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Data Submission Instructions

No matter what data you are submitting, file uploads to DC PCSB follow a common set of instructions:

  1. Use a template to format the information you are going to upload

    • For many submission types, we provide you with both the template and records pre-filled with information we expect to receive

    • For some submission types, you provide all of the data

    • We currently support the following file formats

      • .csv
      • .xls
      • .xlsx: When saving this file format, please make sure Excel Workbook is selected in the Save As dialog box formatting of your spreadsheet editor. We do not support .xlsx files that have the Strict Open XML Spreadsheet format.
  2. Upload the data using our secure file uploads

    • We provide secure file upload links on the dashboard for the submission type
    • The link will be on the left hand side of the dashboard; for example, the link to upload discipline data is "Upload discipline data"
  3. Wait until the file has been processed

    • We process your files nightly (between midnight and 5 am), checking for accuracy, consistency, and that the file includes all of the information we need

    • It is important that you do not complete a task until after the data have been processed. Making sure your data are accurate and do not change unexpectedly is a top priority for DC PCSB. Once you click submit, any additional files received for that task will be rejected

    • This is also good practice - you shouldn't agree to something you haven't seen presented in our system yet. While we work hard to make sure everything is transparent and goes smoothly, we want your confirmation we did everything right

  4. Review the processed data

    • All the dashboards which include submission processes have a section which displays any import errors, as well as an explanation of what caused the the error

    • If the data displayed in the system are what you expected, and you're happy with your submission, go ahead to the next step. If the data are not what you expected, or there were import errors, go back to Step 1

  5. Complete the task

    • Submission Tasks outline the data that DC PCSB expects to receive

    • Clicking complete signals to DC PCSB that you are done, and have verified your data have uploaded successfully. In most cases, you are not able to edit data after you've submitted the task. Currently, the only exception to this is discipline

    • Validation Tasks match to data DC PCSB expects you to review and validate

Common Mistakes and General Guidelines

  • Column order matters: DC PCSB processes files using column positions. This has the benefit of making it so that the column names do not have to exactly match what was originally provided. That said, it also means that submissions must exactly match the order provided by DC PCSB.

  • You're welcome to add additional columns to help you complete the submission. If those columns are to the right of all of the required columns, you can leave them on submission. If you put new columns in the middle of a template, you must delete them before submitting

  • Check your data types: DC PCSB has made an extensive effort to make importing data as easy as possible. To that end, we wrote a custom data type parser, which handles all of the common date, number, and true/false values we've seen over the last two years. We've documented the valid data formats in more detail here

  • Submit only one copy per day: DC PCSB processes submissions each night. If you submit multiple copies of the same file without getting prior approval (via ticket), your submission will be rejected with duplicate values. This is because DC PCSB cannot be certain which version is correct

  • Plan ahead: submissions are processed over night, which means you cannot confirm your submission is complete on the same day that you upload data. Additionally, submitting a file does not guarantee the submission will be accepted (e.g. if you submit data with errors). It is important to plan ahead and upload data at least one day before the deadline so you can complete your submission on time

  • Confirm Submission After Seeing Data in the System: Clicking submit and signing off on a task indicates that you've uploaded data and reviewed the result. It is important that you submit after you see the data in the system. Unless otherwise noted, all attempts to upload after the timestamp indicating you submitted the data will result in the data being rejected