Couldn’t make our recent webinar on data stewardship, hosted in partnership with TrueGivers? Here’s what you missed:
Here’s a full recording of the webinar. Around 25:02, you’ll find a bit of our Q&A portion, where our data experts answered questions like “how crucial is the +4 code in a zip code?” and “what exactly is metadata?”. Looking for something else? Here are some other helpful timestamps:
- 9:35 – What is data stewardship?
- 18:13 – Information on the importance of data stewardship
- 27:59 – Excel hacks for good data stewardship
- 48:06 – Neon’s data stewardship functions
- 50:23 – A demonstration of Neon’s integration with TrueGivers
Prefer to read? Here’s a summary of the main points we hit for all you skimmers out there.
What is Data Stewardship?
Data stewardship can be broken down into 6 components: metadata, standards & compliance, coverage, quality, usage, and transparency.
- Metadata defines the relationship between two separate data entries. It’s what separates your information on donors, organizations, gifts, events and more.
- Standards & Compliance checks ensure that your contact data is meeting the requirements needed for delivery, whether that be through email or direct.
- Coverage measures the data you have vs. the data you don’t.
- For example, if you only recently started collecting your constituent email information, it might be a while before you have good email coverage on your contacts.
- Assessing the quality of your data requires standardizations and validity checks, usually done through an NCOA update.
- Usage measures how often you’re sending communications to your contacts.
- Transparency assessments are pretty simple — are you telling people how you will be using and potentially sharing their information?
Why Does it Matter?
Unfortunately, most people don’t adhere to USPS delivery standards when giving their address. For example, both addresses below might seem deliverable, but they’re both missing some key components.
The first address doesn’t have any address data. Even if the delivery person knows where Harold Washington Library is, there’s still a good chance that your appeal wouldn’t get sorted into the right pile at the post office. The second address doesn’t have a street pre-direction, so the address is incomplete and therefore unable to send.
Good data stewardship practices will flag issues like these and scan them against existing data to correct them. It can also help you…
- maximize your retention and revenue by ensuring that your only sending mail to mailable addresses.
- make better data-driven decisions.
- cut down on time spent on manual data entry.
Tools for Data Stewardship
Whether you use excel or a comprehensive database like Neon, there are a lot of ways you can make sure you’re practicing effective data hygiene techniques.
For a full demonstration of how Neon handles data stewardship, click the link to the webinar recording and fast forward to 39:35. Our speakers will show you exactly how you can automate these processes using our integration with TrueGivers.
If you’re using Excel to manage your contact list, here’s a list of our favorite tips and tricks for easy data stewardship. And if you ever want to know more about Neon, you should schedule a demo with our team. We’ll show you how you can keep your data up-to-date without having to lift a finger.