All Your Slate Higher Education CRM Questions, Answered

Carnegie Higher Ed Oct 20, 2022 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

With 37 full-time Slate experts at Carnegie, we like to think we can answer almost anything about Technolutions’ CRM—and we put that to the test in our recent Stump the Slate Squad webinar. You asked our Slate team your toughest and trickiest questions, and we answered as many as we could. But you had so many great queries that we couldn’t get to all of them in a one-hour webinar. So we compiled all the questions we didn’t get to during the conversation and answered them here!

Audience questions and Carnegie answers

Is there a way to set up lead scoring?

Slate has a built-in functionality to assign activity scores to Interaction Codes, and you can use rules to calculate score totals. First, create a custom person-scoped field to store your likelihood to apply score, calculated based on engagement, in this example. Next, build a person-scoped Field Update rule to “Replace Values from Formula.” Add a subquery export and join Person > Interactions > Lookup Activity & Interaction Code, and set your output to Aggregate > Sum. Once activated, this rule will update the total of all interaction code scores every time a new code is added.

Next comes the hard part: figuring out what score should be applied to each interaction! Go through your existing interaction codes and assign similar scores for activities that represent similar levels of interest or investment. You may need to create additional interaction codes as well and assign them with rules based on specific activities. Assigning (or perhaps adjusting) the scores is easier once you have a year or two of data in your instance, because you can make a more-informed decision for valuing each action then layer those scores onto your enrollment funnel to evaluate your decisions. What score range are you seeing for your applicants, confirms, enrolls, etc.? If you don’t see clear bands, adjust the score ratings for each activity and try again. These steps can be repeated for Origin Sources, which also have a standard field for Score, if you have Origin Sources that need to be included in your calculations.

— Jill Huntsberger, Slate Implementation Strategist

How can I build a report by territory that shows progress toward goals?

Since you already know your goals, do a simple calculation that shows your percentage toward the goal that has been met. The columns will represent your actual number, goal number, and a conversion using a formula to calculate the progress. You’ll need all three columns per stage of the funnel you want to track. The goal column type should be set to Formula, and you’ll enter the goal number in the Formula line. Here’s an example of how this would look for inquiries: The variable name for your actual inquiry column is @iq and your goal could be 55000. The formula for the percentage toward the goal will look something like @iq / 55000, thus calculating your progress to that goal of 55000.

However, if you want to analyze whether your goals are realistic or you need assistance coming up with goals, we use a reverse funnel calculation report that starts with your net deposit goal in a territory and works backwards with formulas to tell us how many deposits, applicants, inquiries, and prospects you need to reach that goal based on historical data. Our reporting and recruitment strategy teams are experts in this!

— Amanda Johnson, Senior Slate Communications Strategist

Can you give some tips on using tabs in portals?

You will first want to think about which type of portal you are creating and who your target audience is. For Application Status portals, we recommend not using any tabs if you can help it. Our data has shown that as an applicant is navigating a portal, they are unlikely to click through multiple tabs. In all of our applicant portals, we implement a single scroll design that uses filters and conditional logic to display different information to the appropriate populations. To enhance the student experience, we use anchors within our navigation to bring them to the requested information when clicked, all while staying on the same page. An additional factor to think about is the student population that’s currently using applicant portals right now; Gen Z spends all day scrolling on social media, so the length of scroll for a portal is oftentimes rendered moot. We’ve not found that any length of portal page prevents a user from getting to the bottom of the scroll.

However, if you find yourself thinking that the scroll is too long, we recommend auditing the information you’re presenting in your portal rather than implementing tabs. Along with this, the idea of things like content being “above the fold” to aid in getting important info across is also somewhat moot.

Again, considering your target audience is key when thinking about design. For example, with Slate User portals, specifically Carnegie Reportals, it’s more effective to break tables and data visualization into multiple tabs. Carnegie Reportals allow staff, coaches, faculty, leadership, etc. to not only view their students through the funnel process but also build custom reports unique to the logged-in user. Because of the amount of data these Reportals bring in, we’ve found it to be best practice to break that data up in order to increase page load time and user experience.

