Test Your Database Practices against the Industry's Best!
Discovery Training Services offers a free online assessment!
Check your company's data entry standards against the industry's best practices. Please note: this data is purely informational and will not be shared or distributed.
Tip: For best results, click to complete this assessment online in an Internet browser. At the end of the Quiz, compare your answers with other business respondents!
Click hereto take the Assessment! (Note: a new browser window will open to a Google Form.)
Best Practices - Answers to the Quiz~
Best Practice #1 _ Data protection or security settings on the database entry or spreadsheet inputs
A password should be required to open, or edit data.
Data validation, restriction or protection is also solid tools to ensure data accuracy.
Additional restrictions on file download or share capabilities is also recommended to secure distribution.
Never allow users to type their own entries without some definition. .
Best Practice #2 - Create a Data "Protocol Manual", field map or detailed instructions to enter data into the system or spreadsheet, regularly update and distributes to all users and recipients regularly.
Yes, only the Database manager creates and updates a data entry manual.
Unsure -- I've never received a manual and follow my own rules to enter data.
No, I asked for a manual, and was allowed to enter my own data.
Best Practice #3 - Establish a regular practice to check database accuracy or data entry, including duplicate record checks, deceased or inactive status check, etc.
Use a Spell Checking tool to review common typing errors.
Standardize entry of street designations, i.e. Create a standard abbreviation list for St., Ave., etc. or mandate full spelling.
Use validation list for entries of regions, countries or states.
Use formatting or input masks to streamline entry of telephone and fax numbers.
Someone /I manually review and/ or read the data entry print-out or on-screen.
Empower every employee at every level to review for accuracy.
Create a survey and contact person to collect data errors and reporting mechanisms.
Best Practice #4 - Create a centrally stored network file location.
Designate a shared drive, corporate network or cloud based server for database storage and communicate to approved users.
Create and publicize a rule to never publish or save database or extracts to a personal or portable laptop or computer's "Documents" or "Desktop".
Safeguard access with an entry password.
Best Practice #5 - Establish a regular process and contact person to back-up or save a copy of the database or data entry to another location.
Create a disaster recovery protocol.
Identify a time and date with the least amount of user impact. All users should be logged off the system during the back-up.
Create a regular user notification and publicize the back-up schedule.
Best Practice #6 -Identify a person in charge of data entry or the database, and empower to maintain database practices and be the decision maker on database changes.
Communicate the position assignment to all other users.Our team has a database manager.
Create a change management process to collect, prioritize, approve, implement, communicate, maintain, and schedule any and all database changes.
Best Practice #7 - Set baseline standards to measure performance trends with the Financial, Business or other reporting sources i.e. budget totals, performance data, profitability trends, sales report, donations, etc.
Foster a database culture to ensure no variances.
Meet with all data constituents to identify reporting and processing deadlines, including data freezes, import reviews, security scans and other constraints on analysis..
Require data entry reports daily to check for input errors, adherence.
Best Practice #8 - Implement procedures to audit data for clean-up and fixes.
Identify top data errors, clean-up issues through reports and audits:
Consistency in field entry: i.e. dashes. apostrophes
Identify criteria to evaluate key data hygiene metrics, including:
Number of inactive users
Omission of primary key or unique identification code (i.e. ID, constituent code, medical record number, SSN, TIN, etc. )
Set a frequency, timetable and owner for audits.
Best Practice #9 - Establish procedures to store data complaints from a customer, vendor, manager or other person.
Monitor frequency, reasons, causes, (i.e. wrong label, incorrect address, name misspelling, deceased addressee, wrong customer status (inactive vs. active, non customer vs. customer, wrong language, etc.)
Frequently, data errors occur (i.e. wrong label, incorrect address, name misspelling, deceased addressee, wrong customer status (inactive vs. active, non customer vs. customer, wrong language, etc.)
Too many times to count
Best Practice #10 - Identify compliance, privacy and security implications for all data stored and managed on the system.
Identify legal obligations for data entry, storage and distribution, including federal, state, local and industry standards.
Create a process to identify imported and new data types imported to the database.
Develop procedures for entry and management and distribute to staff.
Communicate corporate and individual obligations and any risks or penalties to adherence.
Use data validation and masking tools to restrict entry and protect editing, viewing or downloading of protected or private data, such as patient medical records, personnel data, Social Security number, etc.)
Maintain password(s) and protection tools on the database or spreadsheet levels.
Establish procedures for data type and field data into the spreadsheet or database.
Enforce proper name capitalization.
Every field is unique and stored as small as possible.
E.g. First and last name are typed into separate cells / fields.
E.g. City and state are entered into separate cells /fields.
Use data validation to restrict entry and limit inconsistent data entries.
How did your company do on best practices? As you identify gaps to your standards, it is time to make a change in documentation, resourcing and leveraging database efficiencies. Your failure to make a change today is costing you time, money, and professional credibility -- and at worst, customer impact. Every data error, whether recognized by your employee or your customer is a risk and a call to action. Email our Registrar today to set-up a free consultation on how we can help.