According to IBM 90% of all data has been created within the last two years, and 80% of it is unstructured: documents, videos, images, e-mails, etc. No wonder Big Data is a Big Topic of conversation these days.
This all sounds amazing, but to me it feels like technology is just catching up to reality. Most of the worldâ€™s data has always been unstructured: thoughts and memories in peopleâ€™s minds; carvings on stone; or printed on a piece of paper. The concept of structured data came along when databases appeared and data was required to fit neatly within distinct fields. Numbers, dates, names, and addresses were welcomed. Notes, comments, and documents were exiled to live either outside of the database or in unsearchable (and often seemingly unreachable) places within it.
Every time you log-on to your favorite donor management system you experience the consequences of this â€œUnstructured Data NOT Welcomedâ€ legacy. You search for a personâ€™s name, and if that person is...
Another day, another delay in the Blackbaud/Convio saga. My Google Alert set-up just for this unfolding drama took me to the page Blackbaud has set-up to cover the intended Convio acquisition:
What is the latest update?
Regarding the offer for Convio shareholders to tender their shares, on March 21, 2012, Blackbaud announced that it has extended the expiration of its cash tender offer for all outstanding shares of common stock of Convio to midnight, New York City Time, on Wednesday, April 4, 2012. The expiration date of the tender offer may only be extended in increments of no more than ten business days each, pursuant to the terms of the merger agreement between the companies.
Regarding the ongoing DoJ process, Blackbaud will continue to respond to informal requests by the DoJ to provide additional information about its business, discuss the proposed transaction and answer any additional questions raised by the DoJ staff. Blackbaud remains committed to working cooperatively with the DoJ as it...
Along with most of the modern world, I, too, took it upon myself to create a New Year's Resolution for 2012. OK - so I am also somewhat of an overachiever, so I actually have two. First, decluttering my house, in bite size chunks, became one of my missions for 2012. So much so I found a calendar with daily (except for Sundays) decluttering projects to guide me, encourage me, and hold me accountable. [Note: I found the calendar via Pinterest.] My first HUGE project (I did say bite size, but...) was weeding the pantry. First step was to assess what exactly was in the pantry - best way to do this? Remove all items from said pantry. This was the scene in my kitchen:
Decluttering Pantry Project
It only made sense to throw away expired items in the process of removing all items from the pantry. So, this had me thinking about how stale research (and/or prospects) can become when such...
When it comes to data most fundraisers would just like their queries to be faster and their reports on time.Â Sadly they are often disappointed on both fronts so it's no wonder they are not asking the most important question: "Are my queries and reports accessing all of our data?"
The answer is â€œNo!â€
Before you send this to your intrepid database administrator let's take a quick trip in the tech time machine to when donor management systems started to proliferate. It is the 80's and entrepreneurs are beginning to use relational databases to create software to store information on donors. Contact information and gifts are the first to be digitized and fundraisers comment that this is not much better than the 3x5 cards that had served them so well before the Jobs/Gates era.
Over the next 25 years data fields grew like kudzu and so did the size of our databases. It is understandable then that users assume when they ask a...