The underlying theme will always be clean, clear, and concise data provided to the user in a pleasing format. Let the user know what you need them to do and allow them to complete tasks efficiently while limiting clicks.

— Tom Muscarello, Slate Portals Strategist + Software Engineer

How do you ensure proper accessibility in emails when the current CKEditor is outdated and rewrites HTML5-legal content?

Unfortunately, the current CKEditor (also called the WYSIWYG) provided by Technolutions has its limitations. Among those are that it lacks some tools to check for deliverability and accessibility. For deliverability, we recommend setting up DKIM, utilizing Message Groups, and using the Test Email Deliverability feature in Database. For accessibility, we recommend developing an internal checklist that looks at key Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards. These include adding presentation roles to tables, adding alt text, and more.

— Nick Porcella, Slate Communications Strategist

Can you give some tips on implementing Google Analytics 4 (GA4) code on Slate pages?

The Google Analytics platform itself is a little out of our lane as members of the Slate Squad, but Carnegie’s Digital Marketing team is a wonderful resource for all things analytics. To our knowledge, in order to utilize GA4, you first need to have Universal Analytics deployed via GTM. Once that is complete, you can follow these steps to enable GA4 and create a GA4 Property.

Once GA4 is enabled, ensure that your Google Tag Manager tracking script is added to your Slate Branding Template. GA4 allows for specific event tracking, so you can also configure tracking tags to embed on your specific Slate communications, forms, or portal pages to track specific behavior such as conversions, scroll depth, views, clicks, and more. To embed your custom GA4 conversion tags, just copy and paste your tag code into the script of the communication or form you want to use as the trigger action.

— Mo Brazil, Slate Portals Strategist

Where do you store organizations in Slate if they do not have a CEEB code, such as CBOs, local agencies, etc.?

For schools that do not have CEEB codes, like international high schools, you can store those right on the Organizations table. Each record will need a unique key, and since you don’t have a CEEB code available, you can instead create an internal naming convention (INT0001, INT0002, etc.) and assign the next number to each new record you create. For community organizations, agencies, and other entities, there are two options. If your volume is small, these can also be stored on the Organizations table. Create records with the appropriate Category and create additional Organization Category prompts if needed. Use a similar numbering convention for your record Key (ORG0001, ORG0002, etc.). If your volume is high, however, you may be better served by creating a custom dataset to store CBOs. Then you can create whatever custom fields you want to store the data and keep those records separated from your high school and college records.

— Emma Hayek, Senior Slate Implementation Strategist

What is the best way to match applicants with an alumnus (which exists as a dataset) geographically?

I would recommend a system of rules built on an exclusivity group, very similar to staff assignments. Build rules that describe specific geographic regions. Your rules can be built based on a comparison between a student’s ZIP Code and the alumnus’s ZIP Code. Alternatively, you could choose the geographic proximity filter to include students within a specified radius of a ZIP Code or latitude/longitude coordinates. You can use these rules to write values to a custom “Assigned Alumnus” field that’s set up as a related dataset row to link the two datasets.

— Rocco Porcellio, Slate Implementation Strategist

What is the best way to utilize my subscription to Slate Learning Lab?

Learning Lab doesn’t have to be a “one and done” experience. Start with the Fundamentals before building on the other Learning Labs. Consider working through the course exercises as a group (or at least with one or two members of your team). Try to connect the theoretical examples presented to real scenarios that are applicable to your institution. Asking yourself “How does this apply to my instance?” will deepen your engagement with the concepts covered in any Learning Lab and help you put what you’ve learned into practice. You can (and should!) revisit the training content as needed after completing each of the courses.

— Dylan Schechtel, Slate Portals Strategist


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 Slate Labs (we’ll be there for all sessions in both November and December!) or tune in to our November 3 Dive Deeper webinar hosted by Technolutions, in which we’ll explore our new Reportals.

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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