(apologies for the long post).
Our MLS data has become out of date and I'm currently in the middle of a project to get all the up-to-date information from each auxiliary and put it into MLS.
The problem I'm seeing with this one-way data push is that we've made it super easy for members to tell each auxiliary about email address changes: a list is passed around with the roll and members update their contact info.
Auxiliary leaders then tell the clerks about any changes and we update MLS. Members never have to go to their LDS Account to update their profile...
Therefore: it seems that this new data push is going to break our current system: anyone with an outdated LDS Account primary email address is going to overwrite what the clerks type in to MLS (which came from the auxiliary secretary, which originated from the member).
Potential confusing solution: reverse the entire workflow and tell members that for their home address and phone numbers, keep doing what their doing, but for email addresses, they need to update their LDS Account, then the clerks will watch for changes in MLS, then notify the appropriate auxiliary
This just seems like a crazy "solution" to me.
Some may ask, "Why is your data flow set up the way it is right now?" (e.g. Member updates info on roll, auxiliary records it and sends info to clerks). The reasons are because each auxiliary has their own email list and they use their own personal email clients to send announcements. Furthermore, the RS has put together a nicely formatted RS Directory with Sisters' information on it (Wife's name, husband's name, sister's personal phone/email, address, and birth day (not year, just mm/dd)).
The RS Directory has become a standard in our ward AND it is easy for the RS to update the directory immediately after someone moves in/out and have a new directory on Monday... instead of waiting for the records to come in, then waiting for the clerks to print out a new RS Directory report with sisters' individual contact info (not just head of household).
So, because of this one way data push, my head is spinning and I'm at a complete loss at what to do.
I've thought about asking every member to sign up on the ward website and keep their information up-to-date... but this is confusing.
I say it is confusing because it turns out the LUWS profile is different then the LDS Account profile and how is a regular member supposed to keep them separate in their head?
Furthermore, there is no easy way to update your LDS Account profile... most members will login to their LUWS, click "Update profile", see their email address and update it, save, and be done. Well, unfortunately that didn't update their LDS Account profile and thus that change never made it back to MLS.
So, what do I do?
- LDS Account email to MLS Sync is one way from LDS Account to MLS
- LUWS email address is completely separate and no syncing will occur
- There is no way for a clerk to update someone's LDS Account profile
- It is kind of confusing for regular members to update their LDS Account profile (because of the "Update Profile" link on the LUWS doesn't take you to LDS Account and b/c there are two profiles)
- I'm trying to let each auxiliary choose how they want to manage their data: currently they've all chosen to keep their own lists and email people from their personal email accounts.
- It is unknown when the new LUWS features will be rolled out (specifically directory of members) which use the LDS Account as the primary profile and get rid of the extra LUWS email address.
I guess in the end I want one master source of information
and I just can't seem to get it
. (I thought the LDS Account would be the "master", but it is hard to get to and it isn't obvious to each auxiliary if a member changes it... furthermore it only has email address and the data sync is only one way).
I then thought MLS would be the master source... but it turns out we are about to embark on the journey of a one-way push from LDS Account to MLS for email address, thus making MLS the master data source for everything
except individual email address (for those with an LDS Account).
Maybe that is my solution: MLS is still the master source and let each auxiliary keep their own list and tell the clerks when a change occurs.
If the one-way data push overwrites an email address b/c a member told the RS of a new email but didn't update their LDS Account... oh well.
If a member gets confused about clicking "Update Profile" on the LUWS and updates their email address there and never updates their LDS Account... oh well.
I guess in the end the worse things that could happen would be :
- a member's email address will be wrong in MLS b/c they never updated their LDS Account when they switched email addresses. Any report printed from MLS will show a different email address then an auxiliary directory and oh well...
- a member wants to use the ward website and update their profile and they manage to update their LDS Account instead... other members trying to email them using the LUWS aren't able to do so b/c the email address is wrong (or non-existent) for the member...
- Wow... this is the VERY thing I'm trying to avoid. Question: Do LUWS Administrators have the ability to update members LUWS email address?
- if so, I think I'll have to add the ward website admin into our "data workflow" so that the LUWS can get updated when a member changes their email address on the roll.
Sorry about the long post... in the end it just seems that there is going to be some confusion in our ward as we start promoting the ward website and trying to get everyone to use it... if someone wants to update their email address we'll probably have to hold some people's hands through the process...