Best Practices Data Integrity

Data integrity is the maintenance and assurance of the accuracy and consistency of data over its entire lifecycle, and is a critical aspect of the design, implementation, and usage of any system which stores, processes, or retrieves data. 

This article describes best practices for system administrators making modifications to activity or faculty classifications, sections or fields, and/or making changes to organizational structure.

Merge, Move, Rename and Delete Units

To merge, move, rename or delete a unit, please download the linked Organizational Structure Change Request Form. The form is a Google Doc that you will need to download as an Excel spreadsheet.

Please fill out the request form with the changes you want to make, and submit a ticket to help@interfolio.com with the completed form attached.

Download and complete the request form  (don't forget to save as an Excel file).

The spreadsheet has four separate forms:

  • New/Delete Unit Form
  • New Change Request Form
  • Merge Request Form
  • Move Unit Request Form

Terms used in the Organizational Structure Change Form:

  • Merge Unit: Merging two or more units together
  • Name Change: Updating the Unit Name or Abbreviation
  • Move Unit: Moving a Unit to a new Parent Unit
  • New Unit: Adding a New Unit to the Org Structure
  • Delete Unit: Delete a Unit from the Org Structure

See this article section below for more details on Managing Organizational Changes.

Managing Faculty Classifications

Faculty Classifications

Action/Change Recommendation
Adding a new faculty classification
Admin can make these changes without talking to Interfolio and without breaking their database.

Adding a new value to a faculty classification
Please review the use cases described below. Contact Interfolio if you have any specific questions.
Changing the ‘label’ of a faculty classification
Please review the use cases described below. Contact Interfolio if you have any specific questions.
Moving a faculty classification to ‘Inactive’
Please review the use cases described below. Contact Interfolio if you have any specific questions.
Removing a value from a faculty classification
Please review the use cases described below. Contact Interfolio if you have any specific questions.
Changing the ‘display type’ of a faculty classification
Please review the use cases described below. Contact Interfolio if you have any specific questions.

Adding a faculty classification

  • Title must be unique.
    • If a faculty classification already exists with the same title, you have to modify the ‘title’ slightly.  You can add an underscore or abbreviate the title, etc.
    • This is true even if the faculty classification is set to ‘inactive’ and then recreated.
  • If a faculty classification was created with a display type and the display type needs to be changed, that should be possible.  
  • Only some display types can be used as filters in reports: Drop down select box and Multi Item Select Box.
  • A faculty classification can be created with only one value.

Modifying an existing faculty classification

  • If the faculty classification already exists but has not been used  meaning  the classification has not been assigned to ‘ANY’ user  modifications should be possible.
  • If the faculty classification already exists but has been used  meaning  the classification has been assigned to a user  modifications will need to be made by the Interfolio Technical Services team.  Please submit a change request via help@interfolio.com or via the Interfolio Community.
  • These modifications include changing the display type, the values in a dropdown select box list or a multi item select box list, and to correct any values that had already been assigned to faculty members.
Managing Activity Classifications

Activity Classifications

Action/Change
Recommendation
Adding an activity classification
Admin can make these changes without talking to Interfolio and without breaking their database.
Adding a new value to an activity classification

Please review the use cases described below. Contact Interfolio if you have any specific questions.
Changing the ‘label’ of an activity classification
Please review the use cases described below. Contact Interfolio if you have any specific questions.
Changing the ‘label’ of a value in an activity classification
Please review the use cases described below. Contact Interfolio if you have any specific questions.
Moving an activity classification to ‘Inactive’
Please review the use cases described below. Contact Interfolio if you have any specific questions.
Removing a value from an activity classification
WARNING: Do not take this action. Please contact Interfolio to discuss your use case at help@interfolio.com
Changing the ‘display type’ of an activity classification
Please review the use cases described below. Contact Interfolio if you have any specific questions.

Adding an activity classification

  • Title must be unique.
    • If an activity classification already exists with the same title, you have to modify the ‘title’ slightly.  You can add an underscore or abbreviate the title, etc.
    • This is true even if the activity classification is set to ‘inactive’ and then recreated.
  • Only some display types can be used as filters in reports: Drop down select box and Multi Item Select Box.
  • If an activity classification was created with a display type and the display type needs to be changed, that may not be possible:

Display selected = Dropdown: Select One  
Below are the options if the display needs to be changed.

