Converting your data from a non-Blackbaud system into The Raiser’s Edge is a multi-step process and should be given an appropriate amount of time and effort to ensure it is done correctly. There are five main steps to completing this process: Step 1: Plan Your Import Step 2: Export Data from your Current System Step 3: Format your Export files to be imported into The Raiser’s Edge Step 4: Validate, Execute, and Test the Import Step 5: Post-Import Data Clean-up
2) Create a project timeline. Be sure to take into consideration any blackout dates you or your team may have such as organizational events, vacations, or holidays. Creating a timeline will keep your project team accountable and help you stay on track for meeting your Go Live date. If you would like to see a project work flow with the data conversion done by Blackbaud, please click here.
Step 2: Export Data from your Current System You will need to contact your current software provider to create comma delimited files for importing data into your Raiser’s Edge solution.
Step 4: Validate, Execute, and Test the Import Importing data into The Raiser’s Edge is a threefold process. First, you will want to validate the data. After you have successfully validated the data, you will import it into The Raiser’s Edge. Once the import has been completed, you are ready to test the data. Testing is important as it allows you to ensure the import was done correctly and allows you to address any issues that may have occurred.
Step 5: Post-Import Data Clean-up It is important to note that the process listed above does not clean up your data; it will simply move your data from your existing system into The Raiser’s Edge. You can clean up any data issues in one of three places: 1) Your source database, before exporting to Excel 2) In Excel, before importing into The Raiser’s Edge, or 3) In The Raiser’s Edge once the data has been imported It should be your expectation that some data clean-up will need to occur post-import in The Raiser’s Edge database. Examples of areas you may want to review for potential clean-up are as follows: 1) Run a Code Tables Report a. Run a Code Tables report and review all drop-down tables in the system. You can do this by going to Config > Tables. Once you are there, go to File > Preview > Code Tables Report from the toolbar and you can choose which tables to view (moving them from the left to the right side). b. Titles, Suffixes, Relationships, and Constituent Codes tend to be some of the messier tables, so be sure to give those special attention. 2) Review Attributes a. Attributes are used to track information in The Raiser’s Edge when there is not a pre-existing field available in the system. Oftentimes, data from your previous system will be transferred to attributes in The Raiser’s Edge a standard field is not available. You are also able to add attributes post-conversion. Attributes are located in Configuration. 3) Review Campaign, Fund, and Appeal Records a. When gift data is converted into The Raiser’s Edge, all campaign, fund, and appeal records come over as active records. Likely, many of these will be historic and not be used anymore. You will want to mark those records as inactive so that they are not available options during data entry moving forward. You can review these records in Records > Campaigns/ Funds/ Appeals, or create an appropriate query or report to view them all at once.