Nonprofits and Data

last person joined: 3 days ago 

This group is for those interested in learning and sharing about all things data-related for nonprofits. The Nonprofits and Data group is for people using data to serve a mission, either directly or by improving nonprofits and the nonprofit sector. That includes everything from collecting data and managing databases to analytics, data visualization and data mining. Here are some examples of topics we discuss: using data to improve organizational effectiveness, measuring impact, using data for storytelling, tools for data management and analysis, figuring out the “right” data to collect, and learning skills to help us use data better.

Survey Data

  • 1.  Survey Data

    Posted Apr 19, 2019 11:32
    I'm looking for someone who has experience migrating survey data into their CRM system who would be willing to talk with me for 15 minutes.  I'm most interested in understanding how you've structured your table/objects to consume/store the data when each survey could be n number of differing questions from one survey to the next.  Feel free to respond here, just assuming the presumed complexity of it might require a quick call.

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    Tamara Vose
    St. Paul, MN
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 2.  RE: Survey Data

    Posted Apr 30, 2019 08:26
    Signal boost: Anybody here have experience with preparing to migrate data from surveys with varying questions into their CRM that they can share?

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    Janice Chan
    Co-Organizer, NTEN Nonprofits and Data group
    Twitter: @curiositybone

    Consultant, Shift and Scaffold
    www.shiftandscaffold.com
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 3.  RE: Survey Data

    Posted May 01, 2019 10:08
    Edited by David Buttrick May 01, 2019 11:41
    I've done this.

    The structure is pretty simple. 1 table for the survey itself.
    1 table for questions - this has a foreign key on the Surveys ID.
    One table for answers with a foreign key on Questions ID.

    With this structure, any survey can have any number of questions, any question can have any number of answers.

    Here are the challenges in ingesting you existing surveys into your CMR.

    Are you going to store all of the metadata for each survey? For example, branching? How much data can you get out of your existing survey system?

    The biggest issue you'll face is storing the actual responses from the surveys. Each answer has a data type, you'll need to create a mechanism for storing the response data in the same data type that it is stored in the survey. You'll need to consider reporting engines.

    Many solutions choose to store the raw data as nvarchar, and store the survey answer's data type, and then convert when the data is retieved fro the database.

    I've built systems with multiple tables: 1 for nvarchar, 1 for floating point, 1 for integers, 1 for longs, etc. Then insert the data into the correct table at run time.

    This makes it MUCH easier to create views for endusers that can be reported on, etc.

    Questions?

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    David Buttrick
    Application Architect
    Parents as Teachers
    St. Louis, MO
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 4.  RE: Survey Data

    Posted May 01, 2019 12:00
    Thanks for the response David!  That makes sense!  We don't have a single survey tool being used at this point (various teams choose whatever survey product works for them), but I'm trying to get ahead of the organizational request to start collecting/storing this data in our Sales Cloud instance.  I really appreciate your response!!

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    Tamara Vose
    St. Paul, MN
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 5.  RE: Survey Data

    Posted May 01, 2019 14:20
    Edited by Patricia Vaccaro-Coburn May 01, 2019 14:36
    I’m happy to talk with you about this. I have so many thoughts but it will be much easier on the phone. I’ve often been tasked with taking data from multiple sources with different formats and customizing Salesforce for nonprofits to receive the data and report on it.

    You can email me at patriciaclarevaccaro@gmail.com to talk more.
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    Patricia Vaccaro-Coburn
    Lanoka Harbor
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    Tech Accelerate


  • 6.  RE: Survey Data

    Posted May 01, 2019 14:42
    Having a variety of survey systems will make things more difficult because each one will have different capabilities, and different data representation, that will be exposed to you as the developer of the data interface.

    You might consider creating a set of entities to store the 'Survey System' data. - this would hold the metadata about the metadata, and let you get away from having to deal with each in code.

    I'm finding that we are building entities like these more and more to handle abstraction of complexity.

    Have a good day.

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    David Buttrick
    Application Architect
    Parents as Teachers
    St. Louis, MO
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    Tech Accelerate