Managing Data While Retaining Value Within Your Database

Contributor(s): Amber Smith, Jeff Davison, Laura Bruck



The value of any database is in its data. Here are some housekeeping tips to help you retain data while keeping your database tidy. Before you delete information, consider some alternatives below. 

Keeping it Clean as You Go

Users & Staff

When a staff member is no longer employed with you, we encourage you to revoke the User ID instead of deleting. Once a user is deleted, you cannot search user activity. Check out our Best Practice article Protecting Your Data When a Staff Member Leaves for more details.

If the User ID was matched to a staff member, revoking access from the database will also keep them from being able to login to the Staff Portal. Change the staff member’s status inactive on the Summary tab of the Staff record instead of deleting. Deleted staff members can be recovered by our Development Team, but there is a fee to recover information.

Drop-down Lists

Many of your drop-down lists have the option to hide, which is always preferable to deleting. It is best to create new drop-down list values, rather than editing. If you would like to change an existing value, support has the ability to mass change some drop-down list values for you. 

Use caution when changing or deleting existing drop-down lists as this can affect the ability to report or search by that value. 

When would you need to change drop-down list values? Here are some possible scenarios to demonstrate how this might apply to you. 

  • You are no longer offering a program that you had when you set up Jackrabbit. No need to delete the Category 1 - you can simply hide the value from your users and customers to prevent future use.

  • It is time to transition your classes to a new session and your ‘old’ classes have ended. The old class session value found in your drop-down lists can be hidden from users and customers to prevent use hereafter. Note: hiding the session value in your drop-down list does not hide the session of classes. See Archive Classes below.

Transactions

You can choose which users have permission to delete or edit transactions. All users with this ability should be aware of how either task can affect a family’s account. It is best to edit a transaction rather than delete. However, if the transaction was created in error, deleting is appropriate. Transactions can be restored - contact Support for assistance.

Duplicate Families

Every once in awhile, you may find that you have two families in your database that are the same. It is best practice to merge duplicate families. Not only will this consolidate enrollment and transaction history into one account, but it will also decrease confusion for your database users and your customers. 

Spring Cleaning (as Needed)

Archive Classes

A designated dashboard alert lets you know when you have classes that have ended. If you have posted all fees for these classes, you can “move them out of the way” by archiving them. Jackrabbit gives you the flexibility to archive many classes (e.g. 2018-19 Session) at one time. Or you can archive classes individually as the class ends. It is best to pick one method and stick to it!

Archived classes will move to the student’s past enrollment rather than showing in the student’s current enrollment. Since parents can view current enrollment in the Parent Portal, archiving classes that have ended will help eliminate confusion for them. No need to worry - you can access all archived classes and restore them if needed. You can also email archived classes easily! 

Clear Absences

If your database is set to track absences, you may offer makeups for your students. Some organizations require that makeup classes be scheduled during the same session as the absence. In this case, once a session is over you can contact Support to have absences, prior to a given date, cleared from your database. This will help you and parents (via the Parent Portal) view only absences related to your upcoming/current session. 

Before you have your absences cleared by Support, it is beneficial to run an Absences-Makeup Report to save for the time period being cleared. This will allow you to refer back to ‘old’ absences if needed without keeping the data in your database. 

The Lead File

Do you have students in your database that are no longer active with your organization? Send them to the Lead File! Not only does this keep your database up-to-date with the students who are actively taking classes with you but this will also help you save money. Since Jackrabbit’s monthly subscription is based on total students (Inactive and Active), you can send inactive families to the Lead File to help lower that number. 

The Lead File does not keep all family Information. You don’t want to send families there too soon simply because they are not enrolled in an active class. We recommend archiving (lead filing) families that have been inactive for 12-18 months. This will keep you from prematurely lead filing families that may be taking a break during the summer. Jackrabbit gives you the option to mass archive families or individually archive families to the lead file.

A student's past enrollment data is retained in the Lead File and will restore to the Family record, however, historical enrollment reporting does NOT include Lead File families. While the family is in the Lead File their enrollment history will NOT be included in any enrollment reports run in your main database. It is a best practice to run any enrollment reports you need before archiving families.

Student Grade Level

Jackrabbit will not automatically update a student’s grade level from year to year, however, you can do a mass update. Some of our organizations will ask teachers to gather this information in the first few weeks of a new session. With printed class rolls, they can give the information to office staff to be updated in the database. Either tactic is a great way to make sure your student information is current!

Student Sizes and Costumes

As you prepare for a new session, you may want to clear out your student sizes and old costumes. Children can grow quickly so it is best to start fresh and collect new measurements for all students. Contact Support to have these sizes and costumes cleared all at once! 

Clear User-defined Fields

If you are using User-defined fields to collect session-specific information (i.e. recital participation), you will want to mass clear these fields so you can collect the information for your new session. Check out our Help article User-defined Fields  for more information.

Clear Fixed Fees

Fixed fees are usually specific to a particular session and or enrollment. Once you have posted the final tuition fees for the session, it is a great idea to mass clear fixed fees in preparation for your new session. Check out our Help article Fixed Fees - An Overview  for more information.

When in Doubt, Don’t Delete! 

Sometimes deleting is necessary but often there is another solution that would better suit your long-term needs. If you must delete, make sure to run a report and save the information on your computer or make a note (i.e. when deleting a transaction) in case you need to refer to it in the future. 

Not sure what to do? Contact Support anytime for further guidance.

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