Importing Spreadsheet, Comma-Separated, or Delimited Data Files
Before you begin importing your data files:
The template is a Microsoft® Excel® file with the correct header codes already entered. You can simply enter the information about your students, courses, classes, and teachers in the correct columns. You should still read through the file preparation instructions to understand the format requirements and maximum number of characters for each type of information.
- If you will be using a file that you already have, carefully read through the file preparation instructions. These detailed instructions tell you how to prepare your files to make the import run as smoothly as possible.
Only one person should be importing (or resuming an import for) a specific file at a time. If a second person begins to import the same file after the first person has started, the second person will "usurp" the import and force the original importer out of the Import Wizard. The same thing will happen if a single person tries to import the same file on two different machines at once: the import that was started first will be usurped by the second import.
Who can do this with default capabilities?
District Administrators, School Administrators
- On the Home page, select Users.
- Select Import Information under Related Student Tasks.
- On the Select Import File page, read the tips, then select Browse or Choose File and select the file that you want to import. (For help, select the links for the template or the tips and examples.)
- Select Next > on the Select Import File page. A progress window will open while the import file is validated (examined for empty rows or rows with invalid data).
Once the file passes validation, the first page of the Import Wizard will open.
You can pause an import at any time by selecting Save and Exit at the bottom of the page. You can resume importing the file any time in the next 30 days (see Resuming an Import).
- On the School Options page, the name of the file you have chosen to import will be shown, along with the type of file that it is. Choose the school and school year you want to import the data into from the School and School Year drop-down lists. If Renaissance Place only has one school year and/or one school in it, it will automatically be entered here.
You cannot import data until a school year is defined and at least one school is in the Renaissance Place database.
If you have previously imported or begun to import a file with the same name, you will see an alert to that effect underneath the file name. Select View Import Status to read details about that import (if finished) or to resume the import (if not finished).
You can also get to the Import Status page by selecting View Import Status under Related Student Tasks on the Personnel, Students, and Parents page.
- Select Next >.
Each page in the import wizard has Cancel and Save and Exit buttons.
Use Cancel If you need to make changes to the file after you have started importing it. This will stop the import; you will not be able to resume the import, but you can edit the file and then start the import over again from the beginning.
Use Save and Exit if you need to temporarily stop the import process and you do not need to make any changes to the file. This will save the import at its current stage, and you (or another user) can resume the import later.
- On the next page, you will see the results of the row validation. The row validation results will have a scroll bar at the bottom if the table is too wide to fit on the page. Only the first 100 rows of data will be shown. Rows with questionable data will be highlighted in yellow (see the first row in the example below).
- X row(s) removed: One or more rows in the file have no data in them or have too many columns; these rows have been removed. (They will not be imported, though they are still in the file.)
- X invalid row(s) set to Ignore: One or more rows in the file have data, but the data is invalid. (For example, the row might have too many or too few items in it compared to the others.) These rows will be ignored during the import.
Note: If your file uses mixed delimiters (tabs and commas), the program will count which delimiter is used most often. Only rows using that delimiter will be imported; the other rows will be ignored.
- X duplicate row(s) set to Ignore: Two or more rows contained the same data. Only one of these rows will be included in the import; the duplicates will be ignored.
- X row(s) with merged cells removed: For data in a tabular format (such as an Excel file), two or more cells in a row have been merged into a single cell. Rows with merged cells are removed from the import.
- Header means that the row should be used as the header row, which tells the software what is included in each column (this row is not imported)
- Import means that the data in that row should be imported
- Ignore means that the data in that row should not be imported
- Select Next >. A progress window opens up while the import file is validated a second time (examined for columns with invalid data); once this is done, the next page of the Import Wizard opens.
On the Column validation results page, the information in each row of data will be separated into columns. The top row will show the headers you are using for each column (if your data has a header row), along with a drop-down list showing what the program believes is the correct identification for the data in that column. The column validation results will have a scroll bar at the bottom if the table is too wide to fit on the page.
If the program cannot figure out what the data in a column is, Identify this column will be shown in the drop-down list and the column will be highlighted in yellow. Duplicate columns will automatically be set to Ignore this column.
If the data in the column needs to be identified, or if the program's identification of the data is incorrect, choose the correct identification of the data from the drop-down list. The list shows only the kinds of data that can be imported into Renaissance Place. If the data in a column is not one of these types, choose Ignore this column from the drop-down list.
The import cannot proceed until the data columns have been identified; an error message will stop you if there are still columns that require identification.
- Select Next >.
- Data types that were found in your file are checked automatically. Remove the check mark from any data type that you do not want to import.
- Data types that were not found in your file cannot be checked.
