c) The Importance of Databases

The world of information technology is full of jargon, and database management is no different. Here are some examples:

crm = customer relationship management – eg. Salesforce

cms = content management system – eg. WordPress

campaign manager =  email newsletter sending software – eg. Mailchimp

In its simplest form a database can be an address book or piece of paper with the names of members printed on it.

Put simply, a database is a place where data is stored.

Why are Databases Important?

Keeping accurate records of all club stakeholders ensures a club can conduct its business with maximum efficiency. For example, a club that has accurate details of their members will always know how many members they have, where they live and if they are paid up or not, so any unpaid fees are quickly discovered.

Accurate databases also impact heavily on marketing and promotion. Sending email newsletters and other promotional material depends on having an accurate record of email addresses and phone numbers. Dealings with sponsors and advertisers will be more effective when your club databases are accurate and up-to-date as you are able to demonstrate to your potential sponsors and advertisers that you can easily access your own community and therefore so can they.

So, databases are important because information is important to clubs. Whilst clubs will survive with no database management, the clubs that manage their data well, best meet their objectives.

Database Tools

The market is full of database tools and club volunteers without I.T experience can feel overwhelmed by the choice. Our recommendation is to use Microsoft Excel, which is a readily available program that is easy to use.

Maintaining your Databases

Databases should be treated as an asset, a very important asset. And as such, they should be maintained in the same way a club maintains their playing fields, or clubrooms.

Stakeholders – members, sponsors and so on – leave and join clubs regularly so database information changes regularly. Databases should be checked for accuracy at least three times a year, pre-season, post registration and at season’s end.

Databases to Keep

Clubs should consider keeping the following databases:

  • Membership (names and contact details)
  • Past players and members (names and contact details)
  • Staff (names, roles and contact details)
  • Volunteers (names, roles and contact details
  • Skills database (names, skills including trades/experience/qualifications)
  • Sponsors (contact name, business name, sponsorship details)
  • Facilities and equipment (item, quantity)
  • Suppliers (name, items, price, discount)