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The importance of data integrity reports
27 July 2009, by , in Data Management, No comments

In my book, Put Your Data to Work: 52 Tips and Techniques for Effectively Managing Your Database, tip #25 is “Create and regularly execute data integrity reports.” The point of the tip is that data integrity reports can help you identify potential data problems within your database and are an excellent method for proactively keeping your data accurate.

I’ve been working recently with a client on a needs analysis as they begin the process of identifying a new association management system. I was so very pleased to learn that they have over 50(!!!) data integrity reports that they run on a periodic basis, to keep their data clean. Here’s just a sampling of what they check for:

  • bad US zip code
  • duplicate areas of interest
  • all cap or all lower case names and/or addresses
  • multiple orders for the same journal
  • duplicate committee membership
  • foreign addresses with no country code

What’s great about data integrity reports is that they can alert you to a data error before it becomes problematic. For example, from the list above, if you’ve got a bad zip code, that could delay or even stop a piece of mail from being delivered. Another example: If someone is listed twice in a committee, that may cause embarrassment to your association.

So ask yourself: What kind of data integrity reports should your organization be running? And if you aren’t using them now, what are you waiting for?

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Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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