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10 Decisions You Will Face With Any Donor Data Migration Project

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Donor data migration to a new CRM can be downright frustrating for some nonprofits. Planning is critical. More importantly, however, you need to prepare for the inevitable decisions you will have to make during the process.

In this webinar, we will examine 10 decisions for which every nonprofit needs to be prepared in order to experience a successful transition to a new CRM.

Learning Objectives:

Understand the CRM data migration process.
Identify the key decisions that will be made along the way.
Discuss pros and cons of decision options.
Take away from the event a sense of preparedness and control over your next data migration project.
Be able to apply what you’ve learned to other data migration projects at your organization.

Published in: Technology
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10 Decisions You Will Face With Any Donor Data Migration Project

  1. 1. & present 10 Decisions you will face with any donor data migration ?
  2. 2. Our Agenda Please participate in our online poll while we get organized for today’s event. 1. Overview 2. Some ground rules 3. Data migration - the process, the plan 4. 10 unavoidable decisions – And what to do about them 5. Takeaways and Q&A 2
  3. 3. Nonprofit Data Services Founded in 2013 by professionals with 20+ years of technology and data experience with Fortune 500 companies, the federal government, and nonprofits Offices in Washington, DC and Seattle, WA metro areas www.thirdsectorlabs.com LEVEL 1: ASSESSMENTS, CLEANING LEVEL 2: DATA MANAGEMENT, ENRICHMENT, MIGRATION LEVEL 3: WAREHOUSING, MINING, INTEGRATION ! 3 Gary Carr President, Co-founder gcarr@thirdsectorlabs.com linkedin.com/in/gpfcarr
  4. 4. Let’s get started 4
  5. 5. No decision is still a decision 10 Decisions you will face in any donor data migration 5 Highly degradable … just like people’s lives As in “unavoidable” There is always risk when you move something
  6. 6. Data confounds us … why? Confound, kon-FOUND, (verb), to perplex or amaze - to through into confusion “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” • Sherlock Holmes ! “Data is the new oil.” • Attributed to many people ! ! “Data is not the new oil, but instead a new kind of resource entirely.” • Jer Thorp, in a Harvard Business Review article 6
  7. 7. Here’s the heart of the problem … “Personally, the NSA collecting data on me freaks me out. And I’m from the generation that wants to put a GPS in their kids so I always know where they are.” • Joss Whedon, screenwriter, director ! ! We are feeling overwhelmed … ! Big data = big confusion … ! What data do we need … and what can we ignore? 7
  8. 8. Answering this question … ! “What donor data do we need … and what can we ignore?” ! ! ... sums up the purpose of today’s webinar. 8
  9. 9. You are here today because … 1. You are in the midst of a CRM migration and you are looking for insights ! 1. You have a CRM migration coming up ! 1. You have completed a CRM data migration recently and you are still wrestling with some problems ! 1. Data inspires you! – Then you must want a job with Third Sector Labs ☺ 9
  10. 10. Let’s set some ground rules “Never tear down a bridge before you know why it was built. It may be your only means of retreat.” 10 - Winning general - Smart technologist
  11. 11. Our data migration ground rules 1. Your donor relationships depend on data – all of them. Therefore you need your donor data to be as “complete” as possible. ! 2. “Complete” = what you will actually use. ! 3. Your shiny new CRM represents your fundraising future, NOT your past. ! 4. Not making a decision is still making a decision. ! 5. All data migrations start with an understanding of the process, and they require a plan. 11
  12. 12. The process and the plan 12
  13. 13. It’s data moving time ? 13
  14. 14. The technical process … into there 14 We shove all of that … 01010100110111000101011000 11001010101010101010000101 10110001111100101001010010
