Siloed data is information that is restricted to one system or a closed group of systems. Organizations that do not take an integrated approach to nonprofit database management may encounter difficulties exporting contact information from a constituent relationship management system to external software. Find out how a cloud-based integration platform can facilitate nonprofit data collection and improve the availability and quality of constituent and donation records.
What are Data Silos?
A data silo is data that is only useful on one system. Regardless of whether this data is relevant to data stored in other systems, it is not available for use. Sometimes it is the case that the siloed data directly bears on other aspects of nonprofit operations.
One of the main ways in which data silos can affect an organization becomes apparent when data stored on one system is needed to perform a task on another system. Without a connection or integration solution, this data would have to be transferred between the systems manually.
Siloed Data Can Cause Inconsistent Data
Attempts at manual data transfers are almost always error-prone and time-consuming. Transcription mistakes and other errors may occur if an organization takes a manual approach to resolving one or more data silos. If this attempt is not made, the data on some platforms may be partial or become out-of-date.
Data silos have the potential to cause a nonprofit to miss out on its full fundraising potential. Organizations that exclusively rely on a single suite of connected software such as Blackbaud education management solutions may not realize the problems posed by siloing until they attempt to use a third-party web application for engagement or marketing.
Integration Makes Data Accessible Across Platforms
Integration can enable an organization to combine its constituent relationship management platform of choice with the right dedicated web applications for specific tasks. The restrictions that blocked the way toward combining data from platforms for raising funds or communicating with supporters are eliminated by the right cloud-based integration software.
A platform like Omatic makes it possible to share data to centralized databases and forge bi-directional connections to enable information to flow back and forth between systems. The implementation of this system will vary based on the CRM, fundraising and marketing software a nonprofit uses.
The Benefits of Eliminating Data Silos
Any stakeholder at a nonprofit has likely experienced points in a workflow where data is needed and is not readily available. The ready availability of data can streamline tasks and processes and make it possible for fundraisers to benefit from having access to the most accurate, complete and current data for contacts and donation records.
If you can already think of some important data that is stuck on a particular system at a nonprofit, you have taken the first step toward pursuing better nonprofit database management. This process calls for figuring out which systems and data are most essential and finding integration solutions. A cloud-based platform that connects many of the leading systems in the nonprofit sector can ensure that necessary data is available for use across multiple systems.