Best Practices for a Better Database

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Manage your non-members

The non-member merge functionality on the Identity Checkpoint page allows your administrators to use a prepared import .csv file to merge non-member and member accounts either missed by Identity Checkpoint or ignored by the member during the Identity Checkpoint process. This functionality also allows your administrators the option to "batch" merge accounts during an overnight import process, without the manual work of clicking each record in the Member Merge Grid. Your administrators choose if the records should be placed in the Merge Grid for a final review, or if the records should be directly merged into the database during the overnight merge process.

The .csv is created using three column headers:

  • The appropriate column header for your Constituent ID
  • The appropriate column header for your iModules Member ID -- usually "member_id"
  • The column header for the third column will always be “review”. The value/action in each row of this third column will be either "review" or "merge," depending on whether you want to place the records in the Merge Grid for review or directly merge them during the overnight merge process.  If “review” is placed in the final column of the file, the non-member record will be added to the Identity Checkpoint Merge grid immediately upon file processing and you can then review the items and take the appropriate action. Note: Items added to the grid using the import file will be missing a Control Name. If “merge” is placed in the final column of the file, the system will merge the non-member information into the member account overnight and the non-member account will then be deleted. The record will not be placed in the Identity Checkpoint Merge Grid for review prior to the merge. There is a 10,000 record limit per file upload.

NOTE:  If you don't have Identity Checkpoint yet you can attend a training session, and then it will be activated on your site.  Contact your iModules representative for more information.

Create a culture of data maintenance

At Sizzler 2012, Tim State from Lake Forest College gave a comprehensive presentation on data maintenance. One of his topics of discussion focused on “making updates easy, natural, and non-invasive ” for your constituents. We just wanted to highlight a couple of things Lake Forest does that could easily be incorporated into your practices for collecting updated data.

  1. If you send a daily Happy Birthday email (which can be automated through your Encompass email tool), use this as an opportunity to ask for updated information. We see a lot of simple links (“Not your Birthday? Update your information here.”) but Lake Forest takes it a step further and populates constituent information with Tokens. They report an impressive 43% open rate and a 50+% click-through rate to update profile information.
  2. As a monthly practice, Lake Forest sends direct mail postcards to constituents that have non-deliverable email addresses, which of course can be tracked and exported through the kickback report in your Encompass tools.
  3. Lake Forest also has created a saved content block for use in emails that displays constituent information through the use of Tokens, and directs constituents to update information if something that displays in inaccurate.
  4. Even the promotion to give alumni with new babies a Forester Baby Bib is a chance to collect updated data.
  5. Lake Forest makes it a daily practice to confirm contact information any time they have an alum on the phone.

Use resources from iModules such as LinkedIn Integration

LinkedIn Integration allows you to retrieve updated constituent professional and profile data from LinkedIn through a user co-registration process. Data is updated directly in your Encompass database during an overnight sync. Some data mapping is required, but your iModules representative will help you through. It’s FREE. Contact your representative to get started.

NOTE: Access to retrieve the member data will expire 60 days after the user's opt-in to the system.  It can only be renewed by the member logging into iModules with the Sign In with LinkedIn option, so it is a best practice to use these two things together.




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