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Last Updated: 7/30/14

Routine Data Checks & Maintenance

Vacuuming, washing the car, mopping... most maintenance is a chore. But to keep your data clean and usable, here is a suggested list of processes to run at least once each month (for some ministries, once a week!) to make sure your database is staying healthy:

  1. Check for duplicates (Use CS0125 - Duplicate Names with the Same Birthdate). You may find other duplicates types that you need to look for (Ex: women married within the last three months... did you pick up a duplicate with her married name?)

  2. CS0123 - New Portal/Mobile Users - There's a standard duplicate check on the home page, but it can be good to review this list and do some additional review.)

  3. Check who is using the system. Take advantage of User List - FCR 3601 to make sure your staff members are using the system and to see how often it's being used by your members.

  4. Check for incomplete information.  Decide on the fields that are most important to your ministry and check them regularly. You can use People List - FCR 3101 to look at all sorts of data. Here are a couple of examples:
    • Children with blank birthdays: Select the Age Group and Birth Date fields, then add filters for Age Group
    • Members who aren't in a small group (or who don't have a Baptism Date): Add the fields Status, Small Groups, Ministries, Classes, Baptism date and then filter to show any of your member statuses with a Small Group field that is blank.
    • High school students (or any group) coded as "Attended 1 Time" when they really should be "Regular Attenders"   Look at attendance reports and make sure you include the Status field to see discrepancies.
  5. In Administration > Codes check your code types (Communication types, funds, statuses,  etc.) for items to clean up. Code duplicates can sneak in when entering data. When you find them, you may need to run reports to see where the offending codes are in use, then correct that date with the proper code before deleting the bad one. 
    Hint: when checking statuses, you may need to use a status history report to clean up, not just the current status.

  6. Generally, make sure you look carefully at all of the data on reports that you run on a regular basis.  If there's something on the report that doesn’t seem to make sense or that you don’t understand, possibly something isn’t right in your data.  On most screens you should be able to see who last updated the record.   Please take ownership and go talk to your team mates to make sure you and they understand what's going on with the data.   You both might learn something, but together you will have a better database.

Related Topics:

Duplicate Records and the Merge Tool

Field Chooser Reports

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