“CEE “ every record

data-hygieneIf any of you have heard me present at conferences or you have hired me as a consultant, you will have heard me preach “CEE” every record. No, that is not a typo. I do not mean to “SEE” every record. I truly do mean you should CEE each and every record.

What does this mean?

CEE is a term I coined and it stands for Confirm, Edit, and Enhance:

  • Confirm contact details each and every opportunity you have for contact with a supporter – whether on the telephone, via Email or in person. Take the extra step and ask the supporter whether they still live at the address contained in your supporter relationship management (SRM) database. Chances are, if they are like millions of other Australians, they moved in the last 12 – 18 months.
  • Edit the contact details, which are erroneous in your database. Be sure to maintain a record of the old contact details with an end date. And, add the new contact details with a start date.
  • Enhance details missing. Take a moment and ask the supporter for things like an Email address, mobile phone number, or date of birth.

Sound easier than said? We share a responsibility to create a culture where every staff member (from the top down) realises the supporter record is the heartbeat of everything we do. This is done by:

  • Educating staff.
    • Educate staff so they understand data cleanliness and accuracy is not someone else’s job.
    • Staff often believes someone else takes care of record cleanliness and this thinking, in my opinion is insane. I ask – how can someone else be in charge of records?; when do you believe that someone else is going to take the time to clean the record?; and, how is that information getting passed along?
  • Creating a sense of urgency.
    • Staff needs to learn there is no time like the present and, in fact, while they have possession of the record, they are responsible for the record.
    • Waiting to change a record often means staff forget all the things learned about the donor. Do it now.
  • Training staff how to perform these tasks, correctly.
    • Staff often times fear doing something wrong, so they would rather send a note to someone else to make the changes required. The buck stops with you. Train everyone how to create new records and to edit and enhance existing records.
  • Distributing written procedures.
    • Distribute written procedures to ensure people have reference materials after the training.
    • Monitor your team to ensure procedures are followed.
    • Coach those who miss steps, perform tasks incorrectly, or do not follow the procedures.
    • Offer rewards to team members who perform the tasks with 100% accuracy.
  • Leading by example.
    • When the next call comes in, be sure to CEE the supporter’s record. And, let others hear you. Staff likes to follow a manager’s lead. Set an example for the staff to follow.

When staff CEE various records throughout a day, staff perform the first step in good data hygiene. Watch this blog for other important components of data hygiene as well as tips and tricks about good database maintenance.