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Ask Adrienne: ZIMS provisional data entry improves accuracy, consistency

As zoo and aquarium staff around the world adjust to working in shifts and taking some administrative work off-site, our members are asking for help with “Provisional” data entry. This setting allows a team member to enter animal husbandry or other data in a temporary fashion, making it available for a colleague or registrar to review and correct before saving it to your institution’s permanent ZIMS records.

Baci “helps” mom / Species360 member support representative Michele as she works remote during the COVID-19 outbreak.

In this special edition of “Ask Adrienne,” Species360 trainer Adrienne Miller answers questions about enabling staff to use Provisional data entry in ZIMS.

Question: Our Director wants to get more Staff members entering data such as Weights and Notes in to ZIMS on their own. Some of the Keepers are afraid they will “break” ZIMS by doing something wrong. And to be honest, I am worried that some Staff may be sloppy with their data entry until they get some experience in doing so. What can I do to ease our concerns?

ANSWER: Use Provisional Data entry! Provisional Data allows staff to enter data in to ZIMS that does not become part of the “real” ZIMS database until it is approved by you. Nothing can get broken and you can ensure the quality of the data remains good.

There are a few steps to get going with Provisional Data entry.

Step 1: Ask support@Species360.org to activate it for your institution.

Step 2: Go to Institution Preferences > ZIMS Accessibility and Features and turn it on.

Step 3: Create a Provisional Role. It’s easy because there is a Check All Provisional checkbox.

Step 4: Assign the Provisional Role to the appropriate Staff members. They are now ready to enter data!

In the record, Provisional data displays as a lighter grey.

To Approve or Reject the entry, go to Data Entry Monitoring and select the Provisional Records tab. If you Approve, the data becomes part of the real ZIMS database. If you Reject, it is deleted.

ZIMS isn’t broken and your data quality remains high!

For more information on Provisional Data such as Editing Rules and the Daily Report see Provisional Data Entry

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