Validating your data toolkit

About

The Validating your data toolkit provides you with the information you need to help you validate your data in HEPCAT and HEIMS.

 

A full list of validations for each submission can be found on our Data Validations page.

Validating your data and correcting your errors is the most detailed step in the reporting process. So it's important to ensure you always allow sufficient time to validate your data prior to the due date for each submission. If you leave this step until the last minute you are likely to miss your deadline.

What are validations?

Validations are a set of system rules that check the consistency and correct coding of your data in line with policy and program requirements.

 

For example, validations can check that you have correctly coded a student's date of birth and that the date of birth doesn't change between reporting periods. Validations can also calculate that a student's debt amount aligns with what they paid up front and what they have been charged for a unit of study.

Validations cannot confirm the accuracy of the data you have reported. For example, validations cannot check that you have reported the correct number of students studying at your institution. The confirmation that the data you have reported is true and accurate is performed through verification. This process occurs twice a year. See the Checking and verifying your data toolkit for information on data verification.

If you are validating your Commonwealth Scholarships data the Commonwealth Scholarships toolkit will provide you with information on validating this submission.

When is data validated?

There are two validation processes that take place when you are reporting your data.

Firstly there is a set of validations within HEPCAT. This is where the majority of validations are run. Data must pass all HEPCAT Fatal validations before you can submit your data to HEIMS.

The second stage of validation occurs as you submit your data to HEIMS. Once your data passes these validations it will then be accepted into HEIMS.

Types of validations

Some validation rules are very simple. Others can be quite complex and require data in one file to be checked for consistency with data in one or more other files. For example, a student who has a HELP debt for a unit of study must have a record on the HELP Due file and the Student Enrolment file.

HEPCAT and HEIMS provide you with two types of validation messages. These are Fatal validations and Warning validations.

Fatal validations

Fatal validations are key errors that prevent your data being reported to HEIMS. Fatal validations may occur in HEPCAT prior to submitting your data or during the actual submission to HEIMS.

All fatal validations must be corrected before you can continue with your reporting:

  • All fatal errors in HEPCAT must be fixed before you can submit your data to HEIMS
  • All fatal validation errors that occur on submission to HEIMS must be corrected before your data can be successfully loaded to HEIMS.
Warning validations

Warning validations also occur in both HEPCAT and HEIMS. The purpose of these validations is to alert you to possible inconsistencies in your data but warnings do not stop your data from successfully progressing through the submission process.

  • The Warning errors you receive in HEPCAT may prevent your data from being successfully validated in HEIMS. For example, the HEPCAT warning may highlight that the data in your current submission is inconsistent with data you have previously reported to HEIMS.
  • HEIMS Warning errors highlight data issues that may arise during the verification of your data or in future submissions. For example, a HEIMS warning will advise you that a student's course of study commencement date is different from the previously reported date. This may affect your commencing student numbers in your verification reports.

All warning errors must be reviewed and corrected where appropriate. This will help you avoid issues at the next stage of reporting and during the verification of your data.

A full list of all validations rules can be found in the HEPCAT and HEIMS tabs of this toolkit.

Additional resources to help you to understand these validation rules can be found within the Related resources tab.

 

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HEPCAT

The validation rules for HEPCAT are displayed in three ways – by element number, file type and validation number. For each rule the following information is provided:

 
  • The validation number. This is simply a unique number identifying the rule (e.g. 1080).
  • The error message that will be produced by HEPCAT. This is a short description of the nature of the rule violation.
  • The type of validation. This explains whether the rule, if violated, involves a FATAL or a WARNING condition.
  • The rule. This describes the rule your data must meet.
  • The element or elements to which the rule relates.
  • The abbreviation for the file that contains the record for which data are being checked.

HEPCAT validations

An example of a HEPCAT validation

Example HEPCAT validation

Validation Levels and Types

To help you prepare your submission and work from simple validation errors to the more complex rules the validations in HEPCAT are arranged into six levels.

While you must pass all validations before you can submit data to HEIMS, selecting the first levels of validation and working through to the more complex rules will help to simplify the validation process and reduce the number of errors you receive at any one time. For example, a simple coding error may produce several fatal validations for every student record in your submission. This can give you a substantial error report with hundreds or even thousands of errors to correct.

Detailed explanations of each of the levels are available on the HEPCAT validation levels page.

Error reports in HEPCAT

HEPCAT produces error reports each time you run the validation process. These reports explain what validation/s you have failed, whether the validation is a warning or a fatal error and which records were affected by the validation error.

