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MIS Systems Thread, Importing data from an Access db in Technical; We run SIMS, however there are a number of small Access databases in various admin depts that have been cobbled ...
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    Importing data from an Access db

    We run SIMS, however there are a number of small Access databases in various admin depts that have been cobbled together over the years (prior to my recent arrival) that seem to replicate functionality that is (nowadays, at least) available in SIMS.

    I'd like our staff to all use SIMS; any pupil-related data should be held on one DB, not a random collection of db's sitting on single machines!

    Any ideas on how I can easily import accumulated data from Access into SIMS? Medical info is the prime example at present but I'm aware of at least one other db that should not exist outside SIMS.

    I was thinking of storing info as documents on the SIMS document server as a workaround but this is far from ideal and will likely alienate the end user(s). Much better to have relevant info stored in the correct part of SIMS, i.e. a pupil's medical info section.

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    Unhappy

    Oh dear, I do sympathise! I might be wrong - and Phil Neal, who regularly monitors this website will no doubt correct me if I am - but I don't think you will be able to get any of this data, except assessments, into SIMS yourself.

    If you have an Access database of Assessment grades/marks/etc, you should export the tables as Excel CSV, or better still if you can, XML files. In SIMS Assessment, set up all the appropriate aspects you need to 'receive' these results, together with Result Sets if you want to make it easier to filter the results later (things like 'Y10 Autumn' for example). Then, using the route Routines | Data In | Assessment | Import from Spreadsheet, follow the wizard by right-clicking to 're-label' the columns with how you want each to import. Difficult to describe in a few words, but a surprisingly user-friendly wizard once you've made a couple of false starts! All the assessments from the spreadsheet will be imported into the pupils' records within a few seconds - magic!

    As to the rest of the data, I'm pretty sure Capita would import it, but it won't come cheap!!!

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    There are limited options I'm afraid.

    Assessment data is the exception where if you can get the data into a spreadsheet with a few identifiers such as Surname, Forename, DOB importing into existing Aspects is straight forwards.
    Last edited by PhilNeal; 12th September 2008 at 03:53 PM.

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    Thanks guys

    I'd sussed the assessment side of importing, yes, it is a magical tool after a few false starts. Have recently had to do a bulk-delete of blanket-set targets for our post-options kids (set in haste prior to my tenure!).

    Was able to set my targets in XL and import back to SIMS.

    Pity there's no similar facility for other stuff; I don't have access to the database drive (managed IT environment) and don't think I'd be allowed/able/advised to manually hack it if I did!

    Doubt whether I'll be able to make a good business case for sacrificing our first-born to Capita to get it done, however we do have fellow geeks at the LA who might be able to do something, dunno...

    Thanks for the response anyway (chuffed to have found this site, expect more queries!)



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