Data Polishing for Inquiries and Applications (automatic data formatting)

Because we care about consistency and formatting when communicating with our constituents, our Admissions staff need to retype many names, addresses, and phone numbers that are submitted via our online Inquiry form. We are currently using a third-party application process because it does a good job of automatically "polishing" or reformatting names, addresses and phone numbers. It would be exceptionally helpful if your Inquiry and Application handlers included or allowed for some basic data polishing.

This would include forcing names and addresses to title case, expanding abbreviations such as St. and Ave., and the ability to reformat 10-digit phone numbers according to a selected pattern.

  • Cedric Paine
  • Jul 22 2015
  • Under consideration
  • Nov 23, 2015

    Admin response

    This is under consideration as part of a User Management project for data formatting. 

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  • Reji Samuel commented
    27 Sep 02:20pm

    It is very disappointing that this suggestion initially made on July 2015 has not yet been implemented even after it was considered in November 2015. As a large SIS database vendor, data accuracy, data validation, data conditional formatting, should be the top priority when it comes to data integrity. Otherwise, it's just garbage in garbage out (GIGO).

    Please have your engineers/developers put this on their high priority and get it done!

  • Daniel commented
    23 May 02:29pm

    Yes yes yes! Please implement this! Suggested since 2015, 549 votes (!!)...

  • Kristofer Thurston commented
    11 May 10:27pm

    This should also clean up extra spaces... auto-complete on mobile devices very often leaves a trailing space that shows up when you export lists for things like printing award certificates, programs, or diplomas, and can be very time consuming to clean up manually.

    There should also be some standardization for formatting of hyphenated and non-hyphenated compound Given and Family Names, preferably with options for how names are stored, how they're exported, and how they're displayed in profiles/on reports like report cards.

  • Kathy Jurkovic commented
    19 Oct, 2022 01:25pm

    This is a very long time coming!

  • Jon Sonbuchner commented
    16 Aug, 2022 02:44pm

    Agreed - Forcing a format ensures a consistency that is helpful in multiple ways.

  • Guest commented
    14 Jul, 2022 01:21pm

    We would make use of this feature if/when implemented.

  • Ingrid Coolins commented
    16 Jun, 2022 05:47pm

    Can't believe we are still voting on this. How difficult is it for Blackbaud to write code to format phone numbers?????

  • Bob Crawford commented
    22 Mar, 2022 06:44pm

    Here is the issue -- we care about consistence; Blackbaud however does not. I'm so exhausted from the constant cleanup that has to be done for something that would seem so incredibly simple.

  • Peter Cox commented
    29 Oct, 2021 08:30pm

    This has been under consideration since Nov. 23 2015.

  • Hui-Chun O'Leary commented
    15 Oct, 2021 08:12pm

    It would be helpful if the phone number field can be intuitive enough to shift its formats according to "country", i.e. when United States is selected then it automatically makes the phone number format to (xxx)-xxx-xxxx, but when any country other than United States is selected then it would reverts to a blank field that can accept any format of phone numbers. Currently it seems to only default to (xxx)-xxx-xxxx no matter what country is selected.

  • S Long commented
    9 Jun, 2021 09:11pm

    We'd like to be able to chose the format of phone numbers that we want in our database. Right now we have a mess, 5,000 + users with one format and all new users added through admissions with another. If we could choose the format in the admissions application and inquiry form we could have incoming users' numbers match the format currently in use.

  • Lauren Dennis commented
    18 May, 2021 08:01pm

    YES!! I have international families who don't understand the question and list "Samsung" as their phone number and it's ridiculous that Blackbaud is fine accepting this. Or who enter only the first part of their email address with no @ or .com/.org/.edu.

    Likewise, on Event Registrations people can enter whatever they want. Nonsense years (obviously an applicant wasn't born in the year 210), names of just a ?, etc. And then we can't process the form, so Blackbaud will gladly accept unusable data but then leaves us to try to figure out how to correct it, which we usually can't if the phone number and email are both unusable. If the user could be prompted to correct, it would be so much better.

  • Trevor Spicer commented
    19 Jan, 2021 11:42pm

    Would be nice to have some data validation in "on" products! Just sayin'

  • Matthew Poirier commented
    26 Aug, 2020 09:15pm

    This would be helpful on all forms, not just inquiries and applications. If we want to do a profile update form, there would be over a thousand responses that would have to be manually reviewed for errors that could be prevented with simple validation.

  • lauren marcus eisenberg commented
    21 May, 2020 04:58pm

    Alternatively, allow admissions staff to edit the data as it is processed into Enrollment Management!

  • Joshua Blice commented
    17 Feb, 2020 07:43pm

    I know this feature would be very helpful with our RE connection

  • Mary Stanton commented
    31 Oct, 2019 04:08pm

    Really need form field validation!! Is there any update on the status since 2015???

  • Lynnette Zimmerli commented
    16 Oct, 2019 12:56pm

    Going on 4 years of consideration is totally UNACCEPTABLE!

    Who needs to make this decision??  

  • Vera Goldman commented
    15 May, 2019 05:05pm

    What is the status on this?

  • Michelle Templeton commented
    14 Feb, 2019 09:40pm

    Please fix this! Before switching to Blackbaud, I was able to do data reformatting before dumping it in, saving me the hours that I now do data cleanup.

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