One of the scariest parts about the transition to a new AMS platform is the data migration. Your member data is the core of your association and holds so much important information. The thought of transferring data and potentially losing or altering it can deter you from moving to a new system at all.
At AMO, we are constantly analyzing data and envisioning how it can fit in a space that is most beneficial to you. Over the past 20 years of data migration, we’ve found specific strategies to help ensure a smooth transition. Our data migration specialists here at AMO, Matt and John, gave me some great tips below.
1. Scrub it clean
One of the most important items on your list of data migration to-do’s is cleaning up your data. That means purging all duplicates, expired members and inaccurate records. This task may seem like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised at how much messy data we still receive upon import. If an AMS transition is slotted in the next 6 months, devote time each week to cleaning (perhaps a “soft-hour” project?). By completing this task week by week rather than in one fell swoop, it will be more manageable and you’re less likely to make mistakes too.
2. Rectify the records
Now that you’ve removed the unnecessary records, go through and ensure every member has the following information:
- Updated Email Address
- Phone Number
- Member Type
- Paid-Thru Date (when their membership expires and they need to renew)
Though this work can be a painstaking time commitment, the information it yields is crucial when sending out dues invoices, contacting members about association announcements, and setting up website permissions based on member type.
When you go live with your website, ask members to log in to their account and add any additional updates to their profile to ensure you have the correct information.
3. Organize your organizations
Take a look at your organizations and the individuals associated with them – does each organization have a primary contact or a dues contact? Are all of the individuals listed still currently at this organization or have they moved? If not, find a current roster of employees and highlight a primary/dues contact to ensure that organization’s membership fees are paid on time.
4. Beneficial or bloated?
Now that you’ve got a clean, workable database, it’s time to analyze what data is beneficial to carry over to your new system and what’s not. There may be information that was relevant at one point but isn’t necessary to carry over now. Ann Eichel of ProTech Associates, a company built to help associations find AMS solutions highlights an important reminder – “remember, more data does not necessarily translate into more knowledge,” and it can actually just bloat the system and make finding the relevant data even harder.
Unsure about your data move? We’d be happy to walk you through the process and help determine if your data is a good fit for the AMO system. Schedule a call today!