Database management is a part of the process, but it’s not why we’re here. It’s easy to lose sight of the true role that we play because there are so many changes to make to ever-expanding and accessible data. But that’s what makes it an exciting time in the history of advancement services. Information is becoming more accessible and more affordable. Data is EVERYWHERE.
Instead of just being a database manager, we should be focused on:
Gathering data about our constituent bases.
Telling the story of what we’re trying to accomplish.
Now, how many more would you need to clean that data and make it consumable?
Database management will never go away. It’s a part of our DNA. But if you don’t have to maintain the data, DON’T. It’s ultimately about having access to the data, even if someone else is managing it.
More notably, if the information is aggregated from trusted sites, why even touch it? Aggregating data from LinkedIn and Facebook is like having thousands of data processors. Even better, those data processors are the foremost authorities on the people for whom they are entering information: themselves.
Advancement services should be mindful of using technology to make the lives of fundraisers easier. And yes, that also includes making the lives of advancement services professionals easier.
Matt Gullatta is the Director of Advancement Services at Ashland University. Since becoming an Advancement Services professional in 2007, Matt has made it a personal mission to make data accessible, reliable, and fun! You can find Matt on Twitter, likely chasing down Big Data and Analytics trends or posting animated gifs.