Managing the integrity of your data is essential to ensuring that you continue to see the benefits of your new system. Check out the points below from some key considerations to support you in maintaining the integrity of your data.
Key considerations to maintain data integrity
1. Standardise your date entry
Creating a strategy that ensures that all data that goes into your CRM is consistent across all channels. This ensures that whether data is being entered manually or through a CMS, there is a standardised format in which your data is stored within your CRM. Consider how you format names (for example first, middle and last names), addresses and phone numbers. Do think about what data and information every business area needs to complete their roles and use this as the basis of your standardisation.
2. Ensure you create data validation rules
Within your system you can set up rules to ensure that data is entered correctly. This can for example be rules to ensure that email addresses are entered correctly (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). Typically, errors in contact information for records with a CRM such as telephone numbers are entered without the zero or with a space between digits can cause there to be discrepancies within your data.
3. Set up business processes to ensure that data is regularly cleaned and updated
Maintaining data isn’t very different from maintaining a home. Without a proper routine of decluttering, you can very quickly come to a place where the junk draw won’t close. Regularly set times to clean and update data and ensure that the people assigned this responsibility can do this as part of or alongside their BAU.
4. Set up regular audits
In the same theme as cleaning and updating, creating a plan to audit data is an important to ensure the data you have is up to date and current for your contacts. Consider how you will reach out to your contacts to ensure they have given you the most current contact details or if they have had a change in their situation? How often can you run reports to ensure there aren’t any discrepancies.
5. Restricting access to manipulate data
Think clearly about who is responsible or ‘owns’ that data and ensure that permissions are created in a way that allows there to be clarity about who can modify and amend contact records, and this being related to their role.
Data collected, maintained, and used in the right way has the power to transform how your non-profit operates for the better. To find out more download out free guide on Data fundamentals for successful non-profits.