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Using a Manual Data Entry Approach

Have you already decided how you will migrate CAS applicant data into your local system? There are four approaches to accomplishing this. Review the information below to learn more about one of these methods: the Manual Data Entry approach.

Preparing for Manual Data Entry

Why would I choose the manual data entry approach?

Institutions with data entry personnel on staff may want to leverage that resource to bring CAS application data into local systems. Generally, manual data entry works best for institutions intending to use CAS data in local systems only after the point of offer, when there are fewer records to manually key in to local systems. If the volume of applications coming through the CAS is low, data entry will have a low manual effort cost and it will avoid the challenges of building a data integration. The manual data entry approach also appeals to admissions units without access to data upload tools in local systems.

How does the manual data entry approach work?

At some point after applicants have submitted their applications to the CAS, and usually when the population to bring into local systems is completely fixed (i.e., after offers have gone out), all the relevant application data is retrieved in one form or another from the CAS and manually keyed in to local systems, creating the necessary records. There are different ways to retrieve CAS data for this purpose. Some schools print out the “Full Application PDF” document to use for data entry. Other schools view the application record online in an admissions managements software (e.g., WebAdMIT, Liaison Outcomes, etc.) when doing data entry. Still others download spreadsheets of data from the CAS to use for data entry.

Who needs to be on the team to set up the manual data entry approach?

The team needed to set up the manual data entry approach must have three skill sets. These skill sets don’t need to be spread across different people. Consider which people in your organization have the necessary skills, knowledge, and tools.


Skills, Knowledge and Tools

Typical Office

Project Lead

  • Project management
  • Authority to direct necessary staff
  • Relationship with CAS configuration team
  • Admissions
  • Academic Department


  • Understanding of admissions business processes
  • Knowledge of applicant population
  • Admissions
  • Academic Department

Business Analyst

  • Understanding of admissions business processes
  • Fluency with local systems
  • Systems analysis
  • Quality control
  • Admissions
  • Registrar
  • IT
My institution doesn’t have data entry personnel on staff; can I still take this approach?

Yes. As long as someone with access to CAS application data also has access to the data entry tools in your local systems needed to create the necessary records, you can take the manual data entry approach. Keep in mind the volume of applications and the resources available to perform data entry.

How long will it take to set up the manual data entry approach?

Plan for two to four weeks to set up the manual data entry approach. With a motivated project team and an existing data entry team, however, this approach can be up and running even more quickly.

Data Integration Project Plan Flowchart


Manual Data Entry Work Breakdown Structure


Manual Data Entry Task Overview

  • Assemble Team [Project Lead]
    • Get the right skill sets on board (see above for description).
  • CAS Onboarding Status [Project Lead]
    • How many CASs on campus?
    • Are applications currently arriving via CASs?
  • Use for Data [Admissions]
    • What will be done with the data in local systems?
      • Application management
      • Application review
      • Decision release
      • Post-offer operations  
      • Student record creation
  • Integration Timing [Admissions]
    • At what point in the application process will data be brought over to local systems?
  • Integration Frequency [Admissions]
    • How frequently will data be brought over to local systems?
  • Local Systems Assessment [Business Analyst]
    • What tools are available in local systems to create person and application records?
    • What are the established data entry processes for creating new records?
    • Does anything need to happen to new records after they are created manually?
  • CAS Configuration [Project Lead]
    • Coordinate with the CAS configuration teams.
    • Is all required institution-specific data gathered?
    • Are custom questions configured for easy integration?
    • Are all CASs configured similarly?
  • Plan Workflow [Business Analyst]
    • How will CAS data be retrieved for subsequent data entry?
    • Who will perform the data entry?
  • Fields Required [Business Analyst]
    • What’s required to create a person/application/document record?
    • What’s required to kick off workflows in local systems?
  • Configure Load [Business Analyst]
    • Codify data entry process.
Performance & Control
  • Build Quality Control [Business Analyst]
    • Have all the required CAS applications been created in local systems?
    • How will manually entered data be reviewed for accuracy?
    • How will workflows in local systems be monitored?
  • Go-live [Project Lead]
    •  Coordinate activation.
    • Trigger ongoing quality control.
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