Relaxing after the big data move: Pamela Stewart and her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Raggedy Ann. PHOTO BY LAUR BEREZNAI
When it comes to making alterations, Pamela Stewart is something of an authority. Once, when a friend of a friend discovered that her bridal gown didn’t fit, Pamela flew all the way to India and fixed it in time for the wedding (she just happens to be an accomplished fashion designer and dressmaker). In her day job as conference statistician and database manager for the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC), Pamela recently made another big change. She and her team moved the entire Michigan Conference database over to the Brick River platform. “We sorely needed a twenty-first-century database with better functioning and features,” she says.
Pamela and her conference colleagues explored all the options, but came to Brick River because the company can provide that prized asset, the UMC Data Core. “Having software that already knows the structure, terminology, and requirements of the United Methodist Church was half the battle for me,” she says. “I imagine it would have been a huge undertaking to try to work with a developer to organize and configure modules and fields specific to our UMC needs.”
In a move to a new platform, tons of things can go wrong. “From sad experience,” Pamela says, “my biggest worry was data loss — the idea that one platform never correlates precisely with another one.” But Brick River’s meticulous data-mapping process reassured her that nothing would fall through the cracks. In the end, she says, “we didn’t lose a thing of importance.”
If you’re thinking about making a similar move, Pamela has some advice:
Switching over to Brick River has made Pamela’s job a lot easier. “The whole point of a database is to be able to pull out and use the data that you store, right? I love that we can query every field. It is possible to create an Excel sheet with the precise data we need, without having to sort or otherwise process the sheet afterward.”
With the move behind her, Pamela can spend less time wrestling with a database and more time enjoying her family, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and her hobby of creating fiber art.