- Select < Back if you do not see the data type you want to import. Double-check the column validation results to make sure the data type is in the file.
- If the options you have chosen up to this point result in no valid data being left to import, you will be asked to review the data file.
- If the import file contains class data, do the following:
- Use the Select Class Marking Period drop-down list to choose which marking period to use for the classes.
- If the class students and teachers are included in the file, choose whether to import that data. Enrollment/assignment data is one row of data that includes a class and either a student, a personnel member, or both.
The gray section on the right-hand side of the page shows a summary of the data found in the file--the number of records and what types of data have been identified.
The program will automatically generate certain pieces of information if they are not present in a record:
If a student record being imported does not have a student user name, Renaissance Place will create one and add it to the record during the import.
To create a student user name, the program uses the student's first initial and the first four letters of the student's last name. If there are duplicates, a number is added until a unique user name is found. Example: A user name created for Jane Smithers would be jsmit; a subsequent user name created for John Smithers would be jsmit2.
If a student record being imported does not have a student ID, Renaissance Place will create one and add it to the record during the import.
To create a student ID, the program uses the student's user name. If there are duplicates, a number is added until a unique ID is created. Example: Mark Watson is already in the database (user name mwats, ID mwats2). Mary Watson is imported with no user name or ID. Her user name would be mwats2; her ID would be mwats3.
All students without passwords will be given the same default password: abc.
If a personnel record being imported does not have a personnel user name, Renaissance Place will create one and add it to the record during the import.
To create a personnel user name, the program uses the personnel member's first initial and the entire last name. If there are duplicates, a number is added until a unique user name is found. Example: A user name created for Ralph Jones would be rjones; a subsequent user name created for Rhonda Jones would be rjones2.
If a personnel record being imported does not have a personnel ID, the program uses the personnel member's user name as the ID.
Personnel members use their user names as the password the first time they log into Renaissance Place. They will be asked to select a new password at that time.
Select Next >.
- Next you will see options for importing student information. When data is imported, it is possible that a record being imported will match a record already in the database. Choose the criteria that the program should use to determine if an imported student record matches an existing record.
These options are available:
- Use the Match on drop-down list to choose the primary criteria for determining a match (IDs can't be used as matching criteria if the student records being imported don't include them):
- First, Middle, and Last Name
- Student ID Number and Last Name
- Student ID Number, First Name, and Last Name
- Check the Same Grade box if you only want students in the file compared to those in the same grade in Renaissance Place when trying to match students.
Note that school year is taken into account if the Same Grade option is chosen. Example: If the current school year is 2013-2014, and you are importing John Robert Smith (who was in grade 3 during the 2011-2012 school year) into a school where there is another John Robert Smith (who, in the current school year, is in grade 5), they would be considered a match. The assumption is that in the two years from 2011 to 2013, the John Robert Smith whose record is being imported would have advanced two grades, moving him from grade 3 to grade 5.
- Check the Same School Enrollment box if you only want students in the file compared to those in the same school in Renaissance Place when trying to match students.
- Check Create a new student if the student being imported does not match any Renaissance Place Student if you want the program to automatically create a new student in the database if a student being imported does not match an existing Renaissance Place student. Use this option if your file includes new students.
- Check Update the existing student information in Renaissance Place from the import file when an exact match is found if you want the program to update existing Renaissance Place students with the information being imported (when it finds a match).
If you are importing to update enrollment records for a new school year, and the students are already in Renaissance Place, check Update the existing student information in Renaissance Place from the import file when an exact match is found. Do not check the "Create a new student" box to avoid creating duplicate students.
If class data is included in the student records, you can use the View student data to import for drop-down list to see a preview of which students will be enrolled in which classes. If there is no class data included in the student records, this drop-down list will not appear on the page.
After you have chosen the student options, select Next >.
Choose the personnel options:
These options are available:
- Use the Match on drop-down list to choose the primary criteria for determining a match (IDs can't be used as matching criteria if the records being imported don't include them):
- First, Middle, and Last Name
- Personnel ID Number
- Personnel ID Number and Last Name
- Personnel ID Number, First Name, and Last Name
- Check Create a new personnel record if the personnel record being imported does not match any Renaissance Place personnel records if you want the program to automatically create a new personnel record in the database if the data being imported does not match an existing personnel record. Check this option if your file includes new personnel.
- Check the Update the existing personnel record in Renaissance Place from the import file when an exact match is found if you want the program to update existing personnel information with the information being imported (when it finds a match).
At bottom of the page, you will see a preview list of the personnel being imported.
After you have chosen your personnel options for matching, select Next >.