Display selected = Dropdown: Select One

Display selected = Text box: Small  
Below are the options if the display needs to be changed.

 

Display selected = Text box: Small  

Modifying an existing activity classification

  • If the activity classification already exists but has not been used  meaning  the classification has not been assigned to an activity by ‘ANY’ user  modifications should be possible.
  • If the activity classification already exists but has been used  meaning  the classification has been assigned to an activity by a user  modifications will need to be made by the Interfolio Technical Services team.  Please submit a change request via help@interfolio.com or via the Interfolio Community.
  • These modifications include changing the display type, the values in a dropdown select box list or a select one (with other) or dropdown select multiple or checkbox select multiple, and to correct any values that had already been selected by a faculty member.
Managing Section changes

Section Changes

Action/Change
Recommendation

Adding a section


Admin can make these changes without talking to Interfolio and without breaking their database.
Adding a new field to a section
Admin can make these changes without talking to Interfolio and without breaking their database.
Changing the ‘label’ of a section
Admin can make these changes without talking to Interfolio and without breaking their database.
Changing the ‘label’ of a field in a section
Admin can make these changes without talking to Interfolio and without breaking their database.
Moving a section to ‘Not Shown’
Please review the use cases described below. Contact Interfolio if you have any specific questions.
Removing a field in a section
WARNING: Do not take this action. Please contact Interfolio to discuss your use case at help@interfolio.com
Changing the ‘field type’ in a section
WARNING: Do not take this action. Please contact Interfolio to discuss your use case at help@interfolio.com

Adding a section

A new section can be added at any time to any form.  The recommendation is to add the section at the level 1 (typically the University level) so that the section can be provisioned for multiple units either when created or in the future.

Modifying a section

  • A new field can be added to a section at any time.
  • Modifying a field might be problematic.
    • During implementation (system set up) before any data are in the database, these changes can be made without consequence.
    • Post implementation or anytime data have been entered into the section and specifically into this field - that does have consequences.
    • If data have been entered or selected in a field (such as a drop down list) and the field type is changed or if the field is removed, the data related to the field will be compromised - meaning - viewing the data or access to the data will be lost.
    • This change will severely affect the integrity of the data.  Reporting of the data either on a vita template or in general reporting will no longer be valid.
  • Changing Term/Year selection
    • One Term/Year to Multiple Term/Year
    • Multiple Term/Year to One Term/Year
      • Before data are entered into the database changing the term/year selection should not be a problem.
      • The impact of the change after data have been entered into the section does not appear to affect general reporting.
      • The impact of the change after data have been entered does affect the backup data and the API extract.  All fields related to the term/year will be in the report.  So if the change was made from the four fields (start term/year and end term/year) to two fields (term/year), all four fields will still exist in the database. 
Managing Organizational Changes

Recommended Courses of Action for Organizational Changes

Action/Change Recommendation
Adding a unit
Admin can make these changes without talking to Interfolio and without breaking their database.
Moving a unit
Please review the use cases described below. Contact Interfolio if you have any specific questions.
Adding new faculty to a unit
Admin can make these changes without talking to Interfolio and without breaking their database.
Moving faculty between units
Please review the use cases described below. Contact Interfolio if you have any specific questions.
Combining units
Please review the use cases described below. Contact Interfolio if you have any specific questions.
Splitting units
Please review the use cases described below. Contact Interfolio if you have any specific questions.
Deleting units
Please review the use cases described below. Contact Interfolio if you have any specific questions.

Adding a unit

A new unit can be added to any parent unit at any time.

Modifying a unit

Changing the unit name or unit abbreviation can be done at any time.  

  • The change of the unit abbreviation may impact the success of base data files that are being loaded.
  • Base data files that may be impacted:  faculty file, current position file, secondary unit assignment file, prefix file, and the support account file.

Moving a unit or multiple units / combining units / splitting units

  • If there are faculty assigned to the unit, it is recommended that a change request is submitted to Interfolio.  There are a number of data points associated with both faculty and unit.  It’s best that this function be completed by the Interfolio Technical Services team to be sure that the unit, faculty and all data points are moved successfully.

To merge, move, rename or delete a unit

Download and complete the request form  (don't forget to save as an Excel file).