DARS Newsletter March 2017
- 1 Introduction
- 1.1 Outage due to TONE project
- 1.2 Updates
- 1.3 Use of Transfer Designations
- 1.4 Service Pack 14
- 1.5 Data Protection
- 1.6 Recent ICO judgement
- 1.7 Changes
- 1.8 New Smart Fields
- 1.9 Alumni Card Affiliation
- 1.10 Constituent Update Batch Change
- 1.11 Projected Income Report
- 1.12 DARS news and features
- 1.13 Bug when activating marketing Efforts
- 1.14 Making retrospective changes
- 1.15 Refresher training
- 1.16 Reminders
- 1.17 Emailing the Helpdesk - please only use personal email addresses
- 1.18 Taking care
Dear Users, Welcome to this month’s DARS Newsletter, which has a focus on communicating with the helpdesk. Newsletters since May 2015 can be found at http://darswiki.bsp.ox.ac.uk/index.php/DARS_Newsletters. And remember that you can contact the DARS helpdesk via email@example.com.
In this issue:
- Outage due to TONE project
- Use of Transfer Designation
- Service Pack 14
- Data Protection
- Recent ICO judgement
- New Smart Fields
- Alumni Card Affiliation
- Constituent Update Batch change
- Projected Income Report
- DARS news and features
- Bug when activating Marketing Efforts
- Making retrospective changes
- Refresher training
- Emailing the Helpdesk - please only uses personal email addresses
- Taking care
Outage due to TONE project
As mentioned in previous newsletters, the University is undertaking a large-scale project called TONE to replace core networking elements. A key change which will render all Business Systems, including DARS and Oracle financials, unavailable. Other systems such as OxFile and Chorus will also be affected. This change is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 4 April at 07.30 BST and is expected to last 10-15 minutes. This is out of working hours for most people, but will affect anyone in the UK who starts work particularly early in the morning, as well as our colleagues in the Hong Kong and Tokyo offices.
Use of Transfer Designations
We would like to thank Gift Administrators across the DARS colleges. In the time since the last DARS newsletter, we’ve seen a significant drop in the number of gifts misapplied against a Transfer Designation. When this issue occurs, it can take a lot of effort and time to ‘unpick’ the details, this month has seen the lowest number of instances since August 2016 – we value and appreciate your continued understanding and support. We would love to report a month with no such incidents – please help us to make this possible!
Service Pack 14
As previously notified, we have applied Service Pack 14 on 28 February. This service pack, the first for about seventeen months, contains fix for the Query Node Performance problem. We would like to thank everyone for your patience in waiting for the fix, and also for your feedback saying how much better Query Node Performance is following the Service Pack.
Recent ICO judgement
You may have seen a recent judgement by the ICO, in which FlyBe and Honda were fined because they emailed customers in order to ask for consent to email them. Details of the judgement can be found at https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2017/03/ico-warns-uk-firms-to-respect-customers-data-wishes-as-it-fines-flybe-and-honda/ The key point to note is that current law says that if an organisation does not have consent to send emails, it is not permitted to send an email to ask for consent. Other methods (e.g. postal communications, face-to-face communications) are acceptable. Anyone involved in communicating via electronic means must make themselves aware of their duties in this area. A summary of this information can be found in the DARSWiki at https://darswiki.bsp.ox.ac.uk/index.php?title=Guidance_for_storing_alumni_data_and_communicating_with_alumni.
New Smart Fields
We have added four new Smart Fields Under the Constituent Giving - ???? definition: • First Gift Amount • Last Gift Amount • Largest Gift Amount Under the Constituent Giving - ???? (Date) definition: • Largest Gift Date
These new smart fields respect site security. Anyone currently using the corresponding out of the box versions can now replace them with Smart Fields that return secure and accurate data.
Alumni Card Affiliation
The correct values for an Alumnus’ Alumni Card are determined using a complex set of rules, including the type of course/degree studied, the matriculation status of that course/degree, whether or not the alumnus attended a college, and other factors. We have incorporated these rules into an overnight process to ensure that these values are as accurate as possible. Following the first successful run, 24,102 new affiliations or updates were made.
Constituent Update Batch Change
We have now implemented a change to the constituent import process so that you can create custom name formats (such as joint salutations) for your constituents at the time that you create them.
Projected Income Report
When exported to Excel, the Projected Income Report displayed certain rows which should not have been visible. These rows have now been removed, resulting in a clearer appearance.
DARS news and features
Bug when activating marketing Efforts
It has been brought to our attention that some users are unaware of an ongoing issue that displays an error message when attempting to activate a Marketing Effort. Blackbaud are aware of the issue. In the meantime, follow these simple workaround steps to activate your efforts:
1. When you click ‘Activate Marketing Effort’ from the main screen, the following error will display (Screenshot 1)
2. Click ‘View Activation Status’ in the task pane (Screenshot 2)
3. Select ‘Edit Status’ in the top left corner of the screen (Screenshot 3)
4. Link your Marketing Effort to your desired Appeal and click Save (Screenshot 4)
5. Click ‘Start Process’ in the top left corner of the screen. This will now activate your Marketing Effort. (Screenshot 3)
Screenshot 1 – ME error message
Screenshot 2 – ‘View activation status’ option in Task Pane
Screenshot 3 – ‘Edit process’ and ‘Start process’ options
Screenshot 4 – Adding your appeal
Making retrospective changes
When adding important items to a constituent record retrospectively, such as attributes for past Honours, please make the item Start Date relevant to when the actual event occurred - don’t add today’s date as the Start Date by default. If the date/year is completely unknown, leave the Start Date blank.
• In recent years, formal New Years and Queen’s Birthday Honours have been added with the exact dates for easy grouping - e.g. 31/12/2015 or 11/06/2016
• For other honours, selecting an approximate or generic day/month in the correct year is acceptable in cases where the actual date is unknown (so that it is clear to users that the event occurred for example in say 1991, and not 2017, even if not exactly on 01/01/1991) These same date principles apply to the majority of similar system items.
Refresher training is available, and can help remind you of features you haven’t used in a while. If you would like to book refresher training, please email the DARS helpdesk (firstname.lastname@example.org). A list of dates of forthcoming courses can be found at https://www.darscentral.ox.ac.uk/trainingcourses. Note that for refresher training, you do not need to submit either an Individual User Agreement or a User Access Request Form – just request the refresher training.
Emailing the Helpdesk - please only use personal email addresses
When you email the helpdesk, the system (HEAT, which is used widely in the University for managing helpdesk calls) automatically examines the email address and determines the identity of the sender. When you use your own email address (e.g. email@example.com), HEAT can identify you. However, if you use an impersonal email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org, HEAT cannot identify you, nor can it be modified to do so. This means the staff have to spend time identifying the sender – time which could be used more productively actually answering questions and resolving problems. We are therefore changing our policy – from 3 April, any helpdesk incidents from impersonal email addresses will be closed, and request that the items are resubmitted using a personal email address.
As you know, many elements of DARS – individual fields, queries, templates – are visible to most DARS users. In a collaborative system like DARS, being used by about 500 users across nearly 60 participants, this is a good thing – it enables all of us across the collegiate University who use DARS to benefit from each others’ experience. However, it is also necessary for everyone to respect the queries, templates – and indeed the data – owned by others. Please use and respect the naming conventions, so that it is clear who any given element belongs to. Where possible, use existing features to prevent accidental editing. And most importantly, exercise extreme care if you open someone else’s item in edit mode. Do not make changes to someone else’s item, as this will damage the work that the owner is trying to do, and also results in significant waste of time investigating the strange behaviour.