Maximize Blackbaud CRM: How to Use Smart Query to Analyze Your Data

February 12, 2018

You know how to create ad-hoc queries in Blackbaud CRM. You assign parameters, set your outputs, run your results, rinse and repeat. But, what if you want to dig a bit deeper into a query to further analyze data within that set? That’s when you want to use Smart Query.

What is a Smart Query anyway?

A Smart Query is simply a tool that allows you to use a pre-defined query definition to generate an instance of the results with the new parameters you’ve identified. Most queries use relatively complex calculations, so the creation of a Smart Query can be a significant time saver, as you don’t need to recreate the original query. You simply leverage the results of the original definition, and create any variation on those results.

What kind of Smart Query can I build?

Though your definitions are likely much more complex, let’s use a very simple example. Your original query definition looks for constituents who have given between $1,000 and $4,999. You run the query and get a result set. Now, though, you want to dig in to that query to further analyze the donors within that range. From Information Library, navigate to your Ad-Hoc query, and select the double arrows next to the query name.

Drop down the Create menu item, and select Smart Query.

From here, you can set parameters and defaults which will be available in your future Smart Queries. You must have selected the fields you want to further define in your output fields of the original ad-hoc query.

Once you’ve created the Smart Query definition from the original ad-hoc query, you can move on to the next stage—creating and defining a new Smart Query.

Creating a Smart Query.

Now that you’ve created the Smart Query definition, you can now select the Add a Smart Query option from the Information Library. From here, navigate to your original ad-hoc query.

In the example, you’ll find the $1,000 – $4,999 Smart Query. You now have the option to further define the result set based on the parameters you’ve selected. For example, we can use this original query to create additional result sets with the following (examples only):

  • Amount Between $1,000 and $1,999
  • Date Between 1/1/2017 and 6/30/2017
  • Primary State = New York

You can create as many variations as you’d like—all based on the original query. This will give you the power to dissect and analyze results from within the broader selection. You may use this information for mailings, major gift outreach, acknowledgements, stewardship—really anything to better your business.

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