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Workflow & Automation: Data Governance – Contact Management

Introduction

Maintaining good data hygiene is an important activity that should be considered for any CRM. Creating a cadence for quarterly, semi-annual, or annual data governance should be considered.

Areas of consideration:

  1. Management and monitor of duplicate contact records
  2. Identification of inactive donors
  3. Managing opt in list for email sending practices

When contacts have dependencies, CharityEngine allows for bulk deletion of contacts and dependent records such as transactions and activities though a data transformation.

Please Note:

    1. -Deleting transactions can be done easily when deleting contacts, however the decision to delete transactions should be review internally before doing so.
    2. -CharityEngine recommends avoiding the deletion of transactions processed through your payment gateway. Doing so may result in lost transactional record details.

Warning: Transforming data can cause irreversible changes to your database. Make sure you back up your data first.




Prerequisites

  1. Consider data governance practices and frequency of review
  2. Prior to any data transformations, be sure to back up your data first


Managing Duplicate Records

As a first step in data governance, it is important to evaluate and cleanse any duplicative contact records at the Person, Organization, and Household level. CharityEngine offers a variety of tools to assist the end user with identification of duplicate records while also allowing for systemic merging of multiple contact records.

For more details regarding duplicate record evaluation and merging, please see our article here.


Data Governance: Identification of Inactive Contact Records

Once you have completed a review of duplicate and record merging, identification of inactive records can create downstream benefits including email deliverability. CharityEngine offers a flag to maintain contact records while flagging as Inactive. The presence of an Inactive flag will systemically suppress communication campaigns.

Step 1: To access this flag, navigate to Contacts App > Organizations & People > Search & Manage > locate contact ID > Action > Manage > EDIT (top right) > General tab > Active = No > SAVE

Note:

      1. -Contact records identified as ‘Inactive’ will systemically be suppressed for email, mail, SMS campaign sends
      2. -Contact records identified as ‘Inactive’ can be easily identified in the Search feature – simply select Active = No to expose all inactive records
      3. -Contacts assigned as Inactive will remain available to account and will be included total database contact counts



Data Governance: Deleting Contacts from the Contact Listing Screen

An organization may also find the necessity to delete inactive and significantly dated contact records. This can be achieved easily within CharityEngine through the Contact Listing Screen. In addition, CharityEngine will also identify any dependencies (i.e. transactions, opportunities, relationships) and guide the end user through the dependency and required action.

The following steps are suited for a small number of records requiring management. If you require a bulk deletion of several contact, read the next section of this article for data transformation capabilities.

Step 1: Navigate to Contacts App > Organization & People > Search & Manage > use the filters to identify one or more contact records requiring deletion
Step 2: Select record(s) you wish to delete with Checkmark then select the Drop-Down Arrow to expose the option to Delete Selected or Delete All

Note: You must be in the Summary view to expose the check box and the drop-down arrow options. 
Step 3: Determine Dependency Action > CHANGE
    1. Skip no action taken
    2. Change Contact merge the dependency actions to one record (select contact record once this option is selected)
    3. Delete contact records
      1. Note: Bulk deletion action is not available for contacts that contain dependencies; contact record will need to be managed individually (using Delete Selected
Step 4: Review success message for action taken

Note: 
      1. Bulk deletion action is not available for contacts that contain dependencies; contact record will need to be managed individually (using Delete Selected)
      2. Deleted records will be available to the user via the Recycle Bin if record needs to be restored


Data Governance: Deleting Contacts in Bulk with a Query

An organization may also find the necessity to delete a large volume of inactive and significantly dated contact records. This can be achieved in CharityEngine through the Automation & Workflow app through the Data Transformation Tool. To complete this data transformation, start with a query to identify all targeted Contact IDs and then proceed to the Bulk Delete feature.

Step 1: To identify your population via a query, navigate to Workflow & Automation App > General > Queries > Create New
Step 2: Select Filter: Contacts (database) and Select: Contacts > CONTINUE.

Step 3: Within Contact, double click or drag and drop Id in the SELECT box
      1. Note: This is the minimum required field, users can add additional fields as needed for display.
Step 4: In this example, the target population for bulk deletion will be any contact who has not donated since 2018.
      1. Within Giving History, double click or drag and drop Most Recent Transaction Date into the FILTER block.
      2. Within the FILTER, leverage the Formula (beaker icon) select Year > Greater Than > 2018
Step 5: Click ►RUN to display all contact IDs who have not donated since 2018

Step 6: Click SAVE > Enter Name > Click SAVE & CLOSE

Step 7: You will be returned to the Query Listing Screen. Locate your query and navigate to ACTIONS > Bulk Delete

Step 8: You will be navigated to the Data Transformation Job workflow. Select Type: Bulk Delete from the dropdown > NEXT.

Step 9: Select
      1. Object: Contacts
      2. Data Source Type: Query
      3. Data Source: drop down to locate your query
      4. Id Field: Contact.Id (the field which will be used as the primary key for deletion identification)
      5. Select NEXT

Step 10: To initiate your deletion, complete two required fields – all other fields are optional for update/adjustment
      1. Add Name for your data job
      2. OTHER SETTINGS > Delete Dependency Action: Delete
      3. Note: This will delete all dependencies (i.e. relationships, transactions, opportunities)
        1. Click NEXT



Step 11: Confirm the data job and click FINISH to initiate the bulk deletion
      1. -Once the job is complete, a notification will be sent to the Send Notifications identified; jobs can also be managed by accessing Automation & Workflow App > Workflow > Transformation  

Data Governance: Deleting Contacts in Bulk with a File Upload

You can also create a data job transformation without creating a query, but instead uploading an independent file with the contacts you wish to delete.

Step 1: Navigate to Automation & Workflow App > Workflow > Transformations > Create New

Step 2: Select Type: Bulk Delete > NEXT



Step 3: Select
      1. Object: Contacts
      2. Data Source Type: File
        1. Select File
      3. Select NEXT


Step 4: To initiate your deletion, complete two required fields – all other fields are optional for update/adjustment
      1. -Add Name for your data job
      2. -OTHER SETTINGS > Delete Dependency Action: Delete
      3. -Note: This will delete all dependencies (i.e. relationships, transactions, opportunities)
Click NEXT


Step 5: Confirm the data job and click FINISH to initiate the bulk deletion
        1. -Once the job is complete, a notification will be sent to the Send Notifications identified; jobs can also be managed by accessing Automation & Workflow App > Workflow > Transformation  


FAQs & Further Reading

Q. What are the steps for evaluating inactive sustainers?
A. Read our article here for managing inactive sustainer accounts. 

Q. How do I best manage duplicate contact records?
A. Read our article here for managing duplicate contact records. 

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