Catalog / Data Setup

Understand our technical onboarding process.

Jacob Bonne avatar
Written by Jacob Bonne
Updated over a week ago

When required, what we need from you:

  • Provide Steppingblocks with your current catalog of majors and colleges for the Steppingblocks data team to align alumni education milestones.

  • Catalogs should include a distinct 1:1 relationship between each college, major, and level. (e.g.: College of Business, Finance, Masters)

Here are some tips for setting up the catalog:

  • The ideal maximum number of majors is 125-150.

  • If there is a bachelors and a masters of the same major (i.e. Business Administration), they should be on the same row. Indicate that this major is both available at the bachelors and masters levels using the columns on the right hand side of the spreadsheet.

  • Some universities choose to combine majors, such as all foreign languages into one major, called “foreign languages” as the total number of graduates is low for each individual language. If this is the case, use the Major Labels field and pipe delimit the majors (i.e. Foreign Language | French | Italian | Japanese | German)

  • Abbreviations are hard for our process to identify, so please write out the entire words. For example, “Childhood Ed” should be “Childhood Education”.

  • Most universities don’t list old names for majors or old majors no longer offered and instead list the new name for the major. Adding any old names for a major in the “major label” column helps us categorize the old names should they exist.

The best place to start:

  • Often a good place to begin identifying the catalog of majors is by going to your website and viewing all available majors that are currently offered.

  • Then you can double check for additional majors and old ones by working with the registrar and getting their full list. Usually we don’t recommend starting with the registrar’s full list because there are often duplicate or unneeded fields.

This process normally takes 2-4 weeks on your end, so let us know if we can help. We are happy to talk through common strategies or even with the manipulation of the fields in the spreadsheet. Once this part is done, we will begin our part of the process and get your dashboards up and running in a few weeks!

Once we have received your catalog and points of contact, the Steppingblocks data and technology teams will start the setup process. What you can expect from us:

  • Identify your alumni from the Steppingblocks database.

  • Classify and validate “raw” degree data reported by alumni into the most appropriate classification provided by your catalog.

  • Reach out to you if we have questions about the majors you provided.

  • Generate analytics dashboards for Graduate Outcomes and Explorer.

  • Our final deliverable will be provided to your stakeholders within 2-4 weeks of receiving the initial requirements. The range in delivery depends primarily on the volume of the catalog majors. Data audits are performed regularly.

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