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7 Keys to Simplify Your Data Conversion


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Whether you are shopping around for a new association management system (AMS), looking to make a switch sometime in the future, or just curious about the steps involved, this webinar will answer all of your questions when it comes to data conversion.

Data conversion is paramount to the success of effectively implementing a new AMS. But if the process is not well-defined, it can negatively impact the integrity of the new system forever. And what good is a new system if it contains inconsistencies from the very beginning?

Aaron Beymer, Data Conversion Specialist at WebLink, will cover the strengths and weaknesses of a computer-programmed data conversion, common causes of increased complexity and cost, process recommendations and considerations to make when comparing technology partners' implementation offerings.

In this webinar you’ll learn:

- How to prepare your internal staff for the challenges ahead.
- The complexities and pitfalls that should be avoided, for a more seamless data conversion.
- How to set your organization up for success by gaining buy-in and documenting processes.

Published in: Software, Technology, Business
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7 Keys to Simplify Your Data Conversion

  1. 1. 7 Keys to Simplify Your Data Conversion July 9, 2014
  2. 2. AboutWebLink • SaaS company (Software as a Service), leading software provider to business associations and chambers of commerce • Established in 1996, 60 employees, based in Indianapolis, IN • 94% customer retention rate 2
  3. 3. AboutWebLink • Association Management Software • Website Design & Development • Non-Dues Revenue Programs • Partner in Your Success 3
  4. 4. Instant Commerce • iPad app for mobile commerce • Integrated credit card reader • New member sales • Event registrations • Pay open invoices
  5. 5. WebLink Blog
  6. 6. Why Data Conversion? • Your current solution may: • Be expensive • Be hard to use • Lack reporting • Lack features and upgrades • Not offer flexibility and configurability • Not integrate your website, membership data, events, email marketing, and financials into a seamless, centralized database Rather than rekey all of your data, data conversion provides a way to more easily move data from one format to another.
  7. 7. Your association database is the single most important asset your organization owns.
  8. 8. About Me 11 Aaron Beymer Data Conversion Specialist WebLink International • Graduate of Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems • Over 10 years of experience working with relational databases, specializing in Microsoft SQL Server • 14 years of professional experience in the IT industry • Employed byWebLink International as a Data Specialist since 2012 • Avid enthusiast of cars, technology, and bicycling • Resided in downtown Carmel, Indiana since 2010
  9. 9. Session Agenda: 7 Keys to SimplifyYour Data Conversion 1. Get Familiar 2. Establish Buy-In 3. UnderstandYour Needs, Role andTime Commitment 4. Avoid Complexities and Pitfalls 5. Prioritize 6. KnowWhen It’sTime to Move On 7. Prepare for the Future 12
  10. 10. Get Familiar
  11. 11. How Do Computer Programmed Data Conversions Work?
  12. 12. They’re Fast
  13. 13. But the Conversion Can Only Be As Good asThe Data
  14. 14. Create aTimeline • Include the following: • Identification of staff involvement • Searching for vendors • Watching demos • Board approval • Contract signed • Data provided to vendor • Process documentation • Testing • Live date • Training
  15. 15. Establish Buy-In
  16. 16. Executive-Level • Come prepared • Share cost/time saving analysis • Give realistic resource and timeline requirements • Share high level processes and reporting available with the new system
  17. 17. Staff • Set expectations • Be transparent • Remind them of the benefits • Change is never easy, but it will make their job easier in the long run • It’s a team effort!
  18. 18. UnderstandYour Needs, Role andTime Commitment
  19. 19. AskYourself Key Questions • How do you use your current database? • What are you looking to accomplish with a new solution? • Do you understand how data conversion works? • Do you have realistic expectations for the time, resources and commitment required for making a change successful?
  20. 20. OnceYou’re Ready to Pick a NewVendor • Pick an internal task force • A representative from each department should be involved • The task force will need to: • Create a list of requirements • Sit in on demos • Evaluate and analyze each system
  21. 21. During the Conversion • Pick a project manager • One point person for gathering data • Be available as questions arise
  22. 22. After the Conversion • Additional setup • Manual entry • TRAINING • Data integrity is an ongoing process and requires buy-in from all staff
  23. 23. Avoid Complexities and Pitfalls
  24. 24. Limit to One Data Source
  25. 25. Provide Process Documentation
  26. 26. Avoid Inconsistencies
  27. 27. Prioritize
  28. 28. Know Where to Start
  29. 29. Leave Some Behind
  30. 30. Historical Records
  31. 31. KnowWhen It’sTime to Move On
  32. 32. Run 2 Systems in Parallel • Ease into new processes • Give staff time to learn and train • Work around big events and campaigns
  33. 33. Or, Rip Off the Band-Aid • Is there ever a “good time” to make the official switch? • Pick a day, and stick to it • No confusion over whether or not processes have changed • No period of time to enter data into multiple systems.
  34. 34. Prepare for the Future
  35. 35. Your Data Will Probably Never Be Perfect (ButYou ShouldTry) • Address any adjustments that need to be made immediately after the conversion • Your technology partner should help you fix any major concerns • Maintenance and following of processes ensures clean data • Don’t fall back on old, bad habits • Utilize ONLY ONE data platform
  36. 36. Teach New Staff • As you hire new people, they will have to be trained • Create a process for getting new people up to speed • Documentation of processes is key • Share what the data is used for so staff understand the importance
  37. 37. Grow withYour System • Stay up-to-date on system enhancements • As organizations grow, so do processes and rules; but document your changes
  38. 38. Bonus: Questions to Ask AMS Providers
  39. 39. When evaluating, consider asking the following questions • How many data conversions has the vendor successfully implemented? • How many years’ industry experience do the vendor’s data developers possess? • What business rule or logic discovery questions are asked prior to starting each new data conversion project? • Assuming you are using a widely- available system, has the vendor completed data conversions from your specific source system and version before? If so, how many? • What data validation steps are built into the data conversion process to eliminate errors or bugs in the new system? • What steps does the vendor take to identify and mitigate duplication of data records? • If data inconsistencies or exceptions are encountered, what is the vendor’s process for moving forward to address each issue?
  40. 40. Coming Up: 3 Questions
  41. 41. WebLink Recap:An Integrated Solution • ONE web-based centralized database • Prospects, members, non- members and all reps in same system • Financials, events, email, committees, website, reporting
  42. 42. CMS Select • Simple to drag and drop content • Responsive website design • Automatically adjusts for any screen • Fully integrated database and website
  43. 43. 3 Questions Please answer these to receive a copy of the presentation.