Reporting Tips: Keeping Data Manageable
Reports require accurate and hygienic data.
Without this, the reports will not reflect the organization’s work. Once you ensure your data is clean and ready, how can you best show results in reports? We focus on the following three areas to expand your reporting skills in Salesforce:
- Unique Count to ensure data is counted once
- Formulas in Reports to calculate information directly in the report
- Field to Field Filters to filter data based on fields in the report
Having unique data labels, creating formulas, and applying the right filters can save you time as Salesforce does the work for you.
Data Hygiene: Good Data at the Ready
Reports Need Good Data.
How many times have you run a report and realized that the data you had wasn't accurate? And you don't have time to deal with it because that report is needed ASAP for your annual campaign. So, rather than fix the data in Salesforce, you export the data, fix it in Excel, and say, "I'll get back to that later." But you never get back to it again because you are off to the next thing. Don't feel bad. EVERYONE has done this, but we know it's time to stop!
Having ready-to-use data is critical for user adoption as well as effective reporting. No one likes to find out at the end of year-end appeal season that essential data was wrong or missing all along! Yet, it's challenging to keep your data clean and ready-to-go when you have so many other things on your plate.
Where to Start? Having a plan in place to help with the data clean up can make life easier. A process of sorts that you can regularly run that outlines your data cleaning plan. There can be a lot of areas to hit, but we're going to narrow our focus on three main areas:
- Good Data
- Regular Checkup
- Freshening Data
It is possible to keep your data clean and make it easier when you have to run a report for an annual report or anything if you put together a plan and stick with it. You can begin this process of a plan by setting priorities and asking others to help you ensure data is accurate and clean. Creating reports and running campaigns will be as easy as a button click, and no more data cleaning a spreadsheet after the fact!
The DIY Companion to Household
Can you do this migration? Yes, with preparation!
This guide shares essential steps. With Nonprofit Starter Pack version 3.0 (NPSP 3), Salesforce introduced the Household Account model. You’ll have the option to migrate after upgrading, and we encourage you to consider it. This model provides many benefits for nonprofits hoping to streamline their data. This guide is supportive to one that can be found on the Power of Us Hub: “Convert to the Nonprofit Success Pack Household Account Model.” The Hub guide is longer and provides comprehensive information on migration. We recommend using these resources in concurrence, as this resource will help you navigate the larger trek provided by the Hub guide.
Account models are the structure for how individual contacts in your database are organized. The Household Account model is a more seamless way to organize contacts and data associated with them. You can connect multiple members of the same family while tracking their separate donations and addresses (including seasonal addresses). This model more closely follows the existing data structure of Salesforce, allowing for more consistency in your database and better reporting.
We recommend that you set aside time and energy to do this work. Migrating to the Household Account Model cannot be done in one sitting or in spare moments between projects. It will need your undivided attention for a few days or more, depending on your organization’s data. Communication with other users of Salesforce is essential in this migration. We know that you likely wear many hats within your nonprofit, so it’s a good idea to discuss this process with your team before starting. Share why the migration matters, how it will support their work, and why you need time and space to focus on this process. Encourage them to ask questions before you get started, so you can move forward with confidence.
When you’re ready to get started, please settle into your work area and take a deep breath in and out. The beginning of a trek is often a mix of eagerness, excitement, and maybe some anxiety. That’s okay. Just breathe it in and breathe it out, and we’ll begin…