Crystal Reports is a powerful tool that allows you to manipulate and display data from The Raiser’s Edge and other programs. While the software is included for free with The Raiser’s Edge, few organizations are aware of how Crystal Reports can enhance their development work, save staff time, and produce quick, beautiful reports.
The following are sample Crystal Reports that I have created to streamline Development processes:
The strengths of custom Crystal Reports include:
- Data is pulled directly from your database. There is no need to ask staff for updated reports; simply re-run the report.
- No technical knowledge is needed to run a Crystal Report. When opened, the report is ready to print or to save as a PDF, XLS, or many other formats.
- Reports are customized to your organization’s needs. A comparison of two appeals? A list of all your solicitors with their contacts, contact addresses, and giving information? A list to send an e-blast about your work in Tennessee? Any situation can be accommodated.
- A single report fulfills many needs. Crystal Reports allow end-users to select from multiple options. As a result, one report can produce many kinds of data. For example, the same report could provide an abbreviated or detailed view of all solicitor contacts and their mailing preferences.
- Reports are professional in appearance. Crystal Report provides the accuracy of Excel with complex formatting and presentation options that include charts and graphs. Unlike Excel, when the data in your database changes, you do not need to redo your report — you simply press a button and the underlying data is refreshed.
- One report can serve for years to come. In Development, it is common to do the same work on a regular calendar basis. For example, a weekly finance reconciliation; a comparison to previous years’ donations; a campaign progress report, etc. In most organizations, the work of querying, exporting, and analyzing data is done over and over again by hardworking staff who do not know there is an easier way. Crystal Reports is a template that can be run year after year, displaying current data in an established format.
Crystal Reports decrease staff workload by reducing the need to pull data through query and export — instead leapfrogging to the final polished report product. Furthermore, Crystal Reports allow access to complex data without staff needing to know the ins and outs of Raiser’s Edge tools and policies. This allows executive and administrative staff alike immediate access to data that before could only be accessed by employees trained in The Raiser’s Edge.
Please contact me to discuss how custom Crystal Reports can meet your organization’s reporting and data analytics needs.