Seven Data Issues to Look for When Converting from The Raiser’s Edge

July 29, 2020

Implementing a new CRM system can be a long and complicated process. One of the biggest hurdles can be cleaning, converting, and mapping data from a legacy system into a new CRM. Not all data is created equal—and many tedious work hours can be spent going through hundreds (or thousands!) of codes for cleanup.

Recently, a client asked JCA to help prepare for their data conversion from The Raiser’s Edge (RE) to Salesforce. JCA has developed a Code Frequency Report (CFR), which identifies every code used within RE and provides a count of how many times each code occurs. This provides a quick “snapshot” of the data, helping to organize it into a more condensed and normalized format, and make it easier to map to a new system.

Conversion to a new system provides an ideal opportunity to clean and organize your constituent data. We tend to see the same type of code issues in the CFR, and have put together a list of key data issues to look for when converting from RE:

  1. Repetitive code values – Codes that serve the same purpose. These can be confusing for data entry staff. For example, the codes for phone type can include “Work” and “Business” and may be hard for data entry staff to interpret how to code a constituent’s employment phone number.
  2. Improper use of fields – Codes values that do not belong within the associated field and should be located elsewhere in the database. For example, constituent codes that contain event attendance data. These should be removed from the ‘Constituent Code’ field prior to or during conversion, so they can be mapped elsewhere.
  3. Mixed-use code values – Code values within the same field that have different purposes. This can make it challenging for staff to easily map and convert data. For example, the Gift Code field with values indicating payment type and donor type.
  4. Data entry errors – Code values that were created by mistake, typically due to mis-keying data. Examples include suffixes of “Jr”, “Jr.”, “, Jr”, and “, Jr.”
  5. Missing code values from records – Records that do not have a code value associated with them. Sometimes an organization understand that a blank field carries a certain meaning. It’s often less confusing to articulate the implied meaning.
  6. Old code values – Code values that have old dates associated with them. An organization may determine it is not worth converting these.
  7. Codes that are no longer relevant – Similar to old code values, these are codes that that no longer have meaning to an organization. These codes may be a holdover from previous database administrators and current staff do not know why they were used.

Clean data takes significant time and effort, but it is important to start your CRM implementation off on the right foot. If you are moving from The Raiser’s Edge to a new CRM system, JCA can analyze your data and provide cleanup recommendations to ensure a smooth transition, averting unscheduled project delays and additional expenses once the project begins. Contact us to learn more.