  15. 15. The technical process … really 1. ANALY SIS 2. MAPPING 3. DATA EXTRACTI ON 4. CONFIGU RE NEW DATABAS E 5. CREATE IMPORT FILES 6. IMPORT 15
  16. 16. The technical process … really … REALLY 1. ANALYSI S 2. MAPPI NG 3. DATA EXTRACTI ON 4. CONFIGU RE NEW DATABAS E 5. CREATE IMPORT FILES 6. IMPORT 16 Clean now or later? Parse now or later? Run test file Re-configure database Test import results Re-import Test again Clean, parse? Archive
  17. 17. Creating a plan Actually, your data experts will build the plan ! You want to plan ahead and be prepared … and ask better questions. ! Start with a checklist ! Here’s one from the Third Sector website. http://3rdsectorlabs.com/resources/data-migration- checklist/
  18. 18. Checklists
  19. 19. 10 unavoidable decisions 19
  20. 20. #1 Do we need data governance policies? (by the way, what is “data governance?”) 20
  21. 21. Data governance What’s that?
  22. 22. Correct answer “Yes!” ! Why? ! Without policies and standards, you won’t be able to make the necessary decisions to complete your data migration. ! There will be too many unanswered questions. 22
  23. 23. Examples 1. Purpose – For what purposes do we store donor / constituent data? – What defines a “complete” donor record? 2. Processes – What are our processes for data gathering / input? – How frequently (and on what schedule) will we clean / update / enrich our donor data? 3. Storage – How long do we store old records? – When does a prospect stop being a prospect and just become ‘bad data’? – How many instances of an address or phone # or email do we store? 4. Security – What are our data security standards? 5. Other … compliance? Systems integration? 23
  24. 24. #2 How many years of donor data do we migrate? 24
  25. 25. Wrong answer The data hoarder in us all says: ! “Bring it all!” 25
  26. 26. Correct answer (Answering a question with a question) ! When was the last time you logged into your CRM and studied donors or gifts older than 3 years? “Start with 3 years” ! Justify anything else with specific use cases … not fear of losing data ! Archive the rest 26
  27. 27. #3 What about lapsed donors – do import them too? 27
  28. 28. Hint • This is a communications / fundraising problem. • NOT a data problem 28 ????
  29. 29. Correct answer: “It depends” Option A: “Segment your lapsed donors upon import.” • For newer, retention-based CRMS like Bloomerang Why? You need a separate outreach strategy for lapsed donors: - 2 or 3 communications - New messaging, targeted - Anyone responding goes into the new CRM - Purge non-respondents 29
  30. 30. Correct answer: “It depends” Option B: “Do not import lapsed donors.” • If you can use your old system • To manage the targeted outreach campaign mentioned on the previous slide Why? The majority of your lapsed donors are probably lost - Don’t muck up your new CRM engine with a bunch of gunk - Only bring over the lapsed donors that you re-engage 30
  31. 31. #4 What about data that we can’t / don’t import? 31
  32. 32. Wrong answer • “Keep trying … there’s got to be a way to get it all in there.” ! • “But it all fits in the old system!” 32
  33. 33. Correct answer Why? • Legacy data may be poorly formatted • Corrupt • Doesn’t fit new CRM data structure • Doesn’t fit with new data governance policies • You want to be able to get to it later … if you need it 33 “Archive it.” ! • No, not in an actual file cabinet … • Microsoft Excel, Access … something simple
  34. 34. #5 We have a couple of ad hoc text fields with lots of notes – what do we do about them? 34
  35. 35. Wrong answer “We need text fields in our new CRM database.” ! “You never know when we may need the flexibility.” L Name F Name Gift Notes Abrams Sally $500 Born 3/4/74 Married, Dave One child, Cindy Michigan State David Randel $250 Has vacation home in Florida Wife, Cheryl Subscriber to Forresta Jacque 4/17 – spoke about giving; made pledge 5/14 – followed up Nevers Alicia $50 Only send emails; do not direct mail 35
