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Bringing Rogue Databases Into the Fold: A Case Study

The Center for Youth Development (CYD), an organization housed within the University of Minnesota and consisting of many smaller units, had a lot of contacts and relationship data to manage. They tracked program participants, event registrations across many types of events, professional colleagues, and committees, to name a few. The problem was, every unit - and in some cases each staff member within a unit - had their own way to track the data. While they may have stopped short of labeling these files rogue databases, the Center's fragmented data management system was not as systematic as they wanted it to be. According to Dale Blyth, who was Associate Dean at the time, "As the programs and technology evolved, everyone found a solution. But they were all different and idiosynchratic, based on the staff member's expertise and history. We wanted to do it in a more unified way." [More]