Technology & Operations

Attention Raiser’s Edge Crystal Reports Users!

For Raiser’s Edge clients, Crystal Reports will no longer be supported as of December 15, 2021.

This means that customizing existing reports or creating new reports will no longer be possible. What does this mean for your organization? Opportunity! This is the perfect time to think about migrating to a modern Business Intelligence (BI) platform such as Microsoft Power BI. This also means we need to think about what information and reports need to be migrated. We all know the dreadful thought of cleaning out the garage or a storage room. It’s overwhelming! However, the feeling of parting with superfluous stuff is wonderful. The same is true with your reports. Channel your inner Marie Kondo and ask yourself, “Does this report bring me joy?”

Align Information and Strategy

The opportunity is to reimagine what and how information is shared throughout your organization. Let’s take a step back and think about how to measure the effectiveness of your strategy. Do you have the right data available? For example, if part of your strategy is to grow your major giving program, thus reallocating budget, you should be able to measure the effectiveness of that decision. That likely includes salary and expense information in combination with fundraising activities.

This is where modern BI tools shine. Utilizing a product such as Microsoft Power BI, we can combine data sources and create dashboards that present a more comprehensive perspective. When approaching a reporting migration, it is important to visualize the project through this lens. Likewise, as we think big, we must start small and ensure that critical information is prioritized.

Create an Inventory

As a first step, it is relatively common for organizations to create replicas from Crystal Reports. STOP! While it is important to see the comprehensive inventory of reports, the goal is to identify only what reports are useful and drive productivity. From there, we can start to think about how to communicate that information in the most concise format. With modern BI tools, the dynamic capabilities that allow for multiple filters within a single dashboard permit users to look at data from many perspectives without having to create multiple reports. In this light, think of dashboards as KPI-focused, rather than segment-focused.

When dashboards are created, add them to an inventory that details when the dashboard was created, how it is specifically tied to strategy, and what behavior it is intended to motivate. This inventory is then routinely reviewed to ensure the information we are communicating is useful and helping drive productivity as intended.

BWF Can Help

With decades of combined experience, we help organizations move away from Crystal Reports and reimagine their business intelligence strategy. Let the BWF experts show you how to maximize your BI efforts by building, designing, and deploying an effective BI solution. We help clients create the right metrics and KPIs that communicate and align behavior with strategy; develop models for predictive analytics and business simulation; and provide BI development, training, and implementation for organizations that lack the resources, be it time or technical staff.

Business Intelligence dashboard

To learn more, schedule a demo today: