The Lyme Disease Resource Center manages all their contact, donor, and outreach data by hand in Excel spreadsheets. They regularly need to synchronize this database with their Mailchimp contact lists as well as donor information exported from Quickbooks. Currently these syncing processes are done by hand, which is time-consuming and error-prone.
Develop a set of tools (perhaps scripts) that sync these data sources quickly and reliably, and that are usable by people with minimal technology skill. Specifically, an ideal solution would automate the following tasks:
- Sync from the Excel files to Mailchimp
- Sync from Mailchimp (downloaded CSV) to the Excel database
- Sync from Quickbooks to the Excel database
Currently the volunteers sync these databases by hand; it’s time-consuming, error-prone, and tedious, and a serious roadblock to LDRC organizing its data better. More efficient tools would let volunteers be more time efficient and allow LDRC to extend its guidance, advice, and resources to more people affected by Lyme disease.
- Most of the LDRC volunteers have extremely limited technical knowledge so any tools provided should be extremely easy to use and give clear feedback if something goes wrong.
- HIPAA laws require tight control & accountability of their data (hence the Excel files stored on-site), so some cloud-based solutions may not be feasible.
- The LDRC office PCs run Windows 7 and 8 so any tools should be compatible with those platforms.
We will prepare the following data before the event:
- A description of what the current synchronization process is and what steps are involved
- Dummy spreadsheet data as an example of their on-site database
- Dummy export sheet FROM Mailchimp
- Dummy Mailchimp account (to test sync TO Mailchimp)
- Dummy export sheet FROM Quickbooks