Data and Reports: The True Measure of a Robust Online Collection System

Published by Sean Lawler | Topics: Online Collection Systems

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An online collection system for your Call for Presentations or abstract management and online review is only as good as the data you can pull from it. However, we’ve found that many organizations that invest in a new system tend to overlook this aspect of choosing a system.

Here are the questions I tell event organizers to ask about a new online collection system’s data collection and reporting capabilities:

  1. Your Reports, Your Time Line – Can you get all the presenter, abstract and other data you need out of the system at any time and in a format you can use, or are there only canned reports? Ideally, your system will have the ability to create the reports you need, when you need them, and to save those reports for later.
  2. No More Excel Data Dumps – Do you have to manually revise the data to get it into a meaningful structure? You don’t want to have to contact your service provider or IT department whenever you want a new report, as this could incur more programming time and additional costs. I am not discounting that a .csv is bad, but it shouldn’t be the primary report.
  3. Share and Share Alike – In addition to making sure the abstract collection and online reviewing system has the reporting capability you need, you should consider how your system will share the data with committees, program chairs and others within your organization. Are you sharing the data with outside partners to publish the information? Does one version of the data work for every audience, or do you need the data in different fashions for different people?

If you don’t have custom reporting that can simplify this issue, how long does it take you to massage the data into a usable format? Or what’s the time and cost to have custom programming done? And how many times will you need to do that?

Your system should be able to create the custom reports you need and let you extract the data you want – whenever you want it – without extra hassle or costly custom report fees.

Is your online collection system cutting the mustard?

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About Sean Lawler

Sean is the Product Director of Digital Services here at Omnipress... handling their online abstract management/speaker file collection, digital publishing platforms, mobile event apps, and other digital media delivery. He understands technology very well, but can relate it to non-technical people better than most. more

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