Silos – enemy of the SCV

Enemy of the SCV

It gets harder and harder to get a holistic view of your marketing or fundraising.  Internal teams diversify their portfolio of products and associated communication channels and make more use of social media.  Consolidating this information back to one system is challenging.

Traditionally the most common problem with data silos in not for profits (nfps) was that certain teams unequivocally opted out of using the database.  Often this was because of misunderstandings and fear of becoming a slave to data entry. Whilst undoubtedly still an issue it is silos that present the greatest data challenge in the sector at the moment. Silos are actually within peripheral systems now rather than created by wrangles over data ownership between teams, or areas of data where bridging identifiers are difficult

Kevin Morton
Kevin Morton

The easy mistake to make is to think that because the software is owned by a particular team that they also still have access to the data and therefore their supporters overall preferences. A supporter’s or customers e-marketing preferences that are held independently to, or in one or more ESPs cannot give a full picture of what is happening in the relationship, and you aren’t going to start adding all of your fundraising data to your limited email suite as custom fields. Likewise a regular SMS gift languishing on the servers of one of the big four SMS providers is no more use to your audience understanding than a trading purchase or campaigning or volunteering indicator held out of the SCV.

Our advice.  Is to load all data back to your SCV repository, whether this is your core fundraising system, or an in-house data warehouse. Get the data on! and get it on regularly and as quickly as possible, so the SCV record is fresh. It’s not easy, but it is a battle worth fighting. Dealing with complex data imports can be demanding at first requiring scoping, testing and implementation but the rewards will be numerous.

Adroit have lots of experience with data management challenges, integrating silos of data, creating bridging keys, and linking to digital technologies, bridging email, web and social data to an individual level. Kevin Morton now joins us, adding more expertise in this area.  In particular within the nfp sector.  See Kevin’s profile in our team section.  Kevin is helping a number of clients look at their import routines and database structures. Drop him a line and see how he can help your organisation.

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