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Unstructured Parent Company Data

When company names can't be standarized

Melisa Smith avatar
Written by Melisa Smith
Updated over a week ago

During onboarding, one of the processes your association will review is the concept of the Parent-Child relationship in Novi. Simply put, this means that you can have one record for ABC Company (for example), and staff records or other sub-companies underneath that record.

Most of the time, it makes sense to standardize company names to 1) have cleaner data and 2) utilize the benefits of the Parent-Child relationship in Novi.

What do we mean by standardized?

If you have data that looks like this:

  • ABC Company

  • ABC Co.

  • The ABC Company

Even though those may technically be the same company, there is no way for the system to know that, since the names are different.

This would end up being three separate company records in the system unless your team cleans these differentiations up prior to data import - OR - in certain circumstances, chooses to forgo the typical Parent Member field and uses an unstructured custom field instead.

By unstructured, we just mean that this info would come in as a plain text field, and not a dropdown for members to choose a company from a pre-existing list.

If you're considering using the custom field route, you'll want to discuss this with your onboarding specialist. In the meantime, review the list below for some implications of going the unstructured route:

(Please note this list is not definitive, and there may be other implications not listed)

  • Your data will continue with the unstructured names spelled differently moving forward.

  • This makes reporting more of a challenge. You wouldn't be able to quickly see which members from a certain company are in the report.

  • Also, QuickBooks Online does not allow two members with the same name (unless they are connected to different parents). So two different people named John Smith would need to be differentiated in name, whether that's with a middle name or a - 1, - 2, etc. numbering system.

  • An individual's company would not auto-fill for them on an event registration or product purchase.

  • Individuals would not be able to see a dropdown list of their related team members during event registration.

  • Individuals would not be able to create invoices billed to their company.

  • As an admin, you would be able to see individual's transactions on their own records, but would not be able to view everyone's transactions quickly on the company level.

  • Likewise, a company's primary or billing contact would not be able to see/pay invoices for individuals, or add/remove people from their staff list.

  • On the member directory, the member preview badge would not show a company name (though it could be inside the actual profile).

  • We would not be able to send a company name in the MailChimp or Constant Contact sync.

  • Integration partners would need to be made aware that they wouldn't use the Parent Member field for this information.

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