Community Engagement Fellows has a lot of moving pieces, and without a strategy for data management things would get out of hand quickly.
We rely on five data management systems to keep track of things:
Microsoft Outlook is used for email communication and meeting scheduling/reminders.
Microsoft OneDrive is used for permanent document storage, including program handouts and documents generated by Fellows (such as project reports).
Google Sheets is used for keeping track of the recruiting process and Fellows’ profile information.
Wix is used to host CEFellows.org, our public-facing website used for recruiting, promotion, and sharing program information with peers and the public.
Wikispaces is used as a shared workspace where organizers and Fellows post design clinic materials, affinity group information, links, and other documents. (Note: We are transitioning from Wikispaces to a new wiki platform in summer 2018.)
We’d be lost and confused, and so would our Fellows, without these tools. Below are a few screenshots showing these tools in use.
The ways we use these tools evolve quickly, and the programs themselves get new functions frequently, so we’re always learning and adapting.
If you have specific questions about ways we use a particular tool, just ask.
Our principles and practices for data management include:
It’s easier to keep up than to catch up.
Provide equal access for conveners.
Ensure that everyone feels in the know, is able to make updates themselves, and can access relevant information.
Updatable from anywhere.
We use programs that are accessible from any device with an internet connection.
Don’t create data bottlenecks.
Allow participants to post or update information themselves, if possible, rather than sending it to the conveners.
Don’t change data management systems mid-year. If a new system is needed, introduce it at the beginning of a year.
Cohort meetings scheduled on Microsoft Outlook. We name our cohorts after local bird species.