If you have recently implemented an online database application or are in the process of implementing one, you are about to approach a key transition point – starting to manage your online database application for the first time. Whether you are new to database applications or new to an organization altogether, it isn’t uncommon to run into anxiety about becoming a new manager of an online database application.

With this in mind, I have outlined a few key tips and tricks that can be used to effectively manage the online database application you are working with.

Set up your online database to reflect your business

The online database application you are now managing should be adaptable and flexible to meet your needs. For a database to work effectively, it needs to fit in with your business model so that you can run it more effectively.

Ensure you close out actions and reminders when complete

Keeping your database up to date is one of the most important things to do when you are working with an online database application. When an action or reminder is complete, while it is fresh in your mind, you should close those items out. This will trigger follow up actions and reminders, as well as keeping your contact history up to date.

Don’t try to gather all data at once

Simpler is better, so your sales process should be as simple as possible. You need to present as few obstacles as possible during the sales process and only request the data that is relevant to the sale. Once you get the sale, then you can worry about collecting the rest of the data you need to fill out your online database. In addition, with this approach you are creating a follow-up opportunity with new and renewing members to collect additional information.

Standardize data entry procedures

As unexciting as it may sound, data entry procedures are necessary to the success of an online database application. Having standard, basic procedures in place will help you when you need to find information within the online database and change information quickly. Ultimately you are reducing possible confusion for yourself and anyone working from the database. You can even implement new standard procedures if your database already contains thousands of records. Simply put the procedures in place for all new records and as time allows, you can go back and correct previous entries.

In addition, consider how you would like to handle missing information and how to record the date the file was most recently updated so you do not continue to revisit records that were recently updated.

Schedule periodic reviews of data

Everyone loves spring cleaning, right? At least twice a year, take the time to run different reports from your online database to help identify problems with the data. You will be able to locate duplicate entries and missing records, which are common issues that can cost you time and money in duplicate and mislabeled mailings.

As the popularity of online database applications grows, the needs for individuals who understand process management and the basics of online databases will also increase. These tips and tricks will help you transition to managing your online database application so you can glean the valuable experience you need to continue to further your career.

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