Stump the Slate Squad Follow-Up: Helping You Find Solutions in Slate

Jessica Severt
Dec 08, 2023 Jessica Severt VP, Slate Student Search and Communications Persona The Compassionate and Curious Seeker

You had questions, and our Slate Squad has answers! Our Slate Optimization team here at Carnegie has 45 Slate Strategists with expertise in areas across Slate; portals, communications, reader, reports, you name it. In our recent Stump the Slate Squad webinar hosted by Technolutions, we had a blast answering your burning Slate questions. Some of our favorites are recapped below. Happy learning and Slate-ing!


Merging and Unmerging Records

Do you have any suggestions for unmerging 1,000 records that were merged incorrectly?

You’ll want to get very familiar with the Transfer Objects functionality and the use of Time Warps. Once merged, the primary record will contain all of the event, form, and other registration data for both records alongside the bio/demo info, application information, etc. In order to unmerge these records, you’ll want to have a Time Warp provisioned to just before the records were merged. Once you have the time warp provisioned, you’ll use the unmerge functionality in your production environment, then pull up the transfer objects tool. Looking at the records in the Time Warp, you’ll have to move the data/registrations/etc. from the unmerged primary record over to the secondary record to match what was in the timewarp.

– Ryan Simpson, Slate Admissions Implementation Strategist

Large Volume Slate Emails

Should we send large volume emails out of our Slate instance? How could this affect our sender reputation?

For those who might not be working in Deliver every day, a sender reputation is a score that is given by an Inbox Service Provider (ISP) to your institution and Technolutions’ IP Address based on email engagement, spam and complaints, unsubscribes, and bounces. Both IP Addresses and web domains are given sender reputation scores. The IP Address reputation is solely in Technolutions’ hands, while your domain reputation is dictated not only by emails you send via Slate but any email sent with your school’s domain address. Typically Technolutions IP addresses are in the upper 90th percentile while industry-wide sender reputations are in the 70-80% range. To ensure a high sender reputation, Slate inherently does a few things. First, it utilizes DKIM capabilities. DKIM authenticates emails and allows your institution to claim responsibility for all email messages, which are then identified and validated by the email recipient service. Slate also has bounce management and suppression lists actively managing requests. Additionally, there is an unsubscribe link that populates at the bottom of every email, which if clicked and submitted, will opt out the recipient’s email address. These unsubscribe message groups can be customized to fit your individual institutional needs. Finally, it is important to clean up data for campaign populations. Unclean data is an unfortunate reality of purchasing search names. We encourage you to take time to ensure your data is as clean as possible by keeping up with consolidated records and creating audit queries that pull all bounces, skips, and complaints from the last week or month and attempt to diagnose any common errors. If all of this is in order for your institution I would say you’re good to begin sending your large volume emails through Deliver!

– Sydney Nowak, Senior Slate Communications Strategist

Source Format Upload Errors

If I goofed on a Source Format upload. Does deleting the upload wipe out all past records for that student or just that particular upload?

Deleting the upload would only delete the history of the upload itself, but all of the records you’ve already loaded into Slate would still exist. Using a retention policy would delete any imported records and in that, you can specify which records you’d want to delete.

-Laura Bald, AVP Slate Implementations

Converting Event Landing Pages

How do I convert an event landing page into a portal?

You can use express portals! While deprecated event landing pages do have a “Generate” button that allows you to immediately create a portal containing your landing page content, that action results in a new standard portal, not an express portal. There is no technical reason to avoid using a standard portal in this scenario, but Technolutions highly recommends using express portals to replace event landing pages due to their streamlined build process and ease of maintenance. Using the “Generate” button causes you to lose out on the opportunity to benefit from the unique properties of express portals. Instead of clicking “Generate”,  we would recommend building a new express portal and copying your current landing page content into the portal view, as that will ultimately help you leverage the tool whose specific purpose is to replace event landing pages.

– Dylan Schechtel, Slate Technical Strategist

Suspending Slate Messages

We want to suspend messages for a period of time but don’t want to activate the Emergency Stop. Do you have any suggestions for pausing our campaigns?

We also don’t recommend using the Emergency Stop feature! For drip campaigns, you could use two different versions of the population filter with current date exports with an OR statement. Let’s say you want to pause the mailings during your winter break. The first current date export would be set to before your first day of winter break. The second current date export would be set to after your last day of winter break to ensure the mailing starts sending again when everyone is back in the office. This way no emails would be sent during that time frame. If you utilize Inbox, consider adding rules to respond to incoming emails notifying students that your office is closed. Don’t forget you can add a simple statement to the bottom of drip emails letting students know your office may be closed during the holidays. You can utilize liquid markup with current-date exports to have that message show on your drip messages. The last thing to consider is if you upload your purchased names, or work with a vendor who does that on your behalf, work together to calculate the days records would receive each planned email if you upload your names on a certain day. This way you can avoid having a large email deployment over the holidays or when your office is closed! 

