Tag Administration


Tagging allows an institution to create student subpopulations within SS&E. 

  • Some tags are applied automatically or manually within SS&E based upon imported data, while other tags are created based on data sourced from other institutional systems/data that is not included in the data import definitions and imported as person tag records into SS&E.
  • Tags are most often used for filtering/taking action/reporting upon specific subpopulations.
  • Tags are role-based and therefore can only be used or viewed by "Permitted Roles". For more information about the available tag settings, click here.
  • Tags must be configured to display and be used in a specific department app(s) as seen in Tag Administration "Associated Apps". If tags are missing, verify that the tag is configured for the department app(s) where the tag should appear and/or be used.
      • If Department Apps are disabled, the default Advise app must be selected from the dropdown values displayed for "Associated Apps".
      • For more information about troubleshooting missing tags, scroll to the bottom of this article or click here.
  • There are three types of tags that can be assigned to students and displayed within SS&E. These are:
    1. Automated tags
    2. Data-backed tags
    3. Manual tags.

Features and Functionality

System Tags

"System Tags" are tags that are automatically assigned by the system when active, and there are two types of system tags:

  1. System tags with specific pre-defined Source System Ids are system tags that are usually created in Tags Administration during implementation and activated to assign specific tags to student records automatically when relevant.
  2. System tags with a pre-defined "Automated Tag Filter" populated in tag settings assign tags automatically based upon specific criteria associated with the student record.
  • There are a total of five different System Tags that may optionally be assigned via Source System ID (Developmental, Distance/Online, Early College, Full Time, Part Time).
      • The system will check for active tags with one of the above "Source System Id" values and automatically assign the tag to students with applicable conditions. 
      • The system will also automatically remove Source System ID based tags when a student no longer matches the Source System ID tag criteria.

Non-System Tags

Non-System tags can be assigned to any student/subpopulation at any time:

    1. Via the Person Tag data feed ("Data-Backed Tags").
    2. Via Manual Tags. (assigned manually to a student record from the UI)
  • There are a limited number of System Tags (tags that are automatically applied by the system via logic) while Non-System Tags are unlimited, as they are user-defined.

The following items describe the three different tag assignment methods in more detail:

1) Automated Tags

Automated Tags are system tags that are applied by an Automated Tag Filter that assigns tags when all the automated tag filter criteria are found to exist on a student record.

  • The following link displays a pre-defined list of the Automated Tag Filters that administrators can choose from when creating a new tag in SS&E.
  • Automated tag filters are also discussed in Tag Settings found in the How to create a Tag article.
  • If the automated tag filter is empty (this can be verified by checking Tags Administration "Edit Tag" mode), this means that the tag is not being automatically assigned by an automated tag filter. The tag may be getting auto assigned by a specific source system ID (Developmental, Distance/Online, Early College, Full Time, Part Time) if one exists. Otherwise, the tag is either getting assigned manually or importing on the Person Tag data feed.

2) Data-Backed Tags

Data-backed tags are imported into SS&E on the Person Tag data feed.

  • Data-backed tags are used when the underlying data is not included in any of the "auto-assigned" system-tag conditions.
  • For detailed information about implementing and using data-backed tags, click here.

Data-backed tags are assigned to students based on data that exists in an external source, such as the SIS, admissions department, or another system. They appear on the UI exactly as they import.

  • Data-backed tags are usually institution-specific since each school usually has specific use cases that do not apply across all SS&E customers. 
  • The only condition for data-backed tags is to be able to extract the source data in a way that it can be included in the Person Tag data feed. Once included, tags will be assigned and removed based on the contents of the Person Tag data extract. To view the Person Tag Import Definitions, click here and scroll to Person Tag.
      • Tags imported with Active=True on the Person Tag data feed display on the UI.
      • Tags imported with Active=False on the Person Tag data feed are removed from the UI.

Data-backed tags are imported into SS&E on the Person Tag data feed via the Connect scheduled task.

  • Since data-backed tags are based on external data, the source data must be managed outside of SS&E.
  • To import data-backed tags, the Person Tag data feed must be set up either by the Watermark Student Success & Engagement Professional Services team by fee or by utilizing a support plan, or by the institutional technical staff.
  • By design, all data feeds are scheduled to import into SS&E four times per day. This helps ensure that even if there is a temporary glitch during the SIS import, the data import process will shortly try to run again. 
  • In addition, since the Person Tag data feed does NOT support data deletion integration with the SIS, in order to remove a tag from the UI, the Person Tag record must import with "active=false". This  will set the expiration date in the SS&E database and remove the data-backed tag from the UI.

Person Tag Extract Queries

To find the source of data-backed tags, from Datafeeds Administration - Person Tag - Extract Queries - View, check how Person Tag data is being extracted in order to import/assign/remove tag data within SS&E.

Data-Backed Tag Troubleshooting

  • After a Person Tag is imported from the SIS, it will only display on the UI for users with a Permitted Role assigned in Tags Administration found here
      • If the logged-in user is not assigned a Permitted Role on a specific tag, the tag will not display on a Student record.
  • If the Person Tag data extract record imports with active set to "false" then the tag will not display on the person record in SS&E for any user, even if they are assigned a permitted role.
  • The Person Tag Extract Queries are setup by Watermark staff during implementation and again reviewed by the professional services staff when upgrading to Accelerate. Once in place, they are usually managed by the individual institutional IT staff.
      • In most cases, Person Tag extract queries are designed to assign and expire data-backed tags based on the external source data and the academic calendar data importing from the SIS.
      • Data-backed tags that import with Active=True display on the UI. Data-backed tags imported with Active=False are removed from the UI.
      • To troubleshoot missing data-backed tags data, the first place to start is identifying the extract query displayed on the Person Tag data feed.
  • For more information about data-backed tags, click here.

