Q/A with Jason Jameson at Hartwick College.
Early in my career at Hartwick I built our Excel based “Daily Giving Report” as a means to provide my office with a snapshot view of current years giving with year-to-date comparisons to the prior two fiscal years. The process for updating the report was very time consuming, as described below.
How were you getting the necessary information prior to applying Informer?
Each morning, I would spend the first hour of my day (5 hours per week!) running a set of queries in Datatel terminal mode to generate my source files. These files would then each be transferred to my PC through an FTP transfer and then copied to replace the prior data in Excel. I would then use a series of find/replace actions to reset the formulas if necessary. Lastly, because the process was so dependent on manual steps, I would validate the report every time it was updated. And when I say 5 hours per week, that was if things went smoothly and did not include instances where there would be requests for additional updates (e.g. to reflect a large gift after it was put into the database). The report, while beneficial, was a time sink.
How did Informer help you to address the challenges stated above?
What features of Informer were useful in meeting this challenge?
What organizational benefit was realized by this approach?
In addition to this report now being at the end user’s fingertips, the time saved adds up! At 5 hrs per week saved this equates to roughly 7 weeks’ worth of man hours per year that I now have to spend on other projects, nearly all of which are Informer based.
In short, time saved equals money saved for the college which is as “bottom line” as it gets when it comes to organizational benefits.
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