This article outlines the setup process that occurs when you are migrating legacy data from your old information system into Populi. If your school is not migrating legacy data, the setup process differs somewhat, and you would be better served by this article.
Populi Support is here for you, especially in this initial phase of learning the system! Here are all the ways to get a hold of us. We want to hear from you, so don't hesitate to reach out with questions and requests.
Perform these setup steps in your Live Site!
Before commencing on the setup steps outlined here, make sure you first read about the data migration process.
Of special importance for this article is the distinction between your live site and the validation site. All of the setup described in this article occurs on your live site! Anything you do on the validation site will be overwritten when we update your migrated data and will ultimately be lost when we shut down the validation site on the "go-live" date.
Account > Files > Legacy Data Import Files
During setup, you may find it easier to have us import portions of your academic database rather than manually-entering that information. For example, rather than adding your entire course catalog by hand, you can extract that from your legacy system so we can add it to your live site. The most secure, straightforward way to transfer your data to us is by using the Upload feature in your Populi Account section.
- Get aholt of the legacy data. For Microsoft Access databases, send the
.ACCDBfile. For MS SQL databases, send the
.BAKfile. If you have questions about data formatting and what we need on our end, please contact Populi customer support.
- Once you have the database files, compress them using a ZIP program.
- If you can, give the ZIP file a name indicating the contents—for example, something like
Yourcollege Course Catalog [DATE]or
Yourcollege Grade Scales 1972-Present.
- Log in to your live Populi site and go to the Account section.
- Click the Files view.
- Under Legacy Data Import Files, click Upload Files.
- Upload the files.
- Click Done when you're finished.
Initial Account Setup
If you haven't followed the initial account setup steps yet, now's a good time to knock that down.
The items you set up in Academics provide the foundation for a variety of features throughout Populi, particularly in Admissions and Financial. Here are the items you should tackle:
- Your Populi site comes pre-loaded with an academic year, a default "Undergraduate" program, and a default grade scale. First things first: add your next few academic years and and terms.
- Next, review the grade scale we provided; more than likely, you'll want to modify it.
- Next, move on to programs, editing the built-in Undergraduate program to suit your needs, if necessary, and adding any others you may need.
- Programs in hand, you can now add degrees (and specializations, if any).
- Then, your course catalog... You should be able to export your course catalog from your legacy academic database. At minimum, it should include the course abbreviation, name, and credits/hours. Upload it to Account > Files > Legacy Data Import Files, and then contact Populi Support to let us know you'd like to import your course catalog into your live site.
- With the course catalog imported, you can start building degree audits. Start with course groups, and then move on to degree requirements.
With Academics setup underway, you can set your admissions staff to work setting up Populi Admissions. Work your way through the Admissions setup guide; here are some spots you'll want to get to before too long:
- We have you add SPF records during initial account setup. If, for whatever reason, you haven't done that yet, you'll definitely want to get that done now so you can take advantage of the communication features in Admissions.
- Import some leads, whether by using the people importer in Contacts or by uploading a file containing leads to Account > Files > Legacy Data Import Files and opening a support request to have us import them for you.
- Set up inquiry forms and then admissions applications.
You can also begin setting up Financial. If you haven't yet, get the right people set up with the appropriate financial roles and then have them work through the Financial setup guide. Some highlights:
- Start with your Chart of Accounts; you can also upload a file to Account > Files > Legacy Data Import Files and open a support request to have us import it.
- The foundation in place, you can then get rolling on things like tuition schedules, fees, and refund policies.
- If you'd like to use online payments, set up some payment gateways with the goal of running some test transactions.
Stay up to date
Like everything else under the sun, we have various channels through which we solicit feedback, announce updates, and provide training and product information.
- Our YouTube channel features tutorials, product announcements, and other videos that'll tell you more about Populi.
- Every week we publish Release Notes: features, improvements, bugfixes, plus links to new videos or blog posts. Hit the Follow button to get them emailed to you when we publish them.
- The Populi blog covers major product announcements and provides an in-depth look at different facets of the software and the company.
- If you have an idea for a new feature or improvement for Populi, we like to hear about it in our Feature Request Forum; not only do we see it, but so do other users, and this is a valuable source for us as we consider improvements to the service.
- The User Forum lets our customers talk to each other about various topics: best practices in higher ed, how to use Populi for a particular task, and so on.
- Of course, we're on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.