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Author: Created: 7/27/2007
By admin on 10/23/2012
As systems become more complex, and we get data from a variety of sources, what would be considered the best practices to load this data in? We’ll ignore manual data entry in this post and assume that we already know how to do that – as effectively and efficiently as possible. At times, this might be the only way, but we can always plan for more automation. The First Step – Plan, Develop Metrics and Monitoring Tools Prioritize a list of the most common data elements that need to be uploaded/entered and managed. A starting point is to review a good book on analytics – data mining – which can help point out which data elements are important to your organization. As a first step you can run some queries to begin to analyze where your database may be “weak.” Next, you should develop a set of reports that show how the data elements you need to focus on are being monitored and managed. For example: What’s the contactable rate of living individuals in your list? Contactable rate might be those records with a…
By admin on 9/20/2012
Some of the Main Steps in Leveraging Big Data Access Access needs to be delegated throughout the organization and maintained. If you have an email marketing provider, do the right people have access to be able to download the click-through results and load into your CRM system? Your SAAS (Software As A Service) applications need to be integrated so that data is pulled automatically and loaded. There are some appliances and software that can help with this. Your ETL (extract, transform, load) tool should be robust enough to utilize SAAS processes directly so you don’t waste time on intermediate steps that take expensive staff time. Standards should be developed. Example: If you’re working with multiple telemarketing vendors, you should insist that the data returned from all of your vendors should adhere to your formats and definitions. This makes it a lot easier for you to integrate and manage the data you’re receiving. Discover You need to simplify the data discovery as you get more and more data sources. The key is to have structured entity relationships. Discovery should include a pre-load and profiling analysis before you load into your system. It’s not fun to do one-off data migrations and discovery is key to understanding what you’re getting and to design a process that’s systematic and repeatable….
By admin on 9/6/2012
I’ve often talked about how the complexity of our fundraising databases has changed over the years. We used to just collect names and addresses. We then added prospect management, cell phones and emails. We now have online behavior from our online communities and social media. A lot of our data is unstructured – such as what is typically contained in notes fields. Do we consider fundraising data “big data”? I believe it’s a critical inflexion point for us, especially as historically disparate systems have tended to become more integrated through reporting environments such as data warehouses. Our data seems to be growing more rapidly than ever and we need to take advantage and capitalize on some of the same techniques that “very big data” organizations have been employing. To me, the term big data is really a reflection of our environment. The “cradle to grave” relationship with donors has to integrate a complex data model that essentially emulates the random nature of human existence and relationships. Not an easy task to collect and manage. Not an easy task to analyze and develop metrics….
By admin on 5/7/2010
Brian DowlingThere are a few samples of some records retention policies here that may be of help: http://www.supportingadvancement.com/records/records.htm You can also do an advanced search in Google and restrict to edu domains and you’ll get some additional examples. Here’s a tinyurl for the search: http://tinyurl.com/286jcje Another good source is to check centrally in your organization with your library or other areas such as information technology. Many organizations have overarching policies that you’ll have to adhere to. They’ll also have formats, etc, that you can utilize in developing your own departmental policies. If you end up being interested in records management generally, ARMA international has many local…
By admin on 11/2/2008
A partnership approach is good, and if the Services staff provide comprehensive compelling services to help with email management, it helps garner resources, etc:


Some examples of value added services:


1. If possible, have your technical staff manage the software that is used for the mass emailing. This allows you to participate both in quality control (HTML verification) and in discussions around

managing touch points.


2. Provide comprehensive reporting back to users that integrate elements of click-through, bounce backs, demographics etc. This can be a strong incentive for users to work with you whenever they need to do emailing.


3. Be the most knowledgeable in your organization on understanding which services are the most effective for email appends and updating.


4. Initiate an email tracing program that integrates print pieces such as postcards into your receipting and acknowledgement processes.


5. Create…
By admin on 10/23/2008
Data Management Strategy


An encompassing approach to data management is critical to an organization especially when this needs to cross organizational boundaries. Data is what gives us our strategic advantage and if we don’t have our “ducks in order” we will lose our competitive edge.


Data management that crosses organizational boundaries is particularly difficult in larger decentralized organizations where decision making, clear lines of accountability, budget distribution and other structural considerations make breaking down these barriers more difficult.


Other elements that complicate are how the data may actually be acquired. For example: over the web vs. other sources. From a decentralized perspective, are acquisition, application of data policy and updates being done in a consistent fashion so as to enhance organizational mission?


Data management has an implicit number of key performance indicators, but these may or may not be known about or…
By admin on 4/30/2006
A few recommended resources for learning how to manage electronic records. “Managing Electronic Records”, William Saffady “Records and Information Management: Fundamentals of Professional Practice”, William Saffady “Electronic Records Retention”, David Stephens and Roderick Wallace “Authenic Electronic Records”, Charles Dollar ISO 15489 Model Requirements for Managing Electronic Records (MoReq) Victorian Electronic Records Strategy (VERS) Design and Implementation of Recordkeeping Systems (DIRKS) CAN/CGSB-72.34, “Electronic Records as Documentary Evidence” ARMA’s Information Management Journal AIIM EDOC Magazine (online archives at http://www.edocmagazine.comhttp://www.edocmagazine.com”>http://www.edocmagazine.com>) The ERECS-L listserv doingITbetter, http://doingitbetter.blogspot.com’>http://doingitbetter.blogspot.com”>http://doingitbetter.blogspot.com…
By admin on 2/28/2006
As the world changes, you may wish to review your online information update form. With the advent of new privacy legislation and the simultaneous need for us to collect more to manage our prospect and donor profiles, we are at the boundary layer for people’s willingness to self report. We’re also in an age where many of our younger constituents will never write a check, have a home phone number and may only want to be contacted by email. Many of our conventional methods of tracing will vanish, and this ability will be lost sooner than later. As part of our ongoing attempt to manage donor relations on the web, we really have to come up with new and creative strategies to collect information. Here are a few practical and a few “pie in the sky” considerations. • Is there a “case for support” for collecting information. We do this for gifts, but are not always as succinct in our messaging for information acquisition. You might be able to market this with a flash video or a Podcasts. Make a compelling case…
By admin on 2/28/2006
Recently we embarked on our annual data cleansing batch processing program and the results were quite interesting and seem to reflect the new way consumers manage their mail. Some background; once a year we send our entire living alumni population (regardless of what address status we have for them on our database) to a service bureau for a three part data cleansing process. The list is first run through Address Standardization or Address Accuracy as it is more commonly known, the next step is NCOA and finally telephone append to the new address. On average the last few years have yielded a 2-3% response rate on the new addresses through the NCOA program. This year, we sent close to eighty thousand more addresses (new grads, new acquisitions) and yielded a dismal 1.13%. I was perplexed. I thought of calling my service provider to complain but just as I was about to pick up the phone, I vented to my colleague and we broke it down to this: As we all know by now, in this fast electronic world of internet,…


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