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My organization is currently in transition and he have been using Raiser's Edge for about two years with files dating back more than 20 years. We are trying to do a global re-coding of the database so that our files will be accurate and financial information will be correct going forward. Should we do a complete wipe out of the system and start a new? If not are there any alternatives to fixing the system or at least file integrity?
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I would do everything I could to avoid losing data. My usual approach is to do a series of global changes to convert the old codes to the new ones. If possible, I'd leave the old codes in the code tables but disable them so they can't be used anymore and add a note to each one pointing users to the new code. At a minimum, I'd create a crosswalk document that shows what the old codes were and what they were changed to.
If you're not able to do do preserve the old data for some reason, I would at least archive it so it's available for reference when needed.
Blackbaud or a Raiser's Edge consultant should be able to help you run these global changes so you don't jeopardize your data integrity.
I hope this helps.
Robert L. Weiner Consulting
Strategic Technology Advisors to Nonprofit and Educational Organizations
San Francisco, CA
robert [AT] rlweiner [DOT] com
Thank you so much!
Your advice is very helpful. Is the run of the global code changes something that must/is best that a consultant handle or is it possible that I can do this myself?
I agree with what Robert is saying here, and also encourage you to get some help from tech support or a consultant in cleaning your data.
www.FundRaiserBasic.comVolunteer TechSoup Moderator
I don't think you'd need a consultant if you have RE technical skills on staff. I would call Blackbaud's help desk first and talk through what you want to do. They should be able to provide guidance and documentation. Be sure to run a full backup before making these changes in case something goes wrong.
Can you give us some examples of the sort of re-coding you have in mind for your Raiser's Edge database? Are they simple one-for-one swaps or is there some logic that must be followed on each record to determine the new code? Are we talking about constituent codes or more than that?
Jeffrey MontgomeryManaging Partner, Omatic Softwarewww.OmaticSoftware.com
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I guess the most basic example would be that over time we have accumulated an estimated 5 different constituent codes to refer to our Board. We would like to narrow this down to one. This is the same for several other codes. Our primary focus is on constituent codes and I believe this should be as simple as a one for one swap. I believe the concern was if we were to get into things like creating relationships or removing/making inactive duplicate entries.