  36. 36. Correct answer “Save it, and parse it … later” Why? • Don’t let a parsing project interfere with a data migration … it will slow you down. • The text data needs analysis. • The parsing potential needs to be assessed against your CRM database. 36
  37. 37. What is parsing? 1. Analyze fields 2. Look for opportunities to break data into multiple fields 3. Export to suitable tool … (Excel often works) 4. Separate the data in a new file 5. Map the new fields to the database 6. Re-import data in the new file format L Name F Name Gift Notes Abrams Sally $500 Born 3/4/74 Married, Dave One child, Cindy Michigan State David Randel $250 Has vacation home in Florida Wife, Cheryl Subscriber to Forresta Jacque 4/17 – spoke about giving; made pledge 5/14 – followed up Nevers Alicia $50 Only send emails; do not direct mail 37
  38. 38. The result L Name F Name Gift D.O.B. Spouse Children Alma Mater Subscri ber Comm Choice Soft Credit Notes Abrams Sally $500 3/4/74 Dave Cindy Michigan State All Dave Smith David Randel $250 Cheryl Yes All Has vacation home in Florida Forresta Jacque All 4/17 – spoke about giving; made pledge 5/14 – Nevers Alicia $50 Email 38 Ground rule reminder: ! “Complete” = what you will use
  39. 39. #6 When should our data be cleaned, before or after the data migration? 39
  40. 40. When was the last time you cleaned your donor Data hygiene polling data data? 0.53 0.04 0.29 0.13 3 months 6 months 12 months Not sure 40 *Data from TSL 2014 webinar attendees
  41. 41. Correct answer: “It depends” Rule of thumb: “Before migration.” Why? Only bring over clean data: - Apply data governance - Normalize - De-dupe - Purge ! Post import: - Append - Parse 41
  42. 42. Correct answer: “It depends” Exception to the rule: “After migration.” Why? • If the plan calls for it ! • If too many records are co-mingled in a larger database … uncertainty about record ownership ! • If there is migration urgency 42
  43. 43. #7 We are three months into our data migration project and we just figured out that some data fields won’t translate to the new CRM. What do we do now? 43
  44. 44. We feel this way, but … 44
  45. 45. This is not uncommon 1. This usually occurs after analysis, data mapping, CRM configuration and initial testing is underway. 2. Then … Ah-ha!! 3. Some fields in the new CRM are not interpreting data the way you expected . 4. How do you know? – Reports look wrong – Data seems missing – Donor profiles appear incomplete 45
  46. 46. What to do 1. Stop the imports 2. Identify data gaps and mistakes 3. Re-map – This can be tedious 4. Re-configure the new CRM database – Do you need new or custom fields? 5. Create new test files – Does the problem lie with the test file itself? 6. Then re-run your test imports 46
  47. 47. But be open minded ! • If you can’t figure out a way for the new CRM to accommodate the old data, you probably don’t need it … and you were trying to hold onto it for the wrong reasons. 47 Ground rule reminder: ! The new CRM represents your future, not your past! • Is the real issue that the old database is suffering from bad data management practices that the new CRM won’t tolerate?
  48. 48. #8 We can’t agree on what data to keep and what to purge. Can’t we just bring it all over to the new CRM and decide later? 48
  49. 49. Correct answer “No!” ! Why? • You are stuck on one or more data governance policies that you don’t want to follow. ! • Work through the problem. ! • Remember: archiving data is your piece of mind. 49 Ground rule reminder: ! No decision IS a decision
  50. 50. #9 Once the migration is completed – and our data is rock solid – who should be responsible for maintaining data quality? 50
  51. 51. Potential answers 1. Tech team or dba (database administrator) 2. Marketing / communications 3. Fundraising 4. Consultant 51 (Just don’t expect this level of enthusiasm)
  52. 52. Correct answer ! “Any of them” Why? • All are good choices • Depends on your org structure ! What is necessary: 1. Accountability 2. Budget 3. Manage data quality on its own schedule 52
