I have moved several times as an adult. Each move has started out much the same: I am charged with a burst of energy to reorganize and evaluate all my worldly possessions. I purge and develop a unique color-coded system to organize boxes. I tell myself, “This move will be different! It won’t be stressful!” But life happens, and inevitably as the big day arrives I find myself throwing random items into boxes (those juice glasses don’t need to be wrapped in newspaper, we can just put them in this bin of baby clothes!) and then dumping said boxes into a spare room of my new abode to be dealt with later.

Maybe you have not physically moved recently, but have you embarked on a digital migration or move? Often when moving to a new database or school year, you start off with great organization intentions (just like me). But as reality sets in and timelines rapidly progress, you fall into a similar practice of dumping everything into the database to be organized and evaluated later.

The good news is that Blackbaud’s education management portfolio has several new data imports that can help you feel less overwhelmed when sorting through and organizing your school’s data. Use this robust tool to add large quantities of new, clean data to your system, or to quickly and efficiently update and tidy up data that you are already storing.
Want to learn more about the data import process as well as tips and tricks for working with large data files? Register today for the new Blackbaud University course, K–12 Core: Importing Data.

Good news for Blackbaud Learn® training subscribers! If your school has a Learn More subscription, this class is included. Not a subscriber? Find out how a Learn subscription can help develop efficiency and build skills for every user of your system.

A New Hope: A New Role For Managing Profile Data

“Into the garbage chute, flyboy!” - Leia in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

Depending on where you live, March is a weird month. Just as you’re about to set your clocks forward to welcome the longer days of Spring, the weather throws the north one final snowstorm or lingering grey skies with rain your way. Down south, trees launch pollen over every outdoor surface and make you question whether that sore throat and runny nose is mere allergies or a late cold/flu infection.

Regardless of whether your March is snowy or sneezy, odds are that you’re starting to crave more sunshine, are looking forward to movie trailers about summer blockbusters, and are slightly startled as you notice all the things that need to be cleaned, sorted, and put away as the seasons change.

With the monthly release on March 6, 2019 we’ve been doing the same too. We removed the old interface for Edit user profile data and finished some updates that helped to replace it as we prepare for what’s next on our product roadmaps.

We also added a new role, which you might not have heard about yet.

We encourage you to take a closer look at how you might replace or reduce some of your school’s platform managers & clones by using the new contact card manager role instead. 
Not a fan of sci-fi?
Consider this the beginning of spring cleaning and start by cleaning out some cloned roles.
Do clones bring you joy? Tidy up!

A problem for platform managers
“It’s against my programming to impersonate a deity.” - C3P0 in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

As a best practice, we always recommend that schools grant the platform manager role sparingly.  It’s a powerful Role with access to critical school-wide settings and potentially sensitive data that impact everyone at your school. The ability to impersonate other users and make changes as if you were that user is just one example of that power. (Changes made while impersonating are tracked by an audit log for security purposes.)

But we also recognize that managing Roles and Tasks for users isn’t currently an intuitive process.

We’ve been working under the hood and alongside other Blackbaud solutions to ensure a strong long-term plan for managing users, especially as we move forward into our shared vision of One Blackbaud via SKY. You’ve seen hints of this effort in last year’s top menu navigation changes, this year’s introduction of Blackbaud Authentication via Blackbaud ID, and more.

Even saying farewell to Edit user profile data has been a step along that path, since it helps us align with the usage of Lists and user Profiles/Records as seen in other Blackbaud solutions (including Raiser’s Edge NXT).

Some schools have strived to follow the recommendations to only grant the platform manager role to a couple users. Others considered the recommendation hard to follow and thus risked giving additional users the powerful platform manager role. 

There are alternatives.

Control the clones
“Begun the Clone War has.” - Yoda in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Previously, many schools avoided over using the platform manager role by instead using clones of the platform manager role. Your school may have cloned the platform manager role and then manually removed Tasks to limit the clone's access (as much as possible) to only Contact card functionality.

But that still wasn’t an ideal solution. When platform managers received new Tasks  or a Task was expanded to include new features (by default for new features and updates), schools often had to review the clones to ensure every clone's access was still appropriately limited (not too much power, not too little power).

If your school used clones in this way, we recommend you consider replacing those clones with the new contact card manager role instead.

Contact card managers
“I can fix this.” - Poe Dameron in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Most employees who are responsible for keeping user profile data up to date should have the contact card manager role instead of the platform manager role (and instead of its clones).

If you have the contact card manager role, you can manage personal data common to any user (including contact information, demographics, relationships, emergency contacts, business, and education information).
  • From Core, you can use the People finder to go to a user's Profile and Contact card to make changes.
  • From Core, Users, you can also select Handle profile changes to review the changes users have made or that other administrators made on a user’s behalf.
  • We also recommend schools use this role to grant API access to any of our third party partners who rely on accessing or updating Contact card data.  It ensures that the API access is limited strictly to the data they need.

Learn more
“A Jedi gains power through understanding and a Sith gains understanding through power.” – Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Explore our online help to review how to manage roles, tasks, and clones.  Expand your knowledge to new worlds by checking out “What’s new”, APIs, and discussions in the user community.
Posted by Derek Nichols on Mar 12, 2019 10:00 AM America/New_York

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I appreciate the creativity in integrating Star Wars quotes in your post. Nicely done!
  • Posted Tue 12 Mar 2019 12:21 PM EDT
Thanks for the updates and the creative way that you pass on the information.  
  • Posted Wed 20 Mar 2019 10:31 AM EDT
Do you ever survey users to see what works best for them and their company?  I miss the Edit user profile data, but I will move forward with the changes!
  • Posted Mon 25 Mar 2019 11:07 AM EDT
I've been able to do some cloning cleanup!
  • Posted Mon 25 Mar 2019 02:06 PM EDT
Thanks for the info!
  • Posted Fri 29 Mar 2019 01:35 PM EDT