One of the big “to-do” list items for the new website and database is getting our data organized, updated, and into a specific format for OMBU to upload into the Salesforce database. Once the data is uploaded into Salesforce it will be linked to the new website, and will be accessible in a variety of ways to users.
Since our data is currently located in a bunch of different places AND much of the data we want to enter into the new system has never actually been recorded, this job is easier said than done. Thankfully, we have a dedicated group of volunteers helping to not only input old data, but source data from the internet, books, and other information sources.
A good relational database is organized around tables of data that are linked together through the usage of primary keys. One of the many important tables we have in our new system is a table for places. We want to include every place the Mazamas could have an activity into the Place table. By adding places to this table, when we add activities we can link to a place, thereby allowing someone searching our site to see everything that takes place in a single location.
What does this mean for you? If you are interested in everything taking place on Mt. Hood, you’ll be able to search for that!
As you know, the Mazamas host a number of activities. While the term activities may be new, this encompasses climbs, hikes, outings, classes—some are shorter, some are longer, but they are all activities.
In order to make the system work, we have to create a table that contains all of the POSSIBLE activities we could schedule. We are doing this by going back through old records to try to locate all the activities we have done in the past and using this to start populating the table. We then add a bunch of new data to the table, things such as latitude and longitude, external website links, badges earned, and more in order to capture everything we need to know about the activity.
As you can imagine, this is a BIG job!
What does this mean for you? When you use the new site, if you look at the route description of Mt. Hood South Side or Table Mountain, you’ll be able to view a variety of information all in one place AND see the upcoming dates of that activity (if there are any), as well as past dates.
This is probably the hardest piece of the puzzle. Because the new system will heavily utilize Badges as a qualification for activities, we want to populate as much past participation info as we can. The problem is that information is not centralized. It lives with previous class coordinators and instructors, and sometimes it lives on paper sheets that are “filed” in a box somewhere. That said, we have reached out to all the committees to try to get any data they do have on participation. We also have climb participation in our internal database. By utilizing those information sources we are attempting to build as comprehensive of a profile for people as we can for the last FIVE YEARS of participation in activities with the Mazamas (specifically classes and climbs). This data will be imported into the new system and visible when you first login.
Do you think you might have some data to add to our data migration process, such as class, climb, outing, or hike records? Then please get in touch! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.