It's important to check in on your data integration before the start of a new admissions cycle to make sure that everything is working as expected and to accommodate any changes that may have occurred. Some regular maintenance is necessary to ensure that your data integration functions properly. Beyond that, your admissions processes will change over time, so the data integration built to serve those processes may need to change to keep up. Your local systems will also evolve over time to meet the needs of users on campus. Furthermore, each year, Liaison works to improve its products, regularly releasing enhancements to our existing products. These improvements may require adjustments to your data integration.
The required yearly maintenance falls into 3 categories:
- What regular maintenance is needed to keep your data integration running properly?
- What changes to your admissions process need to be accommodated?
- What changes to the CAS application need to be accommodated?
Regular yearly maintenance tasks center on making sure that your data integration extracts the correct CAS data in the appropriate format. You'll want to answer the following questions.
- Do the tools needed to extract CAS data exist?
- Are those tools set to extract applications from the correct admissions cycle?
- Have any of the field names changed (e.g. "lastName" is now "last_name")?
- Have any of the possible values changed (e.g. "Monday" is now "MON")?
You can find more detailed guidance on regular maintenance in Liaison's individual products here:
Admissions Process Changes
As your admissions process changes over time, your data integration may have to adapt to keep up. The most fundamental question here is whether you are changing what you are trying to do with the CAS data once transferred. Such a change would likely require a significant adjustment in your data integration. Consider also whether any changes downstream - Registrar, academic departments, institutional research - require changes to your data integration. You'll want to answer the following questions.
- Has our intended use for CAS data in local systems changed?
- Does that change require us to move applications earlier of later in the admissions funnel?
- Do we need to transfer any additional data points to serve the new purpose?
- Do we need to transfer any additional data points to meet the needs of downstream units on campus?
CAS Application Changes
Each year, there are likely to be changes to your CAS application. These changes may come from outside your institution: modifications to a CAS by the affiliated national association, enhancements to the underlying product by Liaison. They may also come from inside your institution: new custom questions added to collect additional information, new application requirements added to collect additional materials. Your data integration may need to change to accommodate these changes. You'll want to answer the following questions.
- Has your institution added, removed, or changed any custom questions on your CAS application?
- Beyond any changes made by your institution, have any questions been added, removed, or changed on the CAS application?
- Has your institution added, removed, or changed any application requirements (materials required for review)?
- Beyond any changes made by your institution, have any application requirements been added, removed, or changed?
- Has Liaison made any changes to the CAS platform that might affect your data integration?