Monitor and Manage Your Database with the Blackbaud CRM™ Database Growth Management Tool

Congratulations! You’ve started 2016 off on the right foot. Your nonprofit organization is raring to go this year. You are committed and ready to meet new challenges. In fact, one of the ways you (the hypothetical you, in this case) plan to accomplish your organizational goals is by focusing on operational efficiency. In his last visit to your office, the esteemed management consultant used a phrase like “doing more with less.” This idea was a big hit in the organization’s annual planning sessions.

So your organization has been striving for efficiency and getting the highest productivity from all of your resources (people, equipment, facilities - everything available to you). Everything is proceeding according to plan.

That is, until the IT Manager informs everyone that it looks like her team will now need to do more with … more. It appears that your organization has been so productive and busy that now the CRM database system has outgrown its allocated disk space much faster than anticipated. This situation is a serious threat to the “doing more with less” (DMWL) initiative. Will this require purchasing additional expensive disk hardware so that your CRM users can continue to get the most out of the system? Are there any other options?

While the above scenario may be presented in an exaggerated way, the issues of managing application and database resources and limitations are familiar to many nonprofit organizations.

Fortunately, Blackbaud CRM™ has some new features in version 4.0 SP2 that can help organizations gauge and manage their database storage usage. This post will look at some of the capabilities of the Blackbaud CRM™ Database Growth Management Tool.

How to Get There

In order to access the tool, you must have access to the application’s Administrator Functional Area and have permissions to the ‘Database Growth Management’ task. To open the tool, navigate to the Administrator main page and click on the link (Its default location is at the bottom of the list of tasks under ‘Administration.’ Alternatively, you can type ‘Database Growth Management’ into the search bar at the top of the Blackbaud CRM™ user interface.

Summary Tab

On the summary tab, some of the information shown for the Blackbaud CRM™ database includes:

  • Database Name

  • Total database size (GB)

  • Last Run Date of the ‘Database Growth Management’ Analysis Process refresh

  • Number of Database Tables

  • Total Blackbaud CRM™ data size (GB)

As its name suggests, the Summary tab gives an administrative user a useful tool to monitor the database’s disk space usage.

Under the heading ‘Blackbaud CRM™ data history,’ there is also a very helpful graph which shows the changes in database size by data analysis date. If database size shows a significant increase in this graph on a specific analysis date, an administrator can focus on that date when trying to understand what may have caused the large disk space increase.

How The Tool Can Help Clean Up the Database

We began this blog by talking about efficiency and maximizing resources. To that end, the Database Growth Management Tool contains a feature that can automate the deletion of older database data. Both the ‘Business process history’ and ‘Audit Table’ tabs contain forms for adding "Delete” Global Changes to delete older data from your database. These features can help organizations keep their database sizes under control.

For example, you could create and schedule the following Global Changes:

  1. Business processes output delete - monthly for processes older than 1 year

  2. Batch control & exception reports delete - monthly for processes older than 1 year

  3. Delete audit data - monthly for processes older than 1 year

Conclusion

Organizations who use Blackbaud CRM™ can increase their efficiency in disk space usage by leveraging the Database Growth Management Tool.

If you’d like to know more about BrightVine Consulting can assist your organization with your Blackbaud CRM™ implementation or data management needs, please contact us.

Offices:

Headquartered in Boston and Charleston with consultants across the country

843-900-4287

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