-Rachael Yates, Slate Communications Strategist

Displaying User Identity in Portal Reports

What is the best way to use portal identity in a portal report to display just that user’s events/applications/prospects/etc? Parameters? Filters? Both? Do I need specific exports? Does it have to be done by manually editing the tab?

In the world of database querying, a savvy technique to boost accuracy is aligning the GUID of your base query with the target identifier. Enter the @identity parameter, a dynamic tool designed for this very purpose. This parameter, specifically tailored for portals, correlates with the GUID of the active user—be it a student, record, or any entity—ensuring that queries resonate with the current portal user. This personalized key streamlines data retrieval, especially in complex datasets where precision is crucial.

Why the portal emphasis? Portals act as gateways to system interaction, making @identity particularly potent in this context. Whether you’re navigating student records or user data, consider @identity as the surrogate for ‘matching GUIDs.’ This nuanced approach enhances query precision, aligning results seamlessly with the user’s unique portal context. In essence, leveraging @identity elevates your querying game, ensuring a tailored and efficient data retrieval process.

– Chris Carl, AVP Slate Product Development

Leveraging Concierge in Slate

What uses do you see for Concierge? What are some examples of how to leverage it to improve our staff experience?

Concierge is essentially an embedded portal that allows an internal Slate user to search a record and bring up the pre-selected data, outlined in the Concierge portal, versus using the omni look-up and going to the record itself. Think of it like a snapshot, quick glance, or flier of the record data — allowing for easy viewing and data digesting. Thinking back to my time in higher education I get really excited about the things we could have used Concierge for – here are some of my thoughts:

  • Simplified admission/checklist/next steps for a front-line worker to more quickly and clearly articulate what an applicant needs to do next.
  • Housing and New Student Orientation to determine if a student has completed what is needed and/or to use at check-in to better guide students. 
  • An overview for Academic Advisors to be able to get a quick glance at data, courses, raised flags, etc. prior to a student appointment.
  • In the Advancement world, an overview of recent activity and interactions for donors/gift information to review prior to donor meetings or fundraisers.
  • An international student Concierge could be a one-stop view for issuing I-20s, reviewing visa progress, and student completion of international student orientation checklist items.
  • Graduate Program Coordinators/Directors could have a Concierge specific to the program-related highlights or data of interest regarding their applicants and/or inquiries. 

Keep in mind, you have to be an internal user to Slate to access Concierge, but you can restrict access/view based on the filtering of pieces in the portal build, like you would a regular portal.

– Sarah Alkire, Senior Slate Admissions Implementation Strategist

Non-Slate Users Accessing Student Material

Is there a way for a coach who isn’t a Slate User to see student-uploaded materials in a portal?

While there may be a way, this is definitely not advisable and shouldn’t be done. This would require the portal to be anonymous/guest scoped thus leaving personally identifiable information open for anyone to get. Also, without the portal being able to identify the viewer of the portal, they would be seeing everyone’s information (unless it was only built for their sport). It’s most certainly better to build a user scoped portal and parameterize the results that the coaches are seeing based on sport or role.

– Jazz Canty-Lane, Slate Technical Strategist

Using Configurable Joins

Why configurable joins?

  1. Technolutions no longer troubleshoots in the local base. If you submit a ticket or otherwise reach out to them, their first question will be, “Are you building in configurable joins?” If you are not, you are going to have to start.
  2. CJs are the most precise. In a nutshell, the way data is stored in Slate is in a series of tables. The local base made assumptions about how you would need access to the tables. CJs allow you to directly access tables in Slate.
  3. CJs permit keeping previously linked tables separate. Thinking of emailing parents? Did you know that emailing them from the person table means that if they opt out of the mailing, they also opt out their student? Keep the tables separate with CJ.
  4. In modules such as reporting, CJs allow for automation. If you are tired of constantly updating your reports, CJs allow inherent automation.
  5. Using CJs makes aggregates and outputs possible. Sure, existence exports are possible in local. But nothing compares to the full array available within configurable joins (such as rank, concatenate, dictionary, comparison, and more).
  6. All the cool kids are doing it. Seriously, though, CJ is the future. Some day, the local base may disappear entirely. It is better to convert than it is to wait.

-Nick Porcella, Senior Slate Trainings Strategist


Discover the Power of Slate and Connect with Our Experts

Carnegie’s Slate Optimization team is a best-in-class development and implementation partner for Slate, the dominating technology platform in higher education. To learn more about Slate, consider attending one of our upcoming virtual or in-person training sessions or tune in to one of our Slate Demo Series webinars, where our Slate team shares quick how-to walkthroughs of various Slate tools.

If you’re interested in getting even more of your Slate questions answered or working with us on your next Slate Optimization project, contact us to learn more about how we can help.

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