|Populating These Files|
|Importing These Files|
The Manage Connections file is used to define Success Networks in Beacon. Success Networks are groups of faculty, staff, and other individuals who are connected to a student. These connections allow users to review students’ profiles and add notes or alerts. The most common use of the Manage Connections file is to link advisors to their advisees, but the file is flexible and can be used for whatever relationships a campus wants included in their Success Networks. Some other examples include work supervisors, instructors (who also have access to student profiles through the Faculty Experience module), or RAs. As long as the relationships are maintained in the SIS or another database, they can be queried to automate the Manage Connections file.
If a user with a Student role is imported in the AdvisorID field, their role is upgraded to Advisor.
Connections can also be assigned manually within Beacon. For more information, see Connect Student to Success Network Members.
Requirements for populating this file can be found in the Beacon Data Dictionary.
Best Practices for Populating Managed Connections
The scope of this file will depend on what types of users you want to include in your Success Networks. Discuss this with functional leaders and your Campus Labs consultant. In general, the students who are included in this file should align with the students who are included in the Accounts and Enrollments files, which is typically all students taking courses in the current term.
To properly connect accounts to each other, the AdvisorID and ExternalID should match the PersonIdentifiers defined in the Accounts file.
Each record in this file includes an advisor ID, a student ID, and either a “Connect” or “Disconnect” action field to designate whether a link between the two accounts should be created or broken. Empty Action fields default to "Connect". Depending on how your data is structured, connects and disconnects may need to be two different queries. Discuss how connections and disconnections will be managed. If there is no specific datapoint that can be used to trigger disconnections, consider the three options below to maintain disconnections:
- Make the connections daily and periodically disconnect all students using the Disconnect All option in Beacon. This clears and cleans all the connections and re-establishes them the next day.
- Send a copy of the previous day’s connections with the Action field changed to “Disconnect”. Then, send over the current day’s connections file.
- Build a holding table of all connections and do a comparison each day to build the disconnections.
Term logic is also unique to the decisions made by your institution and will depend on what types of connections you are including and how they are being connected and disconnected.
Suggested SIS Tables
Important Information About Importing These Files
Beacon Connections should be imported after Accounts, to ensure that the accounts referenced exist in the repository.
Beacon Connections are added and updated on import. Populating the Action field with "Disconnect" will remove the existing connection.