Panoramic Feedback Logo

DataBank Import

The DataBank Import is an efficient method of creating your People List of Subjects and Responders from a single file.

Correct Formatting Is Essential

It is critical that the DataBank import file be properly formatted -- otherwise, it won't work!

It's not hard, and all the information you need is linked to "Formatting" on the Import DataBank sub-tab. (If in doubt, contact us.)

You will find explanations of many of the DataBank field names below.

Larger Files

Large DataBank import files require extensive processing, which may take more than one minute. If you have more than 1000 Subjects, please divide them into two or more Projects.

What is the DataBank Import?

The DataBank Import is an efficient method for importing data about Subjects and Responders into the People List, by use of a single CSV data file (see below). It is available to Enterprise Edition users only.

For each person, this file may contain family name, given name, gender, and email address. You may also wish the DataBank Import to provide the Subject's location, job title, department, division, or other demographic information.

You will assign individuals as Subjects or Responders as a second step.

Even after you import a list of people, you may still add additional individuals at any time.

Where does the data come from?

You can create a Databank Import from various sources:

  • An HRIS (Human Resources Information System): e.g. PeopleSoft, HRizon, SAP, Genesys, Oracle.
  • A contact information program (e.g. MS Outlook).
  • A spreadsheet or database.
  • Any other program that can export data in comma-separated-values format.

What are the benefits of using the DataBank?

If you have only a few entries to make, it may be more efficient to enter them into the People List individually. Just cut and paste the information from another source.

But if you have many entries, the DataBank Import will reduce your effort dramatically.

A second major advantage is that the DataBank Import can be produced from an authoritative data source, which means that it is less likely to contain typographical errors. This is particularly important in the automated addressing of Auto Emails.

Entering an OLDSAC field in the DataBank Import file, allows you to compare the Subject's current ratings to her/his ratings on a previous 360 (see below).

As well, the DataBank Import allows Group Reports to provide demographic information used for strategic data analysis.

This allows PARs to take a narrow focus, generating only the results for Subjects who fit one or two demographic categories. Examples: all those who work in the same department, or those in the same department who also have the same length of service.

This information can inform training and development decisions, and allow the comparison of various groups in the workforce.

How do I set up the DataBank?

Using the DataBank is straightforward:

1. Create a specially-formatted CSV file that lists all potential Subjects and Responders. (See "Formatting" on Import DataBank page for formatting instructions.)

  1. Select the Import DataBank sub-tab on the People tab, to import the CSV file.
  2. Use People List sub-tab to select the Subjects and Responders for your Project. (Or to instruct Subjects to go online and choose Responders themselves, you can use the Subject Catalyst email.)

If you have included email addresses in the DataBank, your Auto Emails will be distributed to all Responders, inviting them to reply to the questionnaire and, if they delay, reminding them.

Any information you imported can be change. The People List allows you to "Modify" any information that was incorrect when uploaded. And you can add a "New Person" to the People List who was not in the original import.

Alternatively, you can add or modify listings by correcting your CSV file. Here's how: Use the Export DataBank sub-tab to expose the file for editing. Open and correct the file in a text editing or spreadsheet program. Then, on the Import DataBank sub-tab, re-import it.

How can I be sure the data file is formatted correctly?

On the Import DataBank page, read "Formatting". If someone else will be exporting data into a CSV file for import to your DataBank, provide them with that information.

How do I control which fields of information appear in the Grid?

The fields that appear in the grid are controlled by the first time an entry is saved (either by importing a DataBank file, or by entering choosing "Add New" on the People List grid and entering an individual manually).

If you attempt to import a subsequent file which lacks those fields, it will fail.

But it is acceptable to leave field records (second and subsequent rows) blank in any DataBank import. For example, even if you provided LOCATION for each person in the original, you can leave the LOCATION field blank for everyone in the subsequent import.

If you leave the KEY field blank, SASS will provide a KEY for each record. If Gender is blank, SASS will assume "u" (unspecified) for each record.

How Do I Add New Name Fields?

You can add fields by importing another DataBank file that includes the desired fields. It must also include all the fields already shown in the People List.

One reason for doing so is when you wish to add demographic information to the People List, even after everyone has responded to your 360. Demographics are valuable for Group Reports and for Export of responses for statistical analysis.

Example: You discover you need to add the Department of each person assessed, in order to discover which departments need extra training support.

  1. Export your DataBank.
  2. Use a spreadsheet to add the extra column of demographic data ("DEPARTMT") to the exported file. Save it as a CSV file.
  3. Import it. It will merge with the existing DataBank list.

The resulting People List will include the new data, ready for advanced analysis.

How do I control the order in which the fields of information appear?

You can always change the order of fields in the People List grid by dragging the heading of any column.

