3DB County Database

We have developed a data management application for voluntary and community sector infrastructure organisations across Derbyshire. They can now maintain and utilise a shared database of all groups/organisations in the sector and record their interventions with them. This will massively improve reporting, monitoring and overall effectiveness.

The application is complex in structure and yet user-friendly in form. Each partner organisation can customise the data they collect and can manage the extent to which it is shared. There is a website component that allows the general public to search and browse (www.communitydirectoryderbyshire.org.uk). The administrative systems are complete and in use by the partners, with the source data being continuously updated.

In addition to the technical development we have worked with the partnership management team to specify and implement the system across the county. We have delivered user training to all of the partner organisations and in many cases performed data migration from their existing systems. It all sounds so simple in a few sentences!

Some features include:

  • Customisable input forms for organisation, contact and work history data.
  • Fine-grained permissions structure, allowing multiple levels of sharing for individual parts or full records.
  • Mailing list management with email composition and sending
  • Ability to define “live search groups” and “clusters” to perform tasks on multiple records. Live Searches are based on complex query criteria and automatically reflect changes in the data.
  • “Wizards” for performing common actions. Smart interactive “grids” that allow printing, reporting, exporting and bulk editing of data.
  • Friendly user interface design - it doesn’t look anything like a database! This was critical to a) overcome the resistance to change from staff users and b) to increase take-up and maximise the chances of users bringing the system into their day-to-day work.