Managing Imported Data-Backed Tag Values

When a data-backed tag is imported on the Person Tag data feed, it will automatically create a Tag record in the database that is visible on the Tag data view, with Active and System enabled (eg. "true").


  • After the initial import, the Active and System settings will not be changed by the SIS import or the system.
  • If an imported tag record's Active and/or System fields are manually changed within SS&E, this will not be overwritten by the SIS import process.
  • However, if the name and/or description of an imported tag record is manually changed within SS&E, these will be updated and overwritten with the data included in the SIS Import.
      • For this reason, changing the name and description of a data-backed tag imported on the Person Tag data feed should only be done in the SIS source data.
      • Manual name/description changes made on imported tags in SS&E will be overwritten by the data feed import and cause unexpected results.

3) Manual Tags

Manual Tags are tags that are manually assigned to students, either individually or in bulk, by an institution. 

In order to assign manual tags, a user assigned the Administrator role must first create the manual tag(s) in Tags Administration (Administration - Tags - Tags).

  • For instructions on how to create a tag, click here.

Bulk Assignment

An administrator can manually assign a tag to a list of Student IDs by using the Assign Bulk Tag action, which assigns tags in batches, from here. To assign tags in bulk:

  1. From Tags Administration - Assign Students to Tag*, select the tag.
  2. Enter a list of comma separated Student Ids.
  3. Select Save to assign the tags.

*This action cannot be undone. While the tags are being assigned a  message displays with "Adding Tag x to n student(s) in x batch(es). You will receive an email for each batch when it completes".

People Administration - Bulk Actions

An Administrator can also manually assign a tag to a group of selected people records from People Administration "Bulk Actions". More information about this can be found here.

Staff Assigned Tags

Manual Tags that are Staff-Assigned Tags can be individually assigned to a student from the UI by searching for the student record and then manually assigning a tag on the Student Profile - Tags section.

Removing a Tag

Any type of tag can be manually removed from a student record. In addition, any type of tag can be removed from one/many person records via People Administration "Bulk Actions". 

However, if the underlying data condition still exists for an "automated" tag, or if the automated tag condition(s) do not exist and the tag is not Expirable; or if the Person Tag data feed is still importing the person tag with Active "true", then the removed tag will be reapplied and soon reappear on the UI.

  • By design, System Tags (eg. Automated Tags and Source System ID auto-assigned tags) are automatically removed when the student data no longer matches the criteria that is included in the tag condition(s) IF Expirable is checked on the tag itself, eg. Expirable=True.
      • If Expirable is not checked, eg. Expirable=False, then the tag will stay on the student record once assigned. 
      • The "Expirable" setting in Tag Administration determines whether a tag is removed from a student when it's assigned as part of an automated tag filter that no longer applies.
  • By design, Data-Backed Tags are removed from the UI when they import on the Person Tag data feed with Active=False.

By design, tags themselves cannot be deleted from Tag Administration, and can only be deactivated.

  • Once inactive, the tag cannot be selected from the UI however inactive tags will appear in reporting.
  • As a workaround, inactive tags that are no longer in use can be edited and renamed to "Inactive", "Do not use", or "ZZ-original tag name" etc..

Why Are Automated Tags Not Being Removed?

If a system tag's Automated Tag Filter condition(s) no longer apply to a student/Person Id, and the associated tag is not being removed automatically by SS&E, select Edit Tag to check if the reason for this is that the tag is set to Expirable - No. When Expirable is set to No/is False, then by design, the the tag will stay on the student record. To fix this, change the setting to Expirable - Yes which should remove the tag.

For more information about Tag Settings, click here.

Person Tag Imported Data (Database) View

The Person Tag data feed Imported Data View displays all tags, no matter how they were initially assigned.

  • The Person Tag database view displays the Person ID representing the student record, the Tag ID representing the tag itself, Created Date, Last Modified Date, and Expiration (Removal) Date. 


How to View Person Tag History

By design, when any tag "type" gets assigned to a student record by any of the above methods, the student-tag association displays on the Assigned Tags Report and in SIS Integration Administration on the Person Tag Datafeed Imported Data View, found here.

  • The Assigned Tags Report only displays tags that are currently associated with a student record and displayed on the Student Profile.

When a tag is either automatically expired or manually removed from a student record, it is not included on the Assigned Tags report anymore since the report only displays tags that are currently associated with student records that display on the UI.

However, expired/removed tags may still appear on the Person Tag data feed database view, searching by the Person ID/Tag ID.

For example, searching the Person Tag Datafeed View by person ID and expiration date "2022%" will return all tags removed from the UI for the specific person in the year 2022.

  • Searching the Tag Datafeed imported Data View by the Tag ID (tag_src_system_id from the Person Tag datafeed view results) will return the Tag name as it used to appear on the UI.
  • If a tag was manually removed by accident, it can be manually reassigned to the student record using one of the above manual tag assignment methods.


Troubleshooting Tags

Missing Tags

If tags are not displaying on the UI as expected, the first place to check is Tag Administration - Edit Tag to make sure that the tag is visible within the department app that you are currently using to view student records.

  • By default, the Departmental Apps add-on feature is disabled and all users (students and staff) display in the "Advise" app.
  • The App setting in Tag Administration allows institutions to create app-specific tags that can only be used on certain person types/sub-populations within a certain departmental app.







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