  53. 53. What do we know about data quality? “If your data isn’t getter better, it’s getting worse” -- TSL data scientist ! ! “What? Harumph! Why?” -- audience
  54. 54. Data DEGRADES! Cause #1: your organization – Lack of data entry standards – Unskilled data entry workers – Common mistakes – Record fragmentation Cause #2: the technology – Multiple, disparate systems – System upgrades – Integration, processing errors – Sheer volume of data Cause #3: those darned donors … life! This guy is not the problem – Change in address … every 5 to 7 years – Change in jobs … 9 to 11 jobs in a lifetime – Family / life event … divorce rate, birth of children, death … what else?
  55. 55. Data quality “BIG THREE” Three necessary ingredients: ! 1. Accountability ! 2. Budget ! 3. Schedule – (separate from fundraising and communication deadlines) 55
  56. 56. #10 Do we need a data consultant to complete our CRM migration, or can we just rely on our new vendor? 56
  57. 57. At the risk of sounding self-serving … “Probably” ! (unless you have in-house staffing with time on their hands) Why? ! • You need one or more resources who can: – Extract legacy data – Clean, normalize and purge – Create import files for the new CRM – Create post-migration archives 57
  58. 58. Remember the technical process? 1. ANALYSI S 2. MAPPI NG 3. DATA EXTRACTI ON 4. CONFIGU RE NEW DATABAS E 5. CREATE IMPORT FILES 6. IMPORT 58 Clean now or later? Parse now or later? Run test file Re-configure database Test import results Re-import Test again Clean, parse? Archive Who is doing this work?
  59. 59. CRM vendor tech resources • Want to receive a clean data set • Configure the CRM database • Import the clean data • Get done as quickly as possible ! Advice: Be sure to review a plan - including roles and responsibilities - with your new vendor. 59 Ground rule reminder: ! Data migrations require a plan
  60. 60. Desired outcome of making these unavoidable decisions 60
  61. 61. There are many 1. Future focused, ready to go 2. Clean data 3. No wasted money on per-record SaaS costs 4. No wasted time due to bad data clogging up systems, exports, etc. 5. Better donor relationships 6. Improved fundraising results 61
  62. 62. Remember … even with a new CRM garbage in, garbage out
  63. 63. In conclusion 63
  64. 64. Take-aways 1. Understand the CRM data migration process 2. Identify the key decisions that will be made along the way 3. Understand your options, but make your decisions 4. Have a sense of preparedness and control over your next data migration project
  65. 65. How we can help Data basics • Assessments, hygiene, management ! Data intermediates • Migrations, integrations, security ! Data advanced • Warehousing, mining, analytics, integrations 65 Gary Carr President, Co-founder ThirdSectorLabs.com gcarr@thirdsectorlabs.com linkedin.com/in/gpfcarr
  66. 66. For your time and attendance … and … a special thanks to our host 66 Thank you!
  67. 67. We’d like to hear from you! Please submit your questions… 67 Q & A
  68. 68. Extra slides for now 68
  69. 69. Suggested poll questions 1. Is it easier or more difficult to execute a fundraising campaign today than 5 or 10 years ago? – Easier – More difficult – About the same 2. How many technology systems are you using to execute the campaign? – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 – 6+ 3. Who is responsible for maintaining data quality in your organization? – Database / tech staff – Marketing or fundraising staff – Well call a consultant – Not sure
  70. 70. The technical process … really 1. ANALYSIS 2. MAPPING 3. DATA EXTRACTION 4. Clean now or later? 5. Parse now or later? 6. NEW DATABASE CONFIGURATI ON 7. Test file 8. Re-configure database 9. CREATE DATA IMPORT FILES 10. IMPORT 11. Test 12. Re-import 13. Test 14. Remaining cleaning, parsing 15. Create archives 70 Steps most people focus on
  71. 71. Data quality vs. data degradation “Data degrades” ! • What does that mean?
  72. 72. Who is making sure you break down silos … 72
  73. 73. To achieve one complete view? 73 Aha! Here she is!

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