There are two types of HEPCAT reports:

  • Summary report
    • This report includes information on the errors that have occurred at each validation level. It includes the validation number, the file name, the validation rule, the error type, the rule description and the number of errors detected for that validation.
  • Detailed report
    • The Detailed Report returns all the individual records that have caused the validation errors, and displays them in the same format as they were reported in your file.

Full details on how to use your HEPCAT error reports is included in part 2 of the HEPCAT user guide.

The webinar Reporting with HEPCAT also explains how to understand your error reports.

 

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HEIMS

The validation rules for HEIMS are displayed in three ways – by element number, by file type and by validation number. For each rule the following information is provided:

 
  • The validation number. This is simply a unique number identifying the rule (e.g. 50018).
  • The error message that will be produced by HEIMS. This is a short description of the nature of the rule violation.
  • The type of validation. This explains whether the rule, if violated, involves a FATAL or a WARNING condition.
  • HEIMS logic. This explains the details of the rule your data must meet.
  • The element or elements to which the rule relates.
  • The abbreviation for the file that contains the record for which data are being checked.

HEIMS validations

An example of a HEIMS validation

Example HEIMS validation

Error reports in HEIMS

System reports are generated each time you submit your data to HEIMS.

Once you submit data to HEIMS you (as the submitting officer) will receive an email to advise you about the status of your submission. If you pass all validations the email will advise you that the submission has passed all fatal validation rules and has been accepted by HEIMS. It is important to check your submission report as this will let you know about any warning validations that have not been passed and require checking.

If you have failed any of the HEIMS validation rules your email will advise you that your submission has been rejected and that you will need to check your Opens in a new window: HEIMS Online Submission report for a description of the validation Fatals and/or Warnings that have occurred in this submission.

The Submission Reports user guide provides a step by step approach about how to access and export the reports.

The submission reports are also discussed in the Validating your data webinar.

Additional resources to help you to understand validation rules can be found within the Related resource tab.

 

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How to validate

The validation process checks your data against information you have provided in other elements or other files. Understanding these relationships will help you to correct your validation errors more easily.

When you are preparing your data submission follow the order of reporting in our Reporting with HEPCAT toolkit to help reduce the errors you receive at any one time and the number of times you need to re-validate your submission.

If you find your submission will not move from a status of 'in progress' to 'validated' in HEPCAT there are a couple of important things to check: There are a few requirements to enable a submission to move from a status of 'In Progress' to 'Validated'. Below are the requirements HEPCAT will enforce.

All validations level selected

Every submission in HEPCAT will require that all validations are selected for the submission to progress to a status of 'Validated'. A submission can be validated without all the levels being selected but will not progress from the status of 'In Progress'.

To ensure all validations are selected on a submission before executing select the 'Select All' button in the Validation tab toolbar.

No Fatal errors

When a submission is validated with all levels selected the validation reports must show that no Fatal errors were generated. If there are any Fatal errors generated during the validation process they must be corrected and the submission revalidated to enable the submission to progress to a status of 'Validated'.

HEPCAT will notify you once the validation process has completed if any Fatal errors were found. To find more details about the Fatal errors in your submission select the Summary and Detailed Report tabs within the submission tab.

Submissions 'In Progress'

Most submissions in HEPCAT will validate against levels 5 (X-Sub:Time) and 6 (X-Sub:Type). These types of validations are checked data in earlier submissions of the same type or a related submission. Due to the nature of these submission searching the HEPCAT database for submissions other than the one being directly validated, submissions other than the one being validated with a status of 'In Progress' cause stop a submissions where all validation levels have been selected and no Fatal errors are appearing in the validation reports.

If you receive notification that you submission has validated successfully, all validation levels were selected and no Fatal errors were found but the submission has not progress to a status of 'Validated' either progress the other submission 'In Progress' to a 'Validated' or remove the submission from HEPCAT if it is not required.

 

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Related resources

Checking and Verifying your data

Once you successfully validate your data and your submission has been received by HEIMS we suggest that you check your data using the HEIMS Online reports. This will ensure your data are accurate and prepare you for verification.

The Checking and verifying your data toolkit provides details about the HEIMS Online Data View reports and how to use them along with information about how to verify your data. It also includes information about HEIMS Online verification, relevant user guides and training.

Training

Training is offered throughout the year and you may register on our Training page and via our eNews. Our training page also hosts training videos and recorded webinars on many key topics, which may be viewed at any time. We also offer webinar or face to face training tailored for your team or your organisation.

We recommend that you review our training page and mark the dates of webinars that are relevant to you on your planning calendar.

Contact us

If you need advice about getting started like planning your reporting calendar and training or any questions on reporting data or using HEPCAT, HEIMS Online or HEIMS Administration systems please contact us.

 

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