Details in the Data

July 21, 2021

Details in the Data

By Rich Ehemann, Class of 1983

Alumni of Purcell Marian High School come from five unique schools: St. Mary’s, Regina, Purcell, Marian, and Purcell Marian. You might be surprised to learn that ours is one of the largest alumni databases among Catholic high schools in the Cincinnati area.

When I got involved, the school was using an outdated software system that was not much more than a complicated mailing label generator. The decision was made to move to a Salesforce platform, one of the leaders in CRM (contact relationship management) software. This would make communication with our alumni easier, and help with the chief complaint of alumni: that they don’t know what’s happening at the school and feel out of the loop. 

Candice turned to Mark Frietch, Purcell class of ’76, and myself, Purcell Marian Class of ’83, to find a way to move the data from the old software to Salesforce. It was not an easy task, taking a lot of coordination and attention to detail, but data was mapped and moved into Salesforce in February. That was only the beginning of the process.

For a variety of reasons, the information we had was in pretty bad shape. It made sense why alumni hadn’t heard from the school much through the years. Recent alumni had not been added to the database and nobody was actively keeping up with alumni that had moved or passed away. Mark and I used a variety of tools like Google and to make sure we were capturing all of our alumni. 

Mark even went through 51 yearbooks looking for alumni that were missing from the database! He was able to identify almost 1,000 missing graduates! I imported almost 400 recent Purcell Marian graduates (2016-2021) and found that over 2,000 alumni were deceased.

Even after all this work, there were still 19,000 alumni that had questionable mailing addresses. Jim Boeddeker, Purcell class of ’80, was contacted. Jim’s company, was able to provide some resources to go through every record in the database and verify the mailing address. This process took about two months to complete and confirmed that about 30% (roughly 6,000 people) had incorrect addresses in the database. No wonder people hadn’t been hearing from the school! There are still about 300 “lost” alumni that need to be located, and only 30% of our alumni have an email listed with us to share news throughout the year. 

As a Class of 1983 alumni, I am grateful for my time at Purcell Marian. And I encourage you to stay in touch, get involved and support the Castle.

Update Your Information

Alumni News