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DARS Newsletter July 2016

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Introduction

Dear Users,

Welcome to this month’s DARS Newsletter. Older newsletters can be found at https://www.darscentral.ox.ac.uk/newsletters, with newsletters since May 2015 held at http://darswiki.bsp.ox.ac.uk/index.php/DARS_Newsletters. And remember that you can contact the DARS helpdesk via dars@admin.ox.ac.uk.

In this issue:

Removal of ‘Unverified Employer’ from organisation records
Reclassification of Interactions
Advance warning - forthcoming maintenance to the Begbroke Data Centre
Sending emails to the DARS Helpdesk


DARS news and features

Removal of ‘Unverified Employer’ from organisation records

We have run a datafix to remove the phrase ‘Unverified Employer’ from organisation records. This phrase was added to some records during the Visual Alms migration back in 2009. However, it added no value, and in fact, caused confusion, since there was an implication that any record without such a phrase had been verified, when in fact, no such verification process exists. As resources allow, this datafix will be followed by others to improve the quality of organisation data; for example, to combine or eliminate the large number of ‘ghost’ organisation records – ones containing almost no data except for an organisation name and an employer-employee relationship.

Reclassification of Interactions

We have been working with Andrew Murton of Balliol on a script to allow moving of communications that were migrated into the Interactions area back into the communications area, or optionally, simply to be deleted. This will be piloted with Andrew, and assuming that the pilot is successful, other participants will be given the opportunity to define the patterns of communications for their alumni, and whether they would like them moved or deleted. There are some other options, such as how truncation should be handled.

Advance warning - forthcoming maintenance to the Begbroke Data Centre

As noted in the June newsletter, one of the elements of the power supply to the Begbroke data centre has a known manufacturing defect. IT Services have now determined that this work will take place on Wednesday 14 September. This work will result in the Begbroke data centre being out of action for the bulk of the working day. Since the DARS infrastructure is replicated across two datacentres, most of DARS functionality will still be available. However, importing functionality will not be available during this period of downtime. We will remind users of this nearer the time, so that imports can be carried out either the day before, or the day after the work has been completed and the Begbroke data centre is back online. We will of course remind you nearer the time if we have any further information available.


Reminders

Sending emails to the DARS Helpdesk

For most purposes, the DARS Helpdesk (DARS@admin.ox.ac.uk) should be your first point of contact for DARS related questions and issues. Please avoid emailing members of the DARS Support Centre directly. Also, as mentioned in April’s newsletter, when emailing the DARS helpdesk, please send it only to the helpdesk, not to other members of the Support Centre or your own colleagues (either in the To or Cc fields). The reason is that doing so increases the likelihood that someone will “reply all” to the email they receive – this creates a duplicate incident, which we also have to investigate in order to determine whether it is in fact a separate incident. This wastes time which can be more usefully spent.

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