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Data Exchange & Integrations

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With your constituents always on the move, it’s important to have accurate, up-to-date data to be able to stay in touch. You need to manage your data, your way, so we provide several options to exchange data with 360Alumni. Our clients use Salesforce, Blackbaud Raiser's Edge, DonorPerfect, Little Green Light, and many other systems. Many have completed or are planning integrations with 360Alumni in the near future.

Getting Started - Community Launch Data Load

Prior to loading your data, a 360Alumni Specialist will work with you to configure how your data will be stored in 360Alumni, including setting up your association and custom fields. As a 360Alumni client, you can export CSV files of your entire user database at any time. You can also review and download new an updated records for reconciliation with your primary database.

Custom Reports / Secure File Exchange

If you need to establish a batch-style integration (for example, to manually review and import data in your database) we can establish an exchange process where you post or receive regularly scheduled update files using secure protocols.

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Integrations 

If you are already using a CRM or donor management system, your database can be connected to 360Alumni's for automatic synchronization using our API (application programming interface). 

Think of your existing database's API as an outlet. 360Alumni's API is the plug that connects your online community to your database. Depending on the complexity of your business or data management processes and the automation desired, you may need a custom 'adapter' (called middleware) to be created between the plug and the outlet to regulate when and how data is updated.  This middleware may also provide a management interface. For more information, see  Data Integration Considerations in our API Documentation. 

It's very important to note that integrations are not "plug and play". A properly executed integration involves planning, scope definition, estimation, development, testing, and rollout. A typical integration project can take 4-6 weeks.

What are the Steps to an Integration?

An integration starts with an analyst (project manager or key stakeholder) gathering your business requirements: How do you want the data to flow between the systems?  What types of data and what fields? Are there any fields you want to manually review and/or approve?  Will the data sync be one or two ways?  
 
Next, the analyst will engage a technical specialist (database analyst, data architect or consultant) to translate these business requirements into technical requirements, including a complete data map, logic rules, validation rules and error handling, Time & cost estimates (including recommended phases if applicable) are prepared by the technical specialist, and the scope of the work is finalized, and scheduled.

What is 360Alumni's Role in an Integration?

If you are doing an integration, your one-time $2,500 integration fee provides unlimited access to all your user and engagement data through our API. It also provides 24x7 ongoing support.

We do not handle the integration on the client side unless specifically engaged to do so. If your team does not have a developer or integration consultant on staff, 360Alumni's client Integration team can lead you through the process. Naturally, we have the deepest knowledge of 360Alumni's data model, and have experience with many systems.

Discovery is the first phase of our engagement. It is best performed on site, and is normally conducted by our Founder & CEO. Discovery includes meeting(s) with all stakeholders. and takes place over 1 - 1.5 days. The deliverable is an integration roadmap which includes:

  • All business requirements defined
  • All technical specifications defined, including data map
  • Middleware requirements, if necessary
  • Timeline, milestones & cost estimate
This detailed integration plan can be executed by any vendor you select, including 360Alumni's client integration team as part of a second engagement phase.

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