Data Hygiene Series
Non-profit organizations are under intense financial scrutiny - they must show accountability through the willingness to explain actions to stakeholders, and must be transparent by publishing critical financial data about the organization. These two tasks, however, can become exceedingly difficult if multiple systems are used to track financial information without regular reconciliation. Luckily, CiviCRM has an Accounting Batch feature that allows you to avoid manually re-keying financial data into your accounting software.
Your CiviCRM database is the central hub of your nonprofit's fundraising efforts, membership and contact management, event organization and other important ongoing initiatives. Because of its integral role in your organization, your database requires ongoing maintenance to ensure optimum performance. With nonprofit constituent mobility and employee turnover at an all-time high, data can quickly become messy and stale when data entry procedures for the organization are not properly regulated.
In "Data Hygiene: How to Keep Data Clean and Healthy!", we spoke in general terms of the basic steps you need to take to keep your data clean and healthy. In this blog post, we are going to focus on cleaning Contacts.
To ensure consistent data entry by all users, every organization (even those run by a single person) should have a DES (Data Entry Standards) document that clearly outlines what information the organization aims to maintain and how it is entered in the database. Not only will the DES document act as a solid resource for data entry procedures, (especially for organizations with multiple CiviCRM users), it also serves as a tool to retain organizational knowledge. The preservation of organizational knowledge is vital to all organizations, but especially so for smaller organizations with only one or two CiviCRM users and organizations with high employee turnover rates.