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Stump the Slate Squad Q&A

Written By:
Robert Tallerico
Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Earlier this month, Underscore hosted its first Stump the Slate Squad webinar – a chance for our clients and other schools from around the country to ask their trickiest Slate questions to our team of 13 tech heads. If you missed your chance to attend or need a reminder on how to do something – you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a list of all the questions that were answered throughout the session. You can also check out the full recording on our YouTube!


Can you create a conditional Checklist Item for a group of accepted applicants that requires a form completion and document submission where said submitted documents can later be exported en masse?

 Yes. We make a lot of checklists for schools and you should be able to use rules to make the checklist item conditional. Forms can be linked to the checklist and then forms can be exported out of Slate through the Document Export query base/query.


What are some practices for ongoing campaigns? When do you copy over? With any edits? With only significant edits? Certain times each year?

A campaign refresh contains a lot of different items to think about, and it really starts with the timeline. If it’s a search campaign, you’re going to want to do your refresh over the summer. Once you figure out your start date, you do want to set up an end date so you’re able to determine when to refresh again the next time.

Once you have your timeline, you want to go through copying your messages. This helps with gettingunique tracking for each instance of that email, year-over-year, and gives you better data to visualize.

We like to keep the populations very general so you’re just updating the rules. When you plug in the new entry term for students, you can set up a retroactive refresh to remove the older students from the population and include the new ones.


How can Slate inform admissions staff of a newly received document (transcript, letter of recommendation, submitted portfolio, video interview form) as soon as it has been received?

 You can easily set up a notification email using upload date tied to the assigned staff. The best option may be to set up a daily report to send to counselors or a widget on the homepage


Is there any way to check for documents received after decision is made?

There are actually standard filters that do this included in Slate. And even some for test scores received after a decision.


Is there a ranking score/rating system within Slate that can be implemented? Whether this is an added reporting need or existing feature. Similar to how other CRMs create a contact rating score.

One feature Slate provides is Predict, a tool that allows you to "predict" the likelihood of enrollment for students based on certain factors, and this is something we are continually testing. Aside from that tool, there are other areas in Slate that allow you to "score" a student record. Some of the ways in which we have done that for clients are through interactions, origin sources, etc. (including deliver engagement, though less structured).


If UTM codes are used, do you create copies of campaigns for various populations or leave them generic?

If it is important to separate out the UTM data based on population, we would recommend using copies of campaigns, but that may not be necessary, since Slate’s reporting can do much of that work for you. It may be easier to leave them generic and just filter out based on type of student or campaign when needed.

Our application vendor (EAB Royall) sends us a royall_id with their applications, which I have imported as an application-scoped field for matching. However, we discovered that EAB is re-using this ID when applicants apply twice, causing Slate to merge the apps when they are indeed separate. Is it possible to have Slate create a new app, even when this field is the same?

We recommend using field fusions with semester and term. You can overlay another data point to append to an ID number. If you use that, you can add the entry term to the unique ID so it doesn’t overwrite the application and will avoid duplicates.


Anything you can share about portal events widgets that goes deeper than what Slate has shared? The changes that are outlined in the documentation aren't as significant as I hoped. Changing the color on the calendar is great, but I'd like to customize event headers to be virtual vs. in-person instead of their preset categories or show February, March, and April at the same time on the calendar view.

You may want to check the webinar video (30:50) just to see our enthusiasm and watch Chris Carl describe how he uses the new event widgets.  


What are best practices for utilization of organization record page dashboard?

The question really depends on how much information you need to see about a school/organization, but there is an opportunity to add lots of information to the Org dashboard -territory/region information, staff assigned information, prospect history, applicant history. Ultimately, you can give your counselors/recruiters a lot of information on the page to help them appropriately understand the context of the school.


Can you do a Configurable Join to get data from both a Scheduler form and an Event form at the same time?

While there’s a lot of documentation in the Knowledge Base related to Configurable Joins, this is a great way to experiment and learn Configurable Joins. In this case, you can use subqueries to join the Form Database.


Can origin sources be retro refreshed and re-assigned when adding a new source?

Yes, origin sources will look back 3 years retroactively, but the records all need to be refreshed. Origin Sources are applied on a nightly basis, so any changes can take effect immediately that evening.


How do you map fields from a form to update school, example review sheet fields to update School profile?

You may want to create an app-scoped version of the registration field and import the data from your SIS to this field so it's clear which application the data should be stored on. It would be possible to then display on a Dashboard (or wherever)the most up-to-date information (ie. app rank #1 etc). This would also require adding an app-scoped ID to your SIS-Slate export/import.


How can your SIS import apply data to an application record versus a person record? Situation: We receive a daily file from our SIS system to populate fields, one being registration status. This field populates items on our dashboard (person scoped form). We have students that have multiple applications in Slate and matriculate multiple times. A student enrolls as an undergraduate and then comes back as a graduate. When I write a report to see how many graduate students are registered, a student's registration status from a different application is used. If I clear out this field each cycle, I'll lose historic data.

You may want to create an app-scoped version of the registration field and import the data from your SIS to this field so it's clear which application the data should be stored on. It would be possible to then display on a Dashboard (or wherever)the most up-to-date information (ie. app rank #1 etc). This would also require adding an app-scoped ID to your SIS-Slate export/import.


How do you build an agency portal and manage logins? Also, how do you host an event in Slate that brings in students, counselors, agents without creating a new prospect record?

This is a great opportunity to create a custom dataset. Just like a student, you can set this up to add security to these records that are unique to your needs.


Is there a way to do drip marketing with print pieces when not using Slate Print?

If you need to do print outside of Slate Print, you can setup a campaign just like normal. You’d build a query for individual mailings to run based upon email send scheduling. That list would export out to a printer or you can grab and manually send it.

Do you have a Slate question that wasn’t covered? Let’s figure it out together! Reach out to us and we’ll be in contact shortly.


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About the Author

The mover. There's nothing Rob Tallerico loves more than perfecting the nuts and bolts processes that keep an admissions office moving. As a systems and operations guy, Rob enjoys clean data moving from Slate to an SIS, releasing accurate decisions and ensuring every application gets read. With more than 15 years of experience in a variety of admissions-related roles, you could say Rob has seen a little bit of everything.


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