So what have we learned? First, in an increasingly decentralized world, where remote work has become more prevalent, it is essential to ensure that your data is readily accessible wherever your talent resources may reside. Further, we’ve discussed the value of structuring your data so that your constituents are the central data element. The additional information, such as event registrations, purchases, and memberships, is built around that table.
In this segment, we’ll discuss how you can expand the data model using out-of-the-box system tools to streamline access and ensure that your organization is as efficient as possible in the Member Experience Journey.
The first thing to consider is at what point we start tracking our interactions with our constituents? In an ideal world, we would want to capture data even before we are even aware of their interest, such as when they saw our appeal email, our name on a billboard, or were referred by an existing member or donor. By keeping track of a referral source, we can start tracking backward to ensure that our publicity and marketing dollars are being spent appropriately and that our current constituents are sufficiently satisfied with our offerings that they feel comfortable recruiting for us.
Once we have the appropriate data collection, we want to ensure that it is accessed by a minimally adequate number of people. Unless there is a reason for the Marketing group to view billing history, they shouldn’t have access to it. This ensures that the screens are uncluttered and the risk of inappropriate access or accidental data changes by unauthorized users is minimized. The security features that come out of the box with most CRM platforms allow you to determine who can view or edit records so that some users can have read-only privileges while others have complete access. It is worth spending some time to think through the security structure before your implementation so that the data tables can be appropriately configured and to spend some time annually reviewing the existing system to ensure that it still supports your organization’s goals.
As we close the final part of our person-centered blog trilogy, I want to mention some essential tools to be aware of and bring into your technology stack.
- File management, such as SharePoint or OneDrive, will allow you to organize your files, tag them with keywords to allow for easy search and indexing and keep your database size small. These tools price data much more efficiently than storing them in your CRM system.
- Marketing integration, such as ClickDimensions, or Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, allows you to automate the Member Experience Journey from inception, as well as to extend the engagement and deepen the relationship.
- BI tools, such as Power BI and Tableau, allow you to derive insights from your data to ensure that you are making the best decisions about how you spend your time and money in the service of your mission.
- Data manipulation tools, the most familiar, would be Microsoft Excel, which allows you to manipulate, test, clean, and share your data with appropriate parties.