Review the information shown on the Review and start import page. The name of the file and the person importing it will be shown in the left-hand column. The center column shows the school where the data will be imported, along with a summary of the data. The Status column on the right will indicate if the import is ready to begin. This is your last opportunity to change anything before starting the import; select < Back if you need to return to any earlier stage of the process.
Select start this Import.
For a brief moment, "Scheduled" may appear in the Status column before the import actually begins. If you wish to cancel the import, select Cancel this Import.
The Import Status window will show a progress meter while the import is taking place. If you want to stop the import before it is finished, select Stop this Import. Clicking Stop this Import does not completely negate the import; any data that was imported before you selected it will still be in the database.
An import stopped by selecting Stop this Import cannot be resumed.
When the import is complete, the Import Status window will show you the status of the import. The Status column shows the status of saved, pending, and completed data imports.
"Scheduled" appears once an import is started but before it has actually begun. You may have a brief moment when you can still stop an import by selecting Cancel this Import in the Action column.
The import is in progress. To stop it, select Stop this Import in the Action column.
Any data imported before you selected Stop this Import will be in the database.
- The date and time of the import's completion is shown, along with the number (if any) of potential merge candidates (student records that might be matches, based on the criteria you chose on the Student Options page). To view details about any merge candidates, select View Merge Candidates in the Action column (and see the instructions for merging students).
- In the Enrollment school Import Data column, further details about the import are shown: the number of students, personnel members, and classes imported; the number of students enrolled in classes, and the number of teachers assigned to classes.
- For more information, select Details to open the Import Details page (the Details link is not available for imports done by other users):
- The information shown in the Enrollment school Import data column expands on what is shown on the Import Status page, including a list of all the options chosen when the import was being set up.
- The Import Log (at the bottom of the page) gives much more information about the import, stating which individual records already existed in the database, which ones were not updated, and so on. If the Import Log is not visible, select Show next to Import Log. Depending on the size of the file that was imported, the log may be rather long. Scroll down to read the entire thing.
- To collapse the view of the log, select Hide.
An import that you are setting up can be paused at any stage when a user selects Save and Exit on any page.
The last step completed during that import is shown here. Select Resume to continue the import from that step.
A saved import can be resumed within 30 days of the original date it was saved on. (Even if the import is saved, restarted on a later date, then saved again, the 30-day limit is calculated from the original save date, not the subsequent one.) After 30 days, the import will have to be started over again.
A saved import does not have to be resumed by the person who originally saved it.
- A school administrator can resume an import saved by any other school administrator in that school.
- A district administrator can resume an import in any school in the district, regardless of who began it.
- If a district administrator resumes an import that was saved by a school administrator and chooses a different school to import the data into (on the School Options page), that import will no longer appear on the View Import Status page when a school administrator at the first school opens it.
If the School and School Year drop-down lists are shown on this page, you can use them to see the status of imports for other schools and/or school years.
Select Done to finish the import.
Note: The Details link is not available for imports done by other users.
The second column on the Import Details page provides more information about what happened during the import. Messages will have a number after them showing how many records the message applies to. Messages relating to problems during an import will appear in
red. For more about the messages, see the table below.
When you have finished reviewing the import details, select Done.
|New students imported
||New students were imported into the database.
|New personnel imported
||New personnel were imported into the database.
|New classes imported
||New classes were imported into the database.
|New student enrollments
||A new student has been enrolled in a class.
|New personnel positions assigned
||A new personnel member has been assigned to a class.
|Existing students updated
||There was new information for a student who was already in the database. The old information has been updated with the new.
|Existing personnel updated
||There was new information for personnel who were already in the database. The old information has been updated with the new.
|Existing classes updated
||There was new information for classes that were already in the database. The old information has been updated with the new.
|Existing student enrollments updated
||One or more students who where already in the database have had their class enrollment information updated.
|Existing personnel positions assigned
||One or more personnel members who where already in the database have had their class assignment information updated.
|Students not updated (no match found)
||You have either a) chosen to update existing student records but not create new ones (when choosing options for importing students) or b) chosen to create new records and not update existing ones and a match has been made to an existing record.
|Personnel not updated (no match found)
||You have either a) chosen to update existing personnel records but not create new ones (when choosing options for importing personnel) or b) chosen to create new records and not update existing ones and a match has been made to an existing record.
|Student enrollments not updated
||The student record is inactive, but there is enrollment data in it. Inactive records cannot be updated.
|Teachers assigned to class not updated
||The personnel record is inactive, but there is class assignment data in it. Inactive records cannot be updated.
|Merge candidates (potential duplicate students)
||A student record being imported may match a record already in the database.
||Caused by bad data, the user stopping the import, or other non-specific errors.