renaissance-place

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?

School Network Administrators, School Administrators

If you need help preparing or importing your file, please contact Technical Support by chat, phone or email (support@renlearn.co.uk)

  1. On the Home page, click Users.
  2. Click Import Information under Related Student Tasks.
  3. On the Select Import File page, read the tips, then click Browse or Choose File and select the file that you want to import. (For help, click the links for the template or the tips and examples.)
  4. Click 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).
  5. Once the file passes validation, the first page of the Import Wizard will open.

    You can pause an import at any time by clicking 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).

  6. 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 the database, it will automatically be entered here.
  7. 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. Click 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 on the Personnel and Students page by clicking View Import Status under Related Student Tasks.)

    You can also get to the Import Status page by selecting View Import Status under Related Student Tasks on the Personnel and Students page.

  8. Click Next >.
  9. 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.

  10. 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.
    • 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.
    • 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/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
  11. Click 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.
  12. On the Column validation results page, the information in each row of data will be separated into columns. (The column validation results will have a scroll bar at the bottom if the table is too wide to fit on the page.) 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.

    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.

  13. Click Next >.
    • Data types that were found in your file are ticked automatically. Remove the tick mark from any data type that you do not want to import.
    • Data types that were not found in your file cannot be ticked.
    • Click < 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. Enrolment/assignment data is one row of data that includes a class and either a student, a personnel record or both.

    The grey 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 the 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.

    The last box lets you choose whether to preview the data import. The preview is recommended because it can help you to ensure that data will be imported correctly, without creating unnecessary duplicates. The preview may take some time.

  14. Click Next >.

  15. 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. What you see depends on whether you choose to preview the data import.
      • Use the Match on drop-down list to choose the primary criteria for determining a match (IDs cannot be used as matching criteria if the student records being imported do not include them):
        • First, Middle and Last Name
        • Student ID Number and Last Name
        • Student ID Number, First Name and Last Name
      • Tick Same Year if you only want students in the file compared to those in the same year in Renaissance Place when trying to match students.
      • Note that school year is taken into account if the Same Year option is chosen. Example: If the current school year is 2013-2014, and you are importing John Robert Smith (who was in year 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 year 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 years, moving him from year 3 to year 5.

      • Tick Same School Enrolment if you only want students in the file compared to those in the same school in Renaissance Place when trying to match students.
      • Tick 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 Renaissance Place if the data being imported does not match an existing Renaissance Place student.
      • Tick Update any 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 enrolment records for a new school year, and the students are already in Renaissance Place, tick Update the existing student information in Renaissance Place from the import file when an exact match is found. Do not tick 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, the drop-down list will not appear on the page.

    • These options are available:

      • Tick 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 Renaissance Place if a student record being imported does not match an existing Renaissance Place student. Use this option if your file includes new students.
      • Tick 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 enrolment records for a new school year, and the students are already in Renaissance Place, tick Update the existing student information in Renaissance Place from the import file when an exact match is found. Do not tick the "Create a new student" box to avoid creating duplicate students.

      • Click a Match on option to choose the primary criteria for determining a match (IDs cannot be used as matching criteria if the student records being imported do not include them):
        • First, Middle and Last Name
        • Student ID Number and Last Name
        • Student ID Number, First Name and Last Name
      • Tick Same Year if you only want students in the file compared to those in the same year in Renaissance Place when determining a match.
      • Note that school year is taken into account if the Same Year option is chosen. Example: If the current school year is 2013-2014, and you are importing John Robert Smith (who was in year 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 year 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 years, moving him from year 3 to year 5.

      • Tick Same School Enrolment if you only want students in the file compared to those in the same school in Renaissance Place when trying to match students.

      Based on the options you choose, the bottom of the page will tell you how many new students would be created, how many duplicate students may result in Renaissance Place and how many student records would be updated.

      Pay special attention to the duplicate students. If necessary, change the matching options you have selected to avoid creating duplicate students.

    After you have chosen the student options, click Next >.

  16. Choose the personnel options:
    • These options are available:

      • In the Match on drop-down list First, Middle and Last Name are chosen as the matching criteria.
      • Tick 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. Tick this option if your file includes new personnel.
      • Tick 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 the bottom of the page, you will see a preview list of the personnel being imported.

    • These options are available:

      • Tick 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 Renaissance Place if the personnel being imported does not match an existing Renaissance Place personnel record. Tick this option if your file includes new personnel.
      • Tick 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 Renaissance Place personnel information with the information being imported (when it finds a match).
      • For the Match on criteria, First, Middle and Last Name are selected as the primary method for determining a match.

      Based on the options you choose, the bottom of the page will tell you how many new personnel records would be created, how many duplicate personnel records may result in Renaissance Place and how many personnel records would be updated. Change options as needed before you continue.

      Pay special attention to the duplicate personnel. If necessary, change the matching options you have selected to avoid creating duplicate personnel records in Renaissance Place.

    After you have chosen your personnel options for matching, click Next >.

  17. 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; click < Back if you need to return to any earlier stage of the process.
  18. Click Start this Import.
  19. For a brief moment, "Scheduled" may appear in the Status column before the import actually begins. If you wish to cancel the import, click Cancel this Import.
  20. 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, click Stop this Import. If you click Stop this Import, any data that was imported before you clicked it will still be in the database.
  21. An import stopped by clicking Stop this Import cannot be resumed.

  22. 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.
  23. "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 clicking Cancel this Import in the Action column.

    The import is in progress. To stop it, click Stop this Import in the Action column.

    Any data imported before you clicked 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, click View Merge Candidates in the Action column (and see the instructions for merging students).
    • In the Enrolment 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, click Details to open the Import Details page (the Details link is not available for imports done by other users):
      • The information shown in the Enrolment 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, click 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, click Hide.

    An import can be paused at any stage when a user clicks Save and Exit on any page.

    The last step completed during that import is shown here. Click 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 school network administrator can resume an import in any school in the school network, regardless of who began it.
    • If a school network 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.

    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.

    Message Meaning
    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 enrolments 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 enrolments updated One or more students who where already in the database have had their class enrolment 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 enrolments not updated The student record is inactive, but there is enrolment 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.
    Skipped/Warning error Caused by bad data, the user stopping the import, or other non-specific errors.
  24. Click Done to finish the import.