Blackbaud Weaves New Data Services Into eTapestry

Blackbaud recently upgraded its cloud-based eTapestry fundraising application with tools addressing what seems to be a perennial problem in CRM — dirty data.

The ultimate goal of the upgrades for the application, which is designed for nonprofits, is to improve the quality of donor information. The upgrade does that via two new enhancements integrated from Blackbaud’s Target Analytics division — the Data Health Scorecard and Address Finder.

“Dirty data is still a problem for a lot of companies,” Mike Rusche, product manager of eTapestry at Blackbaud, told CRM Buyer.

There are, of course, products and services on the market that address this issue. Typically, the data is exported to third parties or analytics service providers, whereupon it is scrubbed and returned to the company, Rusche said. eTapestry’s approach is to provide this clean-up activity seamlessly within the product.

2 New Tools

The Data Health Scorecard screens the data automatically each quarter rating the quality with a grade of A, B or C.

The point is to give the user a sense of how up-to-date — or not — the data is. To drive that point home, the scorecard then quantifies the score with the amount of money that is being lost due to data problems. Finally, it will offer recommendations to improve database quality, Rusche said.

The second new eTapestry tool is the AddressFinder, which connects directly with the Data Health Scorecard. The service functions at the tactical level, updating the information it can — namely, the addresses for any individual, family or business that moved within the last 48 months. It uses the National Change of Address database as a guide.

Data integrity has been, and will continue to be, a big focus for this application, Rusche said. “We see the Data Health Scorecard as building a foundation for future analytical work.”

In this particular release, the focus is on address health as the core metric, but the company promised that other data metrics and analytics services will be added over time. Data services related to improving the accuracy of phone numbers, email addresses and social media information are planned for future releases.

The end goal for all of these endeavors, Rusche added, “is to give the user a more rounded view of the data.”

Especially in nonprofit fundraising space, he said, it is essential that the data be as clean as possible. “There is little room for missteps, especially for something so basic as an updated address.”

Going Global

At the same time, eTapestry is focusing on another area of key importance to its user base — global markets.

Blackbaud has made a number of upgrades to allow eTapestry users to better compete in such donor-rich markets as the UK, the Netherlands, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

Some tweaks include being able to accept gift aid via a Do-It-Yourself funding button, and assistance to ensure compliance with new regulations in this area.

Other features in eTapestry include email marketing, social media sharing and mobile marketing tools. There are reporting tools, including dashboard displays. Security is also big focus, given that donors are typically high-net-worth individuals. The data is fully encrypted — not just at the login stage, but for all of the functions.

Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.

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