Aug 3, 2020

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Data Warehouse

As a recovering fundraising consultant, I used to spend about 90% of my day thinking about communication. How we were going to talk to our clients. How they were going to talk to their donors. How I would present a campaign strategy memo in my 6th meeting of the day while surreptitiously sneaking bites of lunch between slides. But I never spent much time thinking about how our data and our systems were communicating – it’s all numbers at the end of the day, right? It just figures itself out.

Here’s the issue, though – for too many organizations, the “solution” is manual imports, incomplete data transfers, and worst of all, lost information. Where your data lives – and how it connects from one system to another – affects your audience targeting, your messaging strategy, your investments and budgets, and more; but we rarely even think about it. We’re here to change that.

At Frakture, we know that your data isn’t just something you use to raise money – it’s the backbone of your entire program. Whether you’re launching fundraising appeals, pushing for petition signers, or just sending out a holiday e-card to your list, you’re not actually in the communications business: you’re in the data analysis business. And when you just store your data directly in whichever CRM you’re using, you limit your own ability to share that data and take the deep dive that your organization needs to thrive. Right now, if you use one CRM to send email and a different system to track direct mail results, those systems most likely aren’t talking to each other. That makes it much harder to know whether email donors are also receiving your mailers, whether your programs are complementing each other or stealing revenue from each other, and what the lifetime value is of a donor who joined your list from a Facebook ad but now donates through the mail. That’s why you need a data warehouse.

A data warehouse lets you store all your data in the same place – and Frakture’s Bots transfer that data between the warehouse and your CRMs, so while you focus on strategy and fundraising, the Bots will be cleaning your data, standardizing it, figuring out which fields can go into which systems, and making sure that nothing falls through the cracks. At the end of the day, not only is all your data in the same place, but more importantly, it’s in the place of your choosing, not held hostage in a CRM that makes it impossible (or at least prohibitive) for you to leave. And our Bots don’t care which CRM you’re in – if you’ve got data, we can work with you to move it to the warehouse.

All that standardization means that the Bots can then put together a single report that takes all of your systems into account. Want to know how many DM donors have also given online?. The warehouse delivers. Budgeting for next year and need to know the average lifetime value of a donor who first joined your list via Facebook ads, but has since donated to emails, display ads, and through the mail? No problem. All that info is available without spending days exporting and merging spreadsheets between systems, because we already standardized your source codes and did the heavy lifting for you. The Bots are all about working smarter, not harder – and having your data in a warehouse makes that all possible.

And the thing is, this type of analysis isn’t even a luxury anymore – it’s a necessity. As the number of fundraising (and engagement) channels grows, it’s more important than ever that you have all the info you can before splitting limited funds across different acquisition and fundraising sources. A data warehouse and our army of Frakture Bots help you see the big picture and make the big decisions your programs need to thrive. That’s why we work with over a dozen direct marketing agencies to help them make a data warehouse an integral part of their strategy – saving time (and money) they can spend elsewhere.

So go ahead – move your clients over to a data warehouse and let the Bots do all the work. And what should you do with all the time you’d usually spend pulling data? Kick back and relax with the beverage of your choice. You’ve earned it.

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