Shitter Full? It may be time to clean up your Data

Shitter is Full
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Is good old Uncle Eddie needed at your Association?

At our home, one of our favorite classic movies is “Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase from the 80’s. You know the show, that’s the one where good old Uncle Eddie shows up in his Recreational Vehicle (RV) and crashes the family vacation. Specifically, there is one scene that reminds us of something that we all have to do with our database systems, clean it out!

In fact, many associations may find it almost as bad as cleaning out the waste from the RV receptacle like “Cleaning out the Shitter”.

Data Management is Critical for Databases!

So, is your “Shitter” Full? If so, how do you cleanse and purge your receptacle of data?

Data cleansing is the process of altering data in your association database to make sure that it is accurate and correct. There are many ways to pursue data cleansing in various software and data storage architectures; most of them center on the careful review of data sets and the protocols associated with any particular data storage technology. Data cleansing is also known as data scrubbing.

In more complex operations, data cleansing can be performed by computer modules like iMerge for an Association Management system called iMIS. These programs can check the data with a variety of rules and procedures decided upon by the user. A program could be set to delete all records that have not been updated within the previous five years, correct any misspelled words and delete any duplicate copies. A more complex program might be able to fill in a missing city data based on a correct postal code or change the prices of all items in a database to another type of currency. Many association management systems today even have postal verification software like Accumail.

So, how do you know your “Shitter” is full? Below you will find the top questions to ask to determine if your database (Shitter) needs help from good ole Uncle Eddie:
  1. Can you rely on your data to send out your dues billing statements, email campaigns, or conference solicitations?
  2. Is your member data missing important pieces which make records incomplete?
  3. Does you staff have separate excel spreadsheets due to lack of “Faith” in the information stored?
  4. Does it suffer from having duplication of records?
  5. Does it have dead contact data and accounts which no longer exist?
  6. Is there something more you could add to enhance your Association Software data?
  7. Has it been more than 2 years since you reviewed or surveyed your constituents for current data?
  8. Do you feel comfortable sending important statistical data to your Board?

What is the cost of not cleaning up your Shitter?

It is pretty simple. Nonprofit Association Management data is critical for your organization. Bad data costs time, efficiency, money & results. And, duplication & redundant Association Management data provides you distorted reports & business intelligence.

What is the best way to clean your data?

  1. Allow your members or donors access to their data online. It’s easier to manage the exceptions that input 1000 plus new or updated information by your staff.
  2. Purchase a software program to regularly cleanse and scrub your data regularly. This should be a task which your organization commits to each month and especially before large campaigns.
  3. If you have neither the resources above, hire a temp to do it! If you do not have the time in house, hire someone to do it for you.

For most, cleaning out your database is one of the last things on the list of “to do’s”.

But, if you don’t take the time to perform this very critical step in your nonprofit, you will likely have more than your fair share of problems.

We can help! Please Contact Us for more information on our data cleansing techniques and tools.

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