Growing your databaseAndy CooperHead of Development ServicesUniversity of Sheffield, United Kingdomwww.shef.ac.uk/alumni
24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
I aim to cover …• What is a database?• Why have a database?• Types of database• Information to hold• Sources of informatio...
What is a database?“A structured collection of data held incomputer storage; esp. one thatincorporates software to make it...
Database examples24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
Without maintenance24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
Why have a database?• Store our information in  one place• Easily extract information  e.g. mailing lists, email  addresse...
Types of databaseSpreadsheet                                                     Relational Database (Access,             ...
Information to hold• Minimum of     • Name     • Contact details (home & work)     • Educational qualifications     • Work...
Sources of information 1• Existing Systems      • Current Databases      • Alumni Directories      • Paper Records      • ...
Sources of information 2• External Sources      • Business Directories      • Public Libraries      • Newspapers      • Re...
Sources of information 3• Pro-active sources      • Questionnaires      • Email-shots      • Adverts      • Website      •...
Questionnaires• Cheap to produce• Easy to fill in• Engage your alumni• Can be used at all  events and with all  mailshots•...
Questionnaires• In 2002, we sent 100,000 questionnaires• 18,000 were returned with new and updated  information• 9,000 wer...
Email• Easy to create• Cheap to send• Very easy for people to respond• Good response rate• Need email addresses• Need reso...
Adverts• Potentially reach a large  number of alumni• Good Public Relations  for your institution• Do not need addresses• ...
Website• Easy to set-up• Easy to maintain• Provide key  information• Advertise events and  services• Use forms to gather  ...
Business Cards• Easy to collect• Up-to-date contact  information• Have a Business  Card raffle at all  events with a prize...
Networks• Use personal and  professional  networks• Encourage people to  tell you if they meet  alumni• Encourage alumni t...
Legal issues• Before storing information check for any legal  issues• In Europe the “Data Protection Act” defines  how we ...
Data entry• Huge job (mountain)• Very important• Need high accuracy• Speed• “Boring” job• Most important job in  the offic...
Resources – what you will need• Database• Data entry staff• Researchers• Database  administrators• Money for mailshots24/0...
Data entry staff• Students      • Hardworking      • Intelligent      • Appreciate why      • Can do “odd hours”      • Co...
Database screen shots                                                                                        With Sample D...
Database screen shots                                                                                        With Sample D...
Conclusions
Conclusions• The database underpins all the work in your office• It is a long-term investment which requires proper  fundi...
ResearchAndy CooperHead of Development ServicesUniversity of Sheffield, United Kingdomwww.shef.ac.uk/alumni
Research• Why do research?• Where to find information?• How to record it?• Sample profiles 24/05/2011 © The University of ...
Why do research?• If you don’t know who your alumni are how can we ask  them to help• Help provide quick briefings to seni...
Building a picture• Name• Photo• Address• What do they do? Biography?• Do they have family?• What are they interested in?•...
Building a picture 2• What are they worth?• What motivates them philanthropically?• What is their capacity to give?    24/...
Where to look• Alumni Database• News clippings and media stories• “Tip offs” and personal updates• Commercial databases (C...
All sorts of information24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
How to record information• Alumni Database• Drop down lists vs “Free text”• Keep it simple and consistent• Group informati...
