Feb 23, 2023

Principle 4: The Power of Structured Source Codes

*This is the fourth post in a series of blog posts about digital organizing and data management best practices using Frakture.

Principle 1: The Value of a Data Warehouse

Principle 2: The Fundamentals of Messaging & Attribution

Principle 3: The Importance of Donor and Transaction Analytics

Earlier in our onboarding series, we talked about the utility of the trusty source code vs. cookie/pixel tracking for revenue attribution. In addition to being more accurate and generally attributing more money to your engagement campaigns, source coding has even more secret benefits to offer.

The Power of Structured Source Codes

A simple source code can tie a donation to a message, but they can do so much more. Using Frakture’s platform-agnostic database, you can embed metadata into the source code itself, unlocking effectively unlimited reporting dimensions for every transaction, message, and person in your database. Some of the better CRMs and email platforms try to anticipate your reporting structure, but none can match the power and flexibility of a fully custom solution.

With a bespoke source code structure, you can choose the most important aspects of your data to report on. You choose how it’s broken down, aggregated, and structured, from top to bottom. Let’s look at a few examples, starting with email.

An email source code in Frakture can be as long or as short as you prefer. Let’s start with a simple version:


Thanks to some smart source coding, anyone reading the Frakture client’s automated reports will know that this was the third variant of an email, sent on election day by their digital agency on behalf of a specific candidate. They will know that it is part of an Election Day 2022 GOTV campaign, targeting a high-priority statewide audience of voters.

Here’s how the Frakture database sees that source code:

{{source-code-channel}}_{{agency}}_{{account}}_{{send- date}}_{{goal}}_{{campaign}}_{{variant}}_{{audience}}_{{geo}}

Our database uses a parser that has the ability to recognize any custom source code format you can design, separating each element into the correct database field automatically. Properly used, this allows you to aggregate and report on any field as a dimension in your reporting. For the above example, maybe this client wants to run the numbers on all GOTV emails, even outside the Election Day campaign. No problem. Need to filter out all the emails your agency sent on behalf of a client from their internally-produced emails? As long as it’s built into the source coding, it’s easily done.

At a fundamental level, advanced source coding techniques give you full, granular control over how you aggregate and report on the data you collect. You decide how your data is structured, based on how you need to report on it.

Frakture Overrides: Planning for Human Error

No system is perfect. As long as people are involved, someone will - at some point - screw up. If you’re a Frakture client, we’ve got a plan for that. Let me introduce you to our Override system.

Picture this: you just sent out fifty thousand emails to high-priority donors ahead of a crucial fundraising deadline. The emails are already batch processing from your ESP when someone catches a typo in one of the source code elements that was missed during QC. In your traditional CRM, tough luck: that source code is locked in stone.

Not so in Frakture. Every field in our Source Code Dictionary has a corresponding Override field. It is non-destructive/reversible, and accessible directly through the Frakture Console. Change an individual field, heck change them all if you like. Our database will recognize the change and update all the donations and revenue with the new metadata, and your reporting team will never know the difference.

As a bonus, you can also use the Override feature to add metadata and reporting dimensions to your legacy data. Our bots will vacuum up every source they can find, and even source codes that we don’t recognize can be tagged using the override system. It may take some work, but any data you need from previous years or cycles can seamlessly fit into your new reporting schema.

What’s Next: Origin and Person Reporting

Source codes aren’t just for messages and donations. How would you like to see how the lifetime revenue for donors recruited via email forwards compare to those you gained from Facebook? It’s not only possible with Frakture, but easy to do. Keep following this blog series to learn how.

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