data management

Why I’m Intrigued By Google’s Inbox

Here we go again! Another communication/info management Google product that is likely doomed to extinction (much like recent social networks I’ve been blogging about), and I can’t help but find it significant and important, just as I did Google Wave, Google Buzz, and the much-loved Google Reader. I snagged an early invite to Google’s new “Inbox” front-end to GMail, and I’ve been agonizing over it for a few weeks now.  This app really appeals to me, but I’m totally on the fence about actually using it, for a few reasons: This is either a product that will disappear in six months, or it’s what Gmail’s standard… Read More »Why I’m Intrigued By Google’s Inbox

How Easy Is It For You To Manage, Analyze And Present Data?

I ask because my articles are up, including my big piece from NTEN’s Collected Voices: Data-Informed Nonprofits on Architecting Healthy Data Management Systems. I’m happy to have this one available in a standalone, web-searchable format, because I think it’s a bit of a  signature work.  I consider data systems architecture to be my main talent; the most significant work that I’ve done in my career. I integrated eleven databases at the law firm of Lillick & Charles in the late 90’s, using Outlook as a portal to Intranet, CRM, documents and voicemail. We had single-entry of all client and matter data that then, through SQL Server… Read More »How Easy Is It For You To Manage, Analyze And Present Data?

Architecting Healthy Data Management Systems

This article was originally published in the NTEN eBook “Collected Voices: Data-Informed Nonprofits” in January of 2014. Introduction The reasons why we want to make data-driven decisions are clear.  The challenge, in our cash-strapped, resource-shy environments is to install, configure and manage the systems that will allow us to easily and efficiently analyze, report on and visualize the data.  This article will offer some insight into how that can be done, while being ever mindful that the money and time to invest is hard to come by.  But we’ll also point out where those investments can pay off in more ways than just the critical… Read More »Architecting Healthy Data Management Systems

Using RSS Tools to Feed Your Information Needs

This article was originally published at Idealware in March of 2009. The Internet gives you access to a virtual smorgasbord of information. From the consequential to the trivial, the astonishing to the mundane, it’s all within your reach. This means you can keep up with the headlines, policies, trends, and tools that interest your nonprofit, and keep informed about what people are saying about your organization online. But the sheer volume of information can pose challenges, too: namely, how do you separate the useful data from all the rest? One way is to use RSS, which brings the information you want to you.  Many of… Read More »Using RSS Tools to Feed Your Information Needs

XML, API, CSV, SOAP! Understanding The Alphabet Soup Of Data Exchange

This article was originally published at Idealware in October of 2007. Let’s say you have two different software packages, and you’d like them to be able to share data. What would be involved? Can you link them so they exchange data automatically? And what do all those acronyms mean? Peter Campbell explains. There has been a lot of talk lately about data integration, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and how important these are to non-profits. Much of this talk has focused on the major non-profit software packages from companies like Blackbaud, Salesforce.com, Convio, and Kintera. But what is it really about, and what does it mean… Read More »XML, API, CSV, SOAP! Understanding The Alphabet Soup Of Data Exchange

Better Organization Through Document Management Systems

This article was originally published at Idealware in January of 2007. Is your organization drowning in a virtual sea of documents? Document management systems can provide invaluable document searching, versioning, comparison, and collaboration features. Peter Campbell explains. For many of us, logging on to a network or the Internet can be like charting the ocean with a rowboat. There may be a sea of information at our fingertips, but if we lack the proper vessel to navigate it, finding what we need — even within our own organization’s information system — can be a significant challenge. Organizations today are floating in a virtual sea of… Read More »Better Organization Through Document Management Systems