By: LaDonna Sloan, Sr. Training Consultant
If you have ever used T2 Flex software, you know that it is a very powerful tool. It is comprehensive, highly configurable, and holds a ton of data about your customers and your operation. However, as a certain superhero’s wise uncle once said, with great power comes great responsibility – the responsibility of keeping your database in order and ensuring that you have clean data. Having a clean and organized database is essential to running an efficient operation. It will make day-to-day work easier for you and your staff, as well as ensure that you have reliable data for making informed decisions about your business. Below are seven simple ways to clean up your Flex database.
Consistent Data Entry
The first step should be to put data entry policies in place before you get started. For instance, how should departments and organizations be entered? As Group Customers or Individuals? If they are groups, how should the name be entered – in the Group Name, First Name, Last Name, or all three? Will you be recording license plate types? Make sure enforcement officers in the field are recording the same information the customer is being asked to complete so that records match up. Additionally, decide if records should be entered using all capital letters or mixed case. How you enter them is how they will display on reports.
Use Descriptive Labels
Rename fields so that they align with terminology you already use in your organization and are descriptive enough that your staff knows exactly what information is expected or what they are viewing. If the standard fields are not adequate, you can create your own custom fields to record needed information. Extend this labeling to things like Appeal Results, Subclassifications, and GL Accounts.
Hide Unused Fields
Hide fields and managers in Flex that you do not use so that your staff does not have to sort through blank fields and useless information to find what they are looking for. At the same time, reorder fields and managers so that the most used information is at the top of the screen, where it is visible without scrolling. These will help you collect and display the information you need, but not what you don’t.
Monitor Data Input to Avoid Duplication
It is important to merge duplicate customer, third party, and vehicle records on a consistent basis, minimally once a month. This is a good practice for any database, as it will provide you with cleaner and more accurate data, but it is also critical to ensuring that customers cannot game the system. For example, if you prevent customers from purchasing a permit if they have outstanding citations but a customer has two accounts, they can buy from the account that does not have any citations tied to it. Additionally, duplicate vehicles are oftentimes produced because an officer inadvertently entered the wrong state when issuing a citation, creating two vehicles with the same plate. The plate with the wrong state will not get assigned to the proper customer.
Clean Out Old Data
Mark your older records “historical” so that Flex does not have to load them every time you open a page. This keeps your records tidy and helps Flex to load pages faster, making you and your team more efficient. Marking the records historical still allows you to view the information with just one extra click if you need to see it again sometime in the future.
Monitor Automated Processes
Keep an eye on your automated processes to ensure that they are doing what you expect them to do. In Flex, you can do this by viewing logs on tasks to catch and correct any errors quickly.
Review User Privileges
Consider using Role Management in addition to User Management to assign privileges to team members, ensuring that they have the privileges they need to do their job. Additionally, make sure that when someone leaves the organization their account is deactivated as part of the employee offboarding process.
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