political

A welcome piece of database good news from Bournemouth conference

Welcome to the new Liberal Democrat database system.

Welcome to the new Liberal Democrat database system.

Questions about how the various Liberal Democrat databases do, or don’t, work together came up frequently at Bournemouth, including in the session I chaired on future campaign techniques.

Why do political campaigns handle data so badly?

If you want to make me wince and aren’t into physical violence nor have an alligator to hand, ask me about cases I’ve come across of political campaigns or parties losing key data about voters. more

Good use of data is vital, and sharing of data between different systems makes it more accurate and more bountiful.

Back when I worked at party HQ, one of the tasks I set myself – and made some progress on – was to reduce the number of different databases in use, and also to encourage people to move from keeping their own separate spreadsheets over to using the databases that there were. Since then the number of databases – sometimes for good reasons – has grown again.

So it was good news to pick up in one meeting at Bournemouth that the party’s currently separate federal conference database is moving over to the same Salesforce system as used for the party’s membership records.

Most of the information about members stored in the current conference database is also stored in the membership records – but storing it in two places generates more work, more errors and more frustrations.

The benefits will be incremental and easy to miss from outside HQ, but they’ll be very real all the same. So good work HQ*.

 

* I’ll leave for another day the curio about party internal communications that something which addresses a widespread niggle from party activists isn’t being more widely communicated.

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