The order in which fields originally appear in the grid is controlled by the first time an entry is saved (either by importing a DataBank file, or by entering choosing "Add New" on the People List grid and entering an individual manually).

So, assuming that your first entry will be the DataBank import, set up your DataBank CSV file with fields in the desired order.

What should I do if the import takes a long time?

If you are uploading a large CSV file, your browser may appear to "freeze" for a few minutes. Resist the urge to push buttons. As soon as the data is uploaded, it will begin to respond as expected.

What is "CSV"?

CSV stands for "comma-separated-values". This is a simple, compact format for data that is recognized by virtually every spreadsheet, database, statistics, and HRIS system. It is also the basic structure of the DataBank import.

Here is an example:

1234,Smith,Terry,m,[email protected],Sales.

This example tells the system that a person who is identified for record-keeping purposes by the unique "key" 1234, is called Terry Smith. He is male, his address is [email protected], and he works in the Sales department.

(See Import DataBank sub-tab for formatting instructions.)

What is a "KEY"?

A KEY is a field used by the People List as a unique identifier for each individual listed. You may assign keys, by including them in the KEY column of the import file. Or leave the KEY column blank, in that column, and Panoramic Feedback will automatically assign a KEY.

You will see the KEY in the Sample referred to below. A KEY may be, for instance, a consecutive series of numbers ("3"), a staff number ("A72486"), or an email address ("[email protected]").

Its power is that it differentiates positively between people, e.g. Joseph M. Smith and Joseph E. Smith.

It also assists the DataBank when you merge in a new upload file, ensuring that there is no duplication.

Once the KEY is assigned it cannot be changed, because it is the absolute identifier for the individual.

An advantage of using the person's email address as the KEY is that it is unique and will provide you with instant recognition.

(One occasional disadvantage: if you use the email address as KEY, and later have to correct the actual email address that is listed for the person, the original KEY will remain unchanged and unchangeable.)

What is a "PID", and why must it be kept confidential?

PID means Personal ID. Here is the form of a PID: abc-123456-78-wxyz

Each PID identifies a particular Responder exclusively, as well as the particular Subject whom s/he is requested to assess. A single Responder may have several PIDs, each linking her/him with a different Subject. (There is even a PID which allows the Subject to respond to the Questionnaire to assess her/himself.)

PIDs should be kept private by the recipient. They should never be "loaned" to anyone else. If the wrong person uses a PID, their response will not be credited to them, and they will continue to receive Auto Email reminders that they have not yet responded. Furthermore, their response will replace the response of the correct user of the PID, in the Report.

What is "GENDER"?

For Subjects in English-language Projects, you should include a GENDER data field (specified as "m" or "male", "f" or "female", or "u" meaning unspecified.) This allows Subjects to be assigned the correct pronouns in the introductory text of questionnaires.

If gender is not specified in your import file, the system will automatically supply "u".

(If you do not specify gender, or if your Questionnaire is in another language, the administrator should edit the Questionnaire introduction to use the term "her/his" (or the equivalent) to allow reference to the Subject by pronoun.)

What is "NAMEFORM"?

You can control the order in which participants' names are displayed in Questionnaires and Reports, by entering "a", "b", or "c" in the NAMEFORM column.

  • "a" Place "a" in the NAMEFORM field to display the Given Name before the Family Name (Western style). Example: "Terry Smith".
  • "b" Place "b" in the NAMEFORM field to indicate that the name should be displayed as Family Name followed by Given Name, without spaces separating the names. Examples in Chinese and Japanese: "杨利伟", "毛利衛".
  • "c" Place "c" in the NAMEFORM field if you want a space between the names in addition to having the Family Name first. Examples: "Yang Liwei", "Mori Mamoru".

Note: The system default is the Western name order (Given Name, then Family Name). If you wish to this name order throughout your Project, you can safely omit the NAMEFORM column from your DataBank file.

What is "Encoding"?

Computers require that every character on your screen (letters, numbers, symbols) be encoded, i.e. represented by 1s and 0s. There are various styles of encoding, but the most effective and comprehensive are able to support the characters of most world languages (e.g. "Unicode UTF-8").

Choose Unicode UTF-8 For Most Situations

If the source program you use to create the DataBank Import file offers a choice of encodings for export, choose "UTF-8".

Then select "Unicode UTF-8" for import here.

Use Latin-1 (ISO 8859-1) Only If Unavoidable

If you receive an error message from Panoramic Feedback, import in "Latin-1 (ISO 8859-1)" and try again.

And if your source program does not allow export in UTF-8, you should be able to export in "ANSI", "Latin-1" or "ISO 8859-1" encoding. (Explanation: a few North American/Western European programs cannot support UTF-8.)

In this case, select "Latin-1 (ISO 8859-1)" when you import in Panoramic Feedback.

Check Output

After uploading, make sure any accented or non-Roman characters are displayed properly, by checking on the People List sub-tab.

Is there a safe, easy way to experiment with the DataBank?

Yes. The listings from any temporary DataBank you set up can be deleted from the People List, once you are finished experimenting.

To see what a Comma-Separated-Values (CSV) file looks like, select "Download Sample Or Template" from the Import DataBank sub-tab, then download the Sample. To understand its structure, open it in Notepad, Wordpad, or other text editor. (Opening it in a spreadsheet, on the other hand, will conceal its structure from you.)

To get to know how the DataBank works, it's a good idea now to import the file as a test. Then experiment with it by modifying entries on the People List sub-tab.

To create your own CSV file directly, rather than importing it from a database, download the Template, open it in a spreadsheet program, and follow the instructions on your screen.

Note: Formatting the data is not difficult, but the DataBank import will not function unless the format is absolutely correct. The first time you use it, give yourself a few extra minutes.

How do I send Auto Emails to notify Responders or to notify Subjects to choose Responders?

Auto Emails are a labor-saving tool for inviting Responders to reply to the Questionnaire.

There are two distinct steps in setting up these Auto Emails.

  1. You populate the People List with data about individuals, including the address to which their Auto Emails will be sent. (Populate the list using DataBank import, or manual entry.)
  2. On the EMAILS tab, you create and edit the emails which will be sent to Responders.

Responders who do not have email access will need a PID label, in order to complete the Questionnaire. See next note.

Warning: Do not use fillers such as "email address" or "xxxx" to fill up the email address area when you lack the address. The system will not function correctly with these spurious email addresses. (For instance, PID labels will not be displayed if you have used a filler in the email address area.) Just leave it blank.

How do I add new Subjects or Responders?

If there are Subjects or Responders whom you have not previously included in the DataBank import, you will need to add them. There are two methods.

  1. Create a new CSV file with their data, and on the Import DataBank sub-tab, import it, which will append its contents to the existing DataBank account. (This approach works well for larger numbers.)
  2. Add their information, one person at a time, by clicking "New Person" on the People List. (This approach is fast and easy for smaller numbers.)

Next, identify Subjects and assign Responders.

On the assigned date, Auto Emails will be dispatched to these Responders along with those previously selected.

If you are past the date when Auto Emails were sent to previously-selected Responders, you can force out the most recent email to new Responders only. On the EMAILS tab, select an email, and choose "Re-send Emails". On the edit page for that email, you can control which individuals will receive the email.

If the Responders listed on the page have already received Auto Emails inviting them to assess other Subjects, the re-sent emails will refer to the new Subject only.

How do I de-select Subjects or Responders?

You can de-select an individual as a Subject on the People List by editing her/his listing.

This choice does not delete the individual's listing in the People List. It merely cancels their status as a Subject, cancels any Responders who may have been selected for them, and nullifies any responses they may have received.

To de-select an individual as a Responder, use the People List. Select the Subject, then edit her/his listing. On the Responders grid, click on the "None" column beside her/his listing.

As a result, these people will receive no further Auto Emails regarding the Subject, and their responses (if any) for that Subject will be ignored during the compiling of responses. This will not delete them from in the People List.

How do I add new data fields?

You can add demographic information to the People List, even after everyone has responded to your 360.

Example: You discover the need to add the Department of each person assessed, in order to discover which departments need extra training support.

  1. Export your DataBank.
  2. Use a spreadsheet to add the extra column of demographic data to the exported file. Save it as a CSV file.
  3. Import it. It will merge with the existing DataBank list.

The resulting People List will include the new data, ready for advanced analysis.

What if I need to send emails to new email addresses or corrected addresses?

Make additions or corrections on the People List.

If incorrect email addresses resulted in undeliverable mail, re-send an Auto Email to the new or corrected email addresses from the EMAILS tab, Edit Emails sub-tab. Select an email, and choose "Re-send Email". On the Edit Emails page, you can control which individuals will receive the email. It will not be sent to any address to which it was previously sent, unless you deliberately select those addresses.

If the Responders identified to receive the "Send Immediately" email have already received other Auto Emails inviting them to assess other Subjects, the re-sent emails will refer to the new Subject only.

What should I do if an Auto Email is rejected because of transient problems in transmission?

If an Auto Email is addressed correctly, but bounces back because of a temporary difficulty at the receiving end, re-send as in previous note. You can control which individuals will receive the email.

What if a Responder has to evaluate several Subjects?

Responders who are being asked to assess several Subjects will not receive several emails. The PIDs required for assessing all the Subjects will be listed in a single Auto Email.