We all know that change is inevitable. Not only that, in the fast-paced world we live in, change is happening at the speed of light. Keeping your membership constituency current, and certified, can be a real challenge in an era when it seems that studies, results and process changes are happening all the time.
Integrated Testing and Continuing Education For Software Freedom
How can your organization keep up? Even more important, how can your members stay current and certified with all the latest and greatest of those changes?
The good news is that change is inevitable in the technology world as well, and CEU software, continuing education software , has been transformed over the past few years to meet the needs of associations who need the right tool to help with continuing education needs of their members. It is now possible for any organization to easily create, and regularly update, online exams and surveys to keep up with all the changes in your field.
Here are some of the amazing things that you can easily do with software like the Online Exam and Survey Manager integrated with your Membership Software:
Create tests specifically tailored to your organization, or to a particular event or training
Limit test takers to those who have attended, or successfully completed, certain events or trainings
Allow guest experts to create tests for their events and trainings
Utilize various types of questions, including true/false, multiple choice, essay, etc.
Quickly clone test questions, or entire tests, to create parallel tests for different topics
Link successful test completion with event enrollment validation for those times when you need to make sure that someone is ready to attend a certain module
Create and track Continuing Education Units
Enable successful test takers to print their own certificates of completion
Create surveys to gather information on exams desired by your constituents
Manage all this online, fully integrated with the rest of the iMIS software
If you’re ready for some assistance in keeping your constituency up to date with all the changes, contact us to learn more about our organizational exam software.
The time has come for a new donor database to help with your nonprofit’s growth. The good news is that your nonprofit may be growing. Your message is getting out there, people are flocking to your website, signing up for your events, spreading the word about the good work that you are doing. The bad news is that this growth is outstripping your homegrown software system’s capabilities. Like that proverbial swan (duck), you’re paddling like mad below the surface to keep that serene façade facing the world. In this article, we discuss the impact of data migration and having a good plan to import it into your new CRM tool at your nonprofit.
Success in Data Migration
What is data migration? in short order, data migration is the process of transferring data between storage types, formats, or computer systems. It is a key consideration for any system implementation, upgrade, or consolidation.
Today, you must demand that your selected donor software provider assist your organization with donor data migration assistance. Fortunately, professional assistance in data migration is provided by most software vendors today including Tier IV fundraising software systems on the market today.
Key Terms in Data Migration:
Legacy data is the recorded information that exists in your current storage system, and can include database records, spreadsheets, text files, scanned images and paper documents. All these data formats can be migrated to a new system.
Data migration is the process of importing legacy data to a new system. This can involve entering the data manually, moving disk files from one folder (or computer) to another, database insert queries, developing custom software, or other methods. The specific method used for any particular system depends entirely on the systems involved and the nature and state of the data being migrated.
Data cleansing is the process of preparing legacy data for migration to a new system. Because the architecture and storage method of new or updated systems are usually quite different, legacy data often does not meet the criteria set by the new system, and must be modified prior to migration. For example, the legacy system may have allowed data to be entered in a way that is incompatible with the new system. Architecture differences, design flaws in the legacy system, or other factors can also render the data unfit for migration in its present state. The data cleansing process manipulates, or cleans, the legacy data so it conforms to the new system’s requirements.
What Should you Expect from a Vendor in Data Migration?
Here are some items you should consider when you invite a professional software company to partner with you on this important transition:
Be sure that you make the software vendor aware of any uniqueness of your data. A thorough and personalized review of your organization and its needs. Data software should be tailored to each nonprofit organization, rather than expecting the organization to bend itself in knots to fit the software program.
Be sure that you have a business plan in place to accommodate any changes which will take place with the new system. A business planning model will be developed to make certain that every aspect of your business processes is included in the data imported into and stored in the software solution. During this process, consultants are likely to make suggestions for improvements that you never would have thought about. This is the advantage of partnering with an organization that helps nonprofits review business models on a regular basis.
Be sure to agree on goals for the project. You must be sure that project goals are settled upon, agreed to, and a timeline is put in place. There will be a “cut off” when the old system’s data is cut. Be sure that your team is using the new system after this data in order to avoid costly re-keying of data.
Be sure to plan and plan again. Data conversion is carefully and thoroughly implemented, with opportunities for software and data checks to make certain that the process is going smoothly.
Be sure you all agree on the value of the data to migrate. Data value is a much harder variable in the decision process. Many times there are different perceptions concerning what value the existing data provide. If users are not working with older data in the current system, chances are they may not work with older data in the new system even with improved search functionality. If migrating, you may want to look at shorter-term date parameters – why bog down a system’s performance with data that are never used?
Be sure that the software implementation takes place on a system-wide basis. This means that when the software is implemented, attention is also given to the humans who are an integral part of your system. Rules must be put in place to be sure that the donor data or member data is being input correctly. With lots of training, testing and user support, you are not left alone to “fly by the seat of your pants” as you learn a new system which could help with ongoing data issues.
So if you are ready to migrate your data and processes to a bigger, better, more professional system, be sure to have a conversation with your selected donor database software vendor.
Alright, the 4th of July is here! It’s time for hot dogs, fireworks, and heading to the nearest Lake.
For most, the 4th of July officially starts the vacation season. At work, the 4th of July is usually time spent preparing for your upcoming conference or perhaps your program next year. For your staff, Summer is a great time to step back, look at the plans being made for the year ahead, and make sure that the structure is in place to support your ambitious agenda.
If your role has anything to do with the events managementfor your association, you are likely to benefit from some of the innovative technological assistance now available to organizations of just about any size. What used to be limited to large association or nonprofit entities is now accessible and affordable for even smaller nonprofits.
For example, remember when name badges were handwritten by your event attendees and stuck onto their clothing? For many nonprofits, that was not too long ago. Today, sophisticated cardstock badges are printed for use with reusable (and recyclable) holders in all companies, large and small, while the ability to integrate printed bar codes has transformed data gathering for conference attendees, marketplace vendors and event managers like yourself. With the quick flick of a barcode reader, participants can easily register for additional events, shop in the marketplace, sign in and out of event sessions via a kiosk, validate their registration to receive event materials, and connect and collaborate with vendors.
With no more flipping through rosters and filling out forms, registration will be transformed from long lines to a quick and easy kiosk experience which will leave your event attendees with more time to network and enjoy your conference. You will spend less time managing volunteers and the issues that arise from processes that rely on paperwork.
If you are ready to learn more about how our conference event software and services can streamline your program of events in the coming year, contact us today.