What Data Should I Archive?

Submitted by Dean Phelps on Wed, 02/13/2019 - 15:07

The CDM+ Archive utility allows users of the system to move older data or data that is not frequently accessed into an archive database. Think of the archive database as a closet where you store banker's boxes filled with information from years gone by. You shouldn't dispose of it, and you don't need to fill up file cabinets in your office with it either.

That same principle applies to archiving CDM+ data. The object is to reduce clutter and to be sure that the data that is most frequently needed is kept close at hand. For other data, you only need to know which box to look in.

The video webinar, Archiving CDM+ Data, describes and demonstrates the process for archiving. This article offers suggestions for data to archive.

Contribution Records

If you have built contribution histories, you do not need to keep older detail contribution records in your primary database. At the same time, you don't want to discard them. You can archive older contribution records.

For example, you may choose to retain contribution details for the current year and the two prior years in your main database and move the others to your archive. So as of this writing, you might choose to keep contributions beginning Jan 1, 2017. It's up to you to determine how much detail information to retain in your primary database.

In the Archive utility, choose Contribution from the list of records to archive, and archive records selected by an advanced find where Contribution Date is less than the first day of contributions you want to retain. This will archive all contribution detail records prior to that date while retaining the contribution history for that date.

Archiving contribution records may help to determine whether you have inactive giving unit records that could be deleted. Keep in mind that the archive utility copied giving units for archived contributions into the archive database.

Ledger Entries

If you have closed periods and years, you do not need to retain older journal entries in your primary database. You can archive older ledger entries, but do not archive ledger entries unless you have closed the periods and years for the entries you intend to archive.

As with contribution records, you may choose to retain ledger entries for the current year and two prior years. You determine what time spans for ledger entries you wish to maintain in your primary.

If, for example, you want to archive all ledger entries prior to Jan 1, 2017, choose Ledger Entry from the list of records to archive. Archive records selected by an advanced find where Transaction Date is less than Jan 1 2017.

Archiving ledger entries may help to determine whether you have lines in your chart of accounts that have become inactive. These inactive accounts could then be deleted. The archive database has a copy of the chart of accounts at the time of the archive.

Attendance

After updating attendance history, you can archive any attendance records not covered by the history periods you specified.

In the Archive utility, choose Attendance as the record type to archive, and archive records selected by an advanced find where Date Attended is less than the starting date for History Period 2.

You may have a valid reason for retaining longer periods of attendance, or you may choose to retain a longer period of attendance for certain events, classes, or lists. This can be addressed by how you build the advanced find for records to archive.

Archiving attendance may help you determine whether you have inactive visitor records that can be deleted. The archive utility copied visitor records for archived attendance into the archive database.

Events (Event Registration)

Archiving event records will also archive the registration records for the archived events. You may choose, for example, to archive event registrations by retaining only this year's and last year's events in your primary database. This will archive any older event and event registration records.

In the Archive utility, choose Event as the record type to archive. Archive records selected by an advanced find where Beginning Date is less than the starting date of event for events that you wish to retain.

Check-In

You may choose to retain only recent check-in records. In the Archive utility, choose Check-In as the record type to archive. Archive records selected by an advanced find where Check-In Date is less than the earliest date of check-in records that you wish to retain in your primary database.

Archiving check-in records may help you determine whether you have check-in event records that are no longer in use.