Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 56 – July 13, 2020

exterior photo of Summerhill building


Steve Hornsby

Spotlight on data

By Steve Hornsby, Executive Director, Advancement Services

At a recent Advancement Services meeting, one of the topics the team discussed was how we can better communicate the work we do in Services and how it impacts our joint programs. It is my firm belief that each of us can benefit from enhanced collaboration and a better understanding of the work carried out by our colleagues. While the organization has a number of opportunities this year to support this very idea (think Forward Together), I thought I would use my next few ALTogether Now installments to shed a little light on a few initiatives that are foundational to the success of our organization, and represent a considerable focus for our team this year. As you have already guessed, this installment will focus on data with a dash of analytics. Big thanks to Corrine Beckner for acting as guest scribe!


The data is in the details

By Corrine Beckner, Associate Director, Data Governance and Data Quality

One of my favourite analogies to share when educating others on the value of Data Governance and Data Quality (DGDQ), is to think of our data as water.  Until something goes wrong, few of us have reason to think about where our water comes from, how it gets to us, and the processes in place to ensure the water coming out of our tap is clean, clear, and drinkable. Data is really no different.

The goal of DGDQ is to ensure that the data flowing throughout the Office of Advancement is a trusted, reliable resource that can be used to make informed decisions and to derive innovative solutions. The quality of that information can only be assured with a system of people, tools, and processes behind the scenes working to ensure the data is fit for purpose.

Since joining the organization, I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know many of you and gaining an understanding of what’s working and where your data-based concerns lie. I’m pleased to have found that our organization is acting in accordance with many governance best practices, including documenting business rules, introducing records retention, and collectively managing over 630 data integrity checks across our various units.

It’s also been a pleasure working with a group of people so open and willing to try new approaches to data management. With your contributions, we have published over 270 business terms in the Advancement Glossary, completed our first Advance Access audit, begun the process of restructuring our physical and electronic drives, and we have corrected over 7,809 integrity errors last fiscal alone.

As we look to the future, our immediate focus is on our data quality program and instituting contemporary, effective means to report upon the condition of Advancement information.  Our plans include utilizing Insights Advancement to demonstrate where integrity errors reside and the impact of those errors on our business over time.  The data dimensions project will introduce six key data quality and integrity measurements: accuracy, completeness, validity, timeliness, consistency, and uniqueness.  These measurements will be applied to priority data sets, revealing data acquisition opportunities and allowing for the creation of educated targets for data quality improvement.

For more information on the DGDQ program, be sure to watch for our DG101 session planned for early Fall 2020, as part of the Advancement Services Learning Forum.

I recently came across this quote from George Eliot which resonated with me: “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” As a unit, Holly, Bobbi, Barb, and I are passionate about all the little nuances of the data that are ultimately combined, organized, and consolidated into useful information by each of you.  In the weeks and months to come, we look forward to exploring many new and exciting ways for us to support your data endeavours.

icon of data nodes and lines surrounding a magnifying glassPresenting the Analytics Challenge

In support of our collective activities surrounding enhanced data practises and our use of analytics, ALT is pleased to support a friendly data challenge, issued by ITM, to all Advancement. Details are being finalized, but we wanted to introduce this exciting initiative ahead of time.  Slated for the new calendar year, all units across Advancement will be asked to share a three-minute presentation on how they use data to drive decision making. Topics may range from how data is used to move strategic priorities forward to embedding analytics in processes and workflows to target outcomes.  The data used can come from any source (i.e., not limited to information in Advance). Watch for additional details in September.   

Jobs with Advancement

We need your recruitment help. Know great talent that would be a good addition to our team? If so, please promote the vacancy below with your networks and let’s find some amazing new team members.

Applications (including a cover letter and resume) must be submitted through CareerQ. For additional information on this posting, please reach out to either Katelyn, Carla, or the hiring manager for the position you are interested in.

Available Position:

Fund Stewardship Officer Communications, Marketing, Events & Donor Relations July 20, 2020 8

b&w photo of football players and Frand TindallFun fact

Frank Tindall (1908-1993) 

One of the legendary figures in Queen's athletics and a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, Frank Tindall coached football and basketball at Queen's from 1947 until 1975. 

Tindall was born in the United States and was educated at Syracuse University, where he was selected as an All-American football star. He first came to Queen's in 1939 and coached the football team for a single season before the outbreak of the World War II. He returned to the team when the war was over and quickly made his name as a master strategist and motivator. 

Under his leadership, Queen's football teams won a total of eight intercollegiate titles and one national title. The Frank Tindall Trophy is given annually to the top intercollegiate football coach in Canada. 

Tindall Field on Queen's main campus is named in his honour.