Case Studies

The American Psychological Association (APA) is a long-standing Ringgold client that has used both the Identify Database and the Audit Updates to manage their organizational data for nearly 10 years.

 It seems that not a single week goes by without me considering Ringgold data in one area, application, or another.  

Aaron Wood, Head, Product and Content Management

The Challenge

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APA’s organizational customer, member, and prospect data was held in two different systems: a CRM system and a separate Fulfillment and Invoicing system. Orders and activities were held at many different levels within an organization, for example, at the top level University, psychology department, academic hospital, etc. This complexity meant that APA had difficulty determining relationships common to both systems and did not have a 360-degree view of their customers and prospects.

As an intermediary step towards creating a well-connected system, APA used the Ringgold IDs referenced for organization accounts in both systems to develop a reporting solution that aggregated data from the two separate systems, revealing duplication of accounts both within and between the two systems. To increase the visibility of order activity per organization, and to ensure that organizations could not duplicate orders for the same content, it was imperative to de-duplicate records within and across systems.

The Solution

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APA wanted to bring their systems together so that all data would be connected and easily accessible for internal users, and to create a centralized data entry point so that accounts could not be duplicated moving forward.

To accomplish this, they used two SalesForce apps to replace their fulfillment and invoicing system: Apptus, for institutional license management, and Fonteva, for membership management. Both apps run on top of SalesForce so that accounts can be shared in the background while still giving each team their own customized view. As a part of the data migration required to launch this solution, APA used Ringgold IDs to merge accounts, eliminating all duplicates as they did so. APA’s team also customized an algorithm using Ringgold hierarchies and metadata elements to group accounts by what APA considers the top level organization. Implementing this algorithm allows APA to group accounts by organization and provide multi-level reporting to users.

When APA users enter a new account now, potential duplicates are identified using the Ringgold ID and hierarchical relationship. APA also sends the full dataset to Ringgold each month for Audit Updates, where Ringgold staff verify all assigned Ringgold IDs, serving as an additional layer of protection against potential duplicates.

The Result

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APA now has a single system centralizing sales, fulfillment and invoicing. All activities (orders, memberships, contracts, publication holdings, etc.) can be viewed in one place, and the activities of any related organizations are visible to users. Having a single system enables the business user to see activity across all levels of the organization, providing a holistic view of the organization with which APA interacts.

Significantly, standard and bespoke reporting is now accessible to all users of SalesForce, with no need to request reports through the IT team. Reporting now easily includes all child or parent records in a particular organization’s hierarchy. Ringgold metadata associated with the organization (Ringgold Tiers, Ringgold Types, Carnegie classifications, etc.) is also available within APA’s SalesForce system and can be added to enhance user knowledge and analysis.

  [It is] much more efficient, easier for someone to see the holistic view of that customer because now data is all in one place.  

Robert Drayton, IT Analyst, APA