that have withdrawn, those that have changed majors, those that have been awarded multiple degrees. Also ensure to pick transcripts across many years.


Validate transcripts under 

Person Selected > Transcript/Grades

Key items to verify

  • Academic Program names
  • GPAs
  • Clock hours (attempted/earned) or credit hours (attempted/earned)
  • Semester descriptions
  • How transfer credit is displayed
  • Degree titles
  • Conferral and completion dates
  • How repeated classes appear
  • How repeated classes are factored into credit totals and GPAs
  • Transcript notes
  • Degree names
  • Degree confer dates


Degrees in Campus Café represent academic programs, which many institutions refer to as majors. 

Validate degrees under 

Person Selected > Degrees/Majors

Key items to verify

  • Proper academic programs
  • Type indicates the credential awarded
  • Level indicates the academic level. Each time a student starts a new level, the GPA and credit totals will reset.
  • Majors
  • Status (See below notes)
  • Status Date
  • Begin Semester
  • Audit Semester (Catalog Year)
  • Expected Graduation Semester
  • Date Granted (date degree granted)
  • Student site (if applicable)
  • Start Date Override (represents the date the student started the program)
  • End Date Override (represents the date the student ceased in the program or is expected to cease participation in the program)

Notes about Status

This field indicates the most recent status of the student in that degree (academic program)






The degree row has been auto created from admissions and the student has not been enrolled in any classes yet.


Active-Not Enrolled

The student is active but not currently enrolled in a class. The system will automatically change the status from ‘E’ to ‘A’ when all grades have been entered if they are already an ‘E’, ‘A’, or blank. No other status would be changed in this scenario.

An active student represents one whose academic degree remains open. The student is not enrolled and has not been explicitly withdrawn from the degree or graduated.



The student has completed the program, but has not yet officially graduated (been conferred).



The student is enrolled in at least one class without a final grade. The system will automatically change the status from blank or ‘A’ to ‘E’ when a student is enrolled in a class.



The student changes academic programs within the same degree level. The former row is marked inactive rather than withdrawn because the student did not technically withdraw from the institution.

If a student withdraws from the institution and then returns later to the same program, the old degree row should have W in the status and a new degree row created.


Leave of Absence

The student is on an approved leave of absence.


No Start

The individual never began the degree, but a record is desired to be kept.



The student has withdrawn from the degree and the institution.


Degree Conferred

The student has officially graduated and been conferred the degree. The degree will print on the transcript as completed.

Semester Status

Semester status is where Campus Café stores statuses related to a specific student and a specific term. For example, Dean’s List or Academic Probation.

Validate semester statuses under 

Person Selected > Status History

Key items to verify

  • Do all statuses expected appear?
  • Are the statuses connected to the correct term?
  • If applicable, do the statuses appear on the transcript? (If not, check the configuration)

Student Attendance Data

Student attendance data consists of the individual classes that a student historically attended and, in some cases, the exact number of hours/minutes the student attended. The latter is important for clock hour institutions that need to ensure students attend the number of hours required by the curriculum. 

Validate student attendance under

Person Selected > Attendance Report (choose range of semesters and click Submit)

Key items to verify

  • Course and semesters are correct
  • Course date is correct
  • Time attended is correct (if applicable)
  • Attendance note(s) are present

Student Financial Data

Student financial data consists of the student’s ledger card, which displays credit and debt transactions, typically organized by a specific timeframe such as semester.

Validate student financial under 

Person Selected > Billing Statement

Key items to verify

  • All transactions expected are present
  • Transaction amounts are correct
  • Transactions appear under expected semesters

Student Financial Aid Data

Student financial aid data consists of details behind a student's award such as the award's scheduled disbursement and actual disbursement dates, loan period and COD processing sequence number.

Validate student financial under 

Person Selected > F/A

Under Edit, click the pencil to display the overall details of the award.

Under Disbursements, click the dollar icon to display the details of the individual disbursements. Click the pencil to view additional details such as the transaction number, and award and loan periods.

Key items to verify

  • All awards expected are present
  • Award amount, gross disbursed amount and net disbursed amounts 
  • Each disbursement's scheduled date and disbursement date
  • Awards and disbursements appear under expected academic years / semesters
  • Award period begin and end dates
  • Academic year begin and end dates
  • Each award's COD transaction number (CPS #)

Placement Data

Placement data records where a graduate was employed after graduation and may also include internship or similar placements. 

Validate placement data under

Person Selected > Relations (click the pencil icon to view details of the placement)

Key items to verify

Provided your original data source contained this data

  • Title
  • Begin Date
  • End Date
  • Hours Per Week
  • Hourly Rate
  • Salary
  • Related Field (is the placement related to the individual's education)
  • Verification Source (how did institution learn of the placement)
  • Unavailable Reason Code (if the institution was unable to verify employment, the reason)
  • Job Duties


Activities is where Campus Café stores notes related to applicants, students or faculty. For example, a record of a phone call with a potential applicant would be stored as an activity.

Validate activities under 

Person Selected > Activity Tracking

Key items to verify

  • Is the note in a member (category) that makes sense? For example, are notes about admission in the A for admission member? Are notes related to the registrar in the Registrar member?
  • Is the entire note present if you click the pencil?


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