How much data prep is required?
Usually none. We work with what you’ve got. You don’t need to build a warehouse, and you don’t need to rejigger the tables. Our light footprint in-memory mart can mix and load from whatever you have, the way it is. If needed, we can flatten and normalize tables once we’ve loaded them.
Can I load data from multiple sources at once?
Definitely. This is one of our strengths. Are your gift officer goals in Excel? No problem. Survey data just in from your reunions? Load it up. Just got clickthroughs and social media data? Let it rip. We can mix and load in production, and also on the fly as new sources are acquired.
What if our data is a mess?
ADVIZOR is very visual, and we can be incredibly useful at figuring out where you’ve got great data, and where things could be improved. This is particularly useful during a system conversion. And while there are often holes in the data, there is always enough there to get you off and running. Even with just gift transactions we can create useful giving and performance bins to help you find and manage the best donors.
What if we choose to move to a new data source system?
No problem. We have several clients who have just recently done this. Conceptually the data is the same, we just need to re-point to the new data tables and adjust our calculations and layouts. And, as mentioned above we can be incredibly useful during a transition by helping to figure out what data is useful, what needs to repaired, and so on.
How often do ADVIZOR models and scores update?
Usually daily. An ADVIZOR “project” can refresh from the data sources on demand, or based on a script. Typically ADVIZOR projects that are in production for groups of people are set to update daily. When that happens, all of our scores and calculations update with the new data. So, for example, if an alumnus had been to a reunion over the weekend, made a significant new gift, and joined a committee, then his attachment score would jump on Monday – perhaps from “engaged” to “highly engaged”.
How “flexible” vs. “black box” are your models?
We tune and tailor our models to the nuances of your organization. Every client’s prospects’ react differently. Reunions count more at some places, consistency of giving at others, event participation at others. We don’t believe in so called “black box” models because you shouldn’t be using formulas designed for somebody else.
How can we understand what’s behind your models?
While our interface is totally “point-and-click” with no statistics required to build and run models, we do provide the various weights and lift factors for you to examine and use. So it’s easy to see what’s going on. And since load and work with all of the relevant data tables in your entire dataset, you can immediately begin to explore the results and see how they layout across ALL of the factors in your database.
What if our team is not analytical?
No worries. No analytics required. Our dashboards are designed to make discovery and analysis REALLY easy. Patterns and trends shown visually jump out and "guide" you to ask questions to get to the answers you are looking for. We are totally point and click – you just have to be able to move and click with a mouse, or tap on an iPad. Even the non-technical user becomes an instant analyst! And if you are short staffed, our business consultants are here to help. We can work with your team in whatever way makes the most sense to answer questions, build models, and provide you with the lists and information that you need.
What if the people who you train leave?
We usually train a group, and provide supporting documentation both within and alongside our projects. And, or course, our consultants are always available to help out should the need arise.
What if our IT team is not available?
No problem. As long as we can get access to your data, we can take it from there. In fact, on average we need no more than 8 hours of IT time – to provide access to data at the beginning , installation of software prior to onsite training, and implementation of the nightly update process.
How often do we have to upgrade software?
We issue a new release every 7 months or so. Your choice as to whether you want to update based on the features in that release. Updates are easy – we’re a very simple install, and we guarantee backward compatibility with all of our projects. And, of course, if you run in our hosted platform we do the updates for you.
Is there a user community?
Yes!! We have an active advancement user community with a variety of people from our 100+ advancement client organizations. They participate in our online forum, monthly “refresher” webinars, and an annual user summit here in Chicago.
How do you measure ROI?
Good news is our clients are reporting strong ,across the board ROI. Returns are coming from:
- Stronger closes rates and faster pipeline moves for major gift officers (because they see and share best practices)
- Identification of and closing new large donors (because they can be segmented and prioritized based on data)
- Higher yields and fewer appeal sends in annual giving (because can repeat what’s working, stop what’s not; focus messaging on clear targets)
- Reduced workload on advancement services and IT for custom reports (due to self-service by end-users)
- Gift officers more efficient (due to self-service list and information access)
- More engaged senior management and directors meetings with fact-based decisions (because can answer questions with data “on the fly” in the meeting)
What are some of the cooler things that you do?
- Relationship mapping
- Attachment scores
- Major and annual giving metrics
- Newsletter clickthroughs and social media