Have you struggled with getting reports from your CRM system in the format that you need to do your job?
There are lots of canned (pre-defined) reports in CRM systems, these are the reports that are pre-built that get you started with reporting. In Raiser’s Edge (RE) for example, there are things like a new donors’ report, an appeal performance report, and the like. These reports are good at getting you started in understanding your system. What they are not, is flexible. You cannot change the fields or add fields easily to a report. Historically you would be able to build custom reports using Crystal Reports in Raiser’s Edge but now, unless you have your own license for Crystal that functionality has been taken away and do not get me started about the pivot report functionality which again you have to now do in excel native rather than within RE, this really annoyed me when it happened.
With Blackbaud having an open API and a power BI Connector, we’ve used this to pull data out of Raiser’s Edge and transform it into our reporting suite. This helps you get started with strategic reporting rather than the reports that you need for your day to day work. Reports that you need for your day to day work should be handled by the CRM eg Action Reminders, Missed instalment reports. What we’re trying to help uncover is the higher level reporting that will help you find out more about your work and the supporters you have. Here’s an example of our KPI Report. This is one page from our suite of nearly 20 pages.
One of the things that you don’t get with canned reports is colour and having worked with fundraisers for a long time now, I understand that they are visual people, so we’ve introduce some basic colour into our reports. I’ll always remember fondly the person who told me whilst I was running a training course on Raiser’s Edge “I’ll only use it if it can be in hot pink” I showed her how to change the colours and wrote down what she would need to do to change it back!
If you’re using The Raiser’s Edge NXT then you can also work with the SKY APIs for this reporting suite means that not all the fields are available for reporting on, the challenges that some of you face with reporting still exist in Power BI just because you can’t access the data e.g. Prospect Status changes don’t exist in an export in RE and that’s the same for the APIs at the moment. The other great thing with APIs is that it means it can be updated automatically and on a schedule without the need for waiting for the database team to refresh the data or even worse waiting for laborious exports and queries to run from RE.
So if you’re using Raiser’s Edge and are frustrated with the reports that you get from the system, or don’t have someone who can create reports for you get in touch and we can talk about our solution in more detail and show you what you can uncover.
If you’re using something other than Raiser’s Edge, we’ve got you covered too, but we may need to export data to get you up and running. Let’s talk and see what’s possible.