BLOG: Your Database is One of Your Most Valuable Assets

July 31, 2019

Data health means mission health.

 

What is data? And what is data health? 

 

Your database is one of your most valuable assets. What you have right in front of you is one of the greatest opportunities you have that can help you connect and engage on a deeper level, but only if it is accurate. Fundraisers need clean, accurate data to connect effectively with donors. Inaccurate data will cost you time and money. 

 

First off, what is data? Data in your organization, depending on the size, includes the donor’s name, phone number, email, address, giving history, and all other information you have collected on your donors. All this data is stored in your database and should be updated on a regular basis.  

 

Some say to think about data like water. Are you letting the water flow and add life to your organization, or are you letting it sit and form a stagnant pond? I don’t know if you’ve ever seen, or smelled stagnant water, but it is not a good thing. You want your organization to be hydrated and grow, and to do this you have to use the data you have. 

 

You also need your data to be filtered, just like water should be filtered if you are going to drink it. With bad data you are putting your organization at risk to losing money and wasting time and resources. So how do you know if you have healthy, clean data? There are a few indicators you can look to know if your data is healthy. 

 

Visibility into how or where data is being collected. Does your team know what data is being collected and how? If you are unsure of this it indicates you are unaware of what data you have, or where it is coming from so it may not be accurate. 

 

Is your nonprofit using multiple software programs? If you are this can cause many issues to arise with your data including lost and repeat data. Using tools that are incompatible with one another is a red flag that your data is bad. 

 

The thing with data is if its accuracy is even in question, it is considered bad. Back to the water analogy- if the water has any chance of having bacteria then you are not going to drink it. If you do use data that is in question, you are making a decision that can potentially harm the organization in the long run. 

 

When data is healthy and used properly, it can be one of the most valuable assets to your organization. The use of data can save your organization time, money, and resources or it can cost you the same. 

 

Download this checklist to see if your data is accurate today! 

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