24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
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Growing your database and research

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Growing your database and research

  1. 1. Growing your databaseAndy CooperHead of Development ServicesUniversity of Sheffield, United Kingdomwww.shef.ac.uk/alumni
  2. 2. 24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  3. 3. 24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  4. 4. I aim to cover …• What is a database?• Why have a database?• Types of database• Information to hold• Sources of information• Resources24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  5. 5. What is a database?“A structured collection of data held incomputer storage; esp. one thatincorporates software to make it accessiblein a variety of ways” O.E.D.It could be your most powerful resource:collective memory, evidence and a working tool 24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  6. 6. Database examples24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  7. 7. Without maintenance24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  8. 8. Why have a database?• Store our information in one place• Easily extract information e.g. mailing lists, email addresses, VIP’s• Search for information• Secure• Reduces paperwork• Collective memory 24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  9. 9. Types of databaseSpreadsheet Relational Database (Access, Oracle, SQL)Pros Pros Cheap Easy to manage Easy to create Easy to shareCons Easy to search Hard to manage Can be very complex Difficult to share Cons Hard to query Can be expensive Limited in data 24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  10. 10. Information to hold• Minimum of • Name • Contact details (home & work) • Educational qualifications • Work including salary • Donation history • Interests (while at University and now) • Event history (mailings, email, visits)24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  11. 11. Sources of information 1• Existing Systems • Current Databases • Alumni Directories • Paper Records • Personal Knowledge • Business Cards24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  12. 12. Sources of information 2• External Sources • Business Directories • Public Libraries • Newspapers • Research Companies • The Internet24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  13. 13. Sources of information 3• Pro-active sources • Questionnaires • Email-shots • Adverts • Website • Business Cards • Networks24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  14. 14. Questionnaires• Cheap to produce• Easy to fill in• Engage your alumni• Can be used at all events and with all mailshots• Gather a lot of information quickly• Need to be input• Need addresses24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  15. 15. Questionnaires• In 2002, we sent 100,000 questionnaires• 18,000 were returned with new and updated information• 9,000 were returned due to incorrect addresses• 25% response in some form on the first contact for 8 years!• Even received several donations• 43 Weeks to Update the Database24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  16. 16. Email• Easy to create• Cheap to send• Very easy for people to respond• Good response rate• Need email addresses• Need resources to update your database24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  17. 17. Adverts• Potentially reach a large number of alumni• Good Public Relations for your institution• Do not need addresses• Get a news story and you get a free advert!• Can be expensive24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  18. 18. Website• Easy to set-up• Easy to maintain• Provide key information• Advertise events and services• Use forms to gather data• Have to be kept up- to-date24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  19. 19. Business Cards• Easy to collect• Up-to-date contact information• Have a Business Card raffle at all events with a prize• Encourage academics to send you business cards24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  20. 20. Networks• Use personal and professional networks• Encourage people to tell you if they meet alumni• Encourage alumni to tell you about other alumni24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  21. 21. Legal issues• Before storing information check for any legal issues• In Europe the “Data Protection Act” defines how we can store personal information• Explain to people how you are going to store and use their information• Give them “opt outs” so they can choose not to be contacted or removed from your database24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  22. 22. Data entry• Huge job (mountain)• Very important• Need high accuracy• Speed• “Boring” job• Most important job in the office?24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  23. 23. Resources – what you will need• Database• Data entry staff• Researchers• Database administrators• Money for mailshots24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  24. 24. Data entry staff• Students • Hardworking • Intelligent • Appreciate why • Can do “odd hours” • Cost effective24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  25. 25. Database screen shots With Sample Data24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  26. 26. Database screen shots With Sample Data24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  27. 27. Conclusions
  28. 28. Conclusions• The database underpins all the work in your office• It is a long-term investment which requires proper funding• Over time it will become a tailor-made resource of real value• We are blind and impotent without a database• “Rubbish in = rubbish out” 24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  29. 29. ResearchAndy CooperHead of Development ServicesUniversity of Sheffield, United Kingdomwww.shef.ac.uk/alumni
  30. 30. Research• Why do research?• Where to find information?• How to record it?• Sample profiles 24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  31. 31. Why do research?• If you don’t know who your alumni are how can we ask them to help• Help provide quick briefings to senior staff• To save embarrassment• To understand who we are• To provide evidence and statistics• Help group our alumni to manage them• To find our high flyers and influential alumni 24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  32. 32. Building a picture• Name• Photo• Address• What do they do? Biography?• Do they have family?• What are they interested in?• Who do they know at the Institution?• Who is in their network?• What might interest them at the Institution? 24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  33. 33. Building a picture 2• What are they worth?• What motivates them philanthropically?• What is their capacity to give? 24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  34. 34. Where to look• Alumni Database• News clippings and media stories• “Tip offs” and personal updates• Commercial databases (Compass, Companies House, Nexis, Who’s Who)• The Internet 24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  35. 35. All sorts of information24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  36. 36. How to record information• Alumni Database• Drop down lists vs “Free text”• Keep it simple and consistent• Group information where you can• Media stories and clippings as images and documents• Create Profiles• Regularly check and update• Keep figures to show progress 24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
  37. 37. 24/05/2011 © The University of Sheffield / Department of Marketing and Communications
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