Michigan State University’s (MSU) Office of University Advancement works to build lasting relationships with alumni, friends and donors, providing information systems, communications, marketing and event support for all college and university sanctioned advancement efforts. It’s the steward of alumni and donor data, which it uses to determine their capacity to give and stay involved. More than 100 gift officers rely on data from 47 source systems—from on-premises mainframes to off- premises sources such as LexisNexis and social media—to inform their fundraising and engagement efforts. Key metrics include wealth indicators, past gift amounts and frequency, the number of alumni attending university events, Net Promoter scores, and donor retention year-over-year.
To keep data quality high, MSU Advancement relied on a 20-person team of programmers, data entry, and data integrity staff working full-time to unify data from the fragmented source systems. Even with ongoing manual labor, it was difficult to establish a single source of the truth. Gift and engagement officers often had to base decisions on data that was at least a week old, and relied on programmers to build customized reports or extractions so they could consume the data effectively. Adding new source systems could take laborious months, hampering university efforts to move away from legacy, mainframe- based systems and adopt best-of-breed applications and cloud services.
“We were very pleased with NGDATA. The team helped us define our architecture and kept the project moving as we were learning and maturing.”
– Monique Dozier, Assistant Vice President of Advancement Information Systems and Donor Strategy, Michigan State University, Office of University Advancement