The University of Sydney FlexSIS
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Data entry considerations

Data accuracy | Style guides | Workspace arrangement | Quiet environment | Regular rest breaks | Quality control for small volumes of data | Quality control for large volumes of data | What to do if an error occurs

  Data accuracy lion

Accuracy should be considered a priority for each FlexSIS user. Inaccuracies may disadvantage (or even penalise) the student, course co-ordinator, department, faculty, or the University. They may also — particularly with admissions and enrolment data — impact both internal administration and interactions with the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC), the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), and other government and private entities.

Applicant (or student) information should be put into FlexSIS as soon as it is received so that the information contained in the system is both current and correct the next time they contact the University.

If you anticipate delay in entering admissions or change-of-address data, consider delegating data entry to the Student Centre. To do this, send direct admissions back-pages or change-of-address forms to the Student Centre. To resume data entry, just inform the Student Centre of the date you wish to do so.

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  Style guides lion

Unit of study data entered into FlexSIS by faculty staff can be optimised by following the University's grammatical style guide.

Even more relevant for staff entering UoS data is the Handbooks 'Staff resources' page. This page has been set up by the Database Publisher, who produces handbooks for the University.

As well as grammar, the first document covers such elements of style as punctuation, hyphenation, capitalisation, and use of numbers. 'House style' is used by newspapers and magazines to help give symmetry, clarity and uniformity to their publications.

These are desirable qualities. They limit reader annoyance and provide a sense of certainty.

The style guides are produced by the Publications Office. When used by faculty staff, these style guides will benefit the University by helping to give a uniform look-and-feel to important deliverables: faculty handbooks and the undergraduate and postgraduate course search screens that prospective students access via the University's website.

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  Workspace arrangement lion

People who work in a comfortable, efficient and ergonomically-sound environment are more likely to concentrate better, which leads to better accuracy as well as better long-term health and job satisfaction.

The benefits of arranging your workspace in a way that is comfortable and convenient extend beyond accuracy concerns. For further information:

Office Ergonomic Guidelines
The University of Sydney - Risk Management Office
http://www.usyd.edu.au/risk/policies/ohs/ergonomics/ergoguide.shtml

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  Quiet environment lion

A quiet working environment is especially beneficial for accurate entry of large data volumes. Information about this is also supplied by Risk Management:

Lighting, Noise, Temperature, Air Quality, Furniture and Storage
http://www.usyd.edu.au/risk/policies/ohs/ergonomics/ERGO7.shtml

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  Regular rest breaks lion

Work patterns that include pauses and stretching exercises alternating with periods of sitting or standing can lead to better personal well-being and should also reduce the incidence of data errors. Always allow for stretching breaks when estimating the duration of a task. Schedule a rest break every hour (for ordinary data-entry tasks) and more frequently for data entry that requires special care or is a new task. (A new task may be one not previously performed outside a training environment, or one that has not recently been performed.)

Pause Exercises And Strategies
Identifies the need to change personal habits and suggests some practical personal strategies including pause exercises.
http://www.usyd.edu.au/risk/policies/ohs/ergonomics/ERGO3.shtml

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  Quality control for SMALL volumes of data lion

For when entering Name, Address, Date of Birth and Degree in Direct Admissions.

At the end of the Admission Wizard a summary screen appears that allows checking of the admission data that has been entered. When it appears, check that the Family Name, Given Names, Date of Birth and Degree fields exactly match the information on the student's application. If you find any differences, use the Back button to return to the relevant step — and correct the information. Then, verify the information again at the summary screen before clicking the Finish button.

To improve the quality of small volumes of data that you have entered into FlexSIS, schedule some time for checking after data entry. It is recommended that, for small amounts of data, if the person entering the data is also doing the checking, approximately 25 to 100 percent of all entries should be checked.

When using FlexSIS to enter other data, the following example illustrates how checking may be handled.

In the morning, you entered the admission details of 20 students using the Admission Wizard. In the afternoon, you set aside some time for checking the details entered. Choose every fourth application among the 20 entered applications, and return to their details (Admissions > Admission Management). For each applicant, confirm that the details displayed in Admission Management exactly match the application form. If not, note down where the error occurred (e.g. address, HECS code) and then correct it.

Many people who carry out regular data entry have a long-term log book (or file) of areas where errors occur. This information can be useful when suggesting improvements to data collection forms (such as application forms) or to the FlexSIS system.

Mostly, the checking process should confirm that very few errors have been made, and that you are consistently following high-quality control standards.

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  Quality control for LARGE volumes of data lion

When entering Name, Address, Date of Birth and Degree in Direct Admissions.

At the end of the Admission Wizard a summary screen appears that allows checking of the admission data you have entered. When it appears, check that the Family Name, Given Names, Date of Birth and Degree fields exactly match the information on the student's application. If you find any differences, use the Back button to return to the relevant step — and correct the information. Then, verify the information again on the summary screen before clicking the Finish button.

The best quality-control methods include returning to all data that was entered and checking that it matches the paper document from which it was derived. This is recommended for such crucial data as Name, Address, Date of Birth and Address. For other data, a minimum of 10% of all data should be checked.

For large amounts of data entered in a single session, if errors are excessive in the 10% of data checked, it is good practice to revisit all data entered in the session. Unavoidable distractions or a systematic error (for example, confusion about a code) may effect all — or much — of the data. If you don't know what an acceptable number of errors is for your check set, ask for instruction prior to checking.

Many people who carry out regular data entry have a long-term log book (or file) of areas where errors occur. This information can be useful when suggesting improvements to data collection forms (such as application forms) or to the FlexSIS system.

Mostly, the checking process should confirm that very few errors have been made, and that you are consistently following high-quality control standards.

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  What to do if an error occurs lion

If you find an isolated error in your check set, first log it before correcting it on FlexSIS. Most often, this is the same process as any regular alteration — such as the changes made when a student changes their residential address.

If you find repeated errors in the check set, with all or most relating to a particular area (e.g. telephone numbers), you should check all of that type of data entered during the data-entry session. You can then correct any errors found.

If you find many errors in different areas, is it good practice to check all the data entered during the session, and correct all errors.

If you lack the access level required to correct some errors that you find in FlexSIS, contact the Production Support team.

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Help via Workflows

System help for common student administration processes such as:

  Admission
  Enrolment

... can be found in the Help via Workflows section of this Web site.