Advizor Solutions, Inc. Advizor Solutions, Inc.
Home > Markets > Advancement > Solutions

Advancement Advizor

Technology & Solution Implementation

ADVIZOR data discovery and analysis software empowers people to display, in-memory - data-management and interactive - data-visualization, understand their data in order to make better and faster fact-based decisions. Built on patented visualization software from Bell Labs and best-of-breed predictive analytics, ADVIZOR enables people to understand and analyze information without relying on others to prepare or interpret the results.

ADVIZOR is particularly useful in navigating advancement environments where there is:

  • More than one data source
  • Unstructured data
  • A need to compare against metrics within and across groups
  • A need to drill down into detail and create lists in order to discover causal factors and take action

I. The Challenge

The Cycle of Pain

Before ADVIZOR - cycles of pain
Most conventional reporting systems deliver reports and scorecards that provide summary level snapshots, but don't answer the whys and hows. As a result managers struggle to craft the strategies and tactics necessary to meet goals. The result is a cycle of pain in which key staff send a flurry of custom report requests to IT or advancement services. Those requests land in a backlog, with results returned in a week or two. The results drive more questions, which means more custom report requests . . . and more delays.

The other form of pain occurs when end-users download source data into Excel, and then slice and dice it there. This is difficult to do with a multi-table datasource, and challenging to perform across more than two or three variables at a time. And when done, the results are hard to communicate to others. Lastly, since the whole process was challenging to get going, the spreadsheets are usually saved and become a shadow data system that no longer gets refreshed, and ends up out of synch with reality.

There is a better way...

II. New Technology to the Rescue

After ADVIZOR - Collaboration

Three key technologies contribute to ADVIZOR's fast and powerful analytic capabilities: In-Memory Data Management, Data Visualization, and Predictive Analytics. Visit our technology page for more information.

Capacity and Performance

ADVIZOR is designed and implemented to handle large volumes of data with strong interactive performance. There are no built-in limitations for data size (i.e. number of tables, number of rows in tables, number of fields in tables) or visualization complexity. Performance and capacity are limited only by the amount of memory and speed of the CPU hosting the visual components.

ADVIZOR can comfortably handle tens of millions of rows of data across typically 20, or 40, or 60 or more tables. ADVIZOR has numerous fundraising clients and even the largest ones can fit their entire database in-memory on standard PCs and servers.

An ADVIZOR Project

An ADVIZOR Project or Dashboard is comprised of a set of pages containing multiple linked charts that work together to address a business question or problem. In business analysis many questions are too complicated to answer with a single chart. A well-engineered page contains a set of charts that function together to answer a specific set of questions. Each chart shows the data from a different viewpoint in a complementary manner.

Each of the charts on each of the Pages is completely interactive, and a selection made on one chart is automatically applied across all the charts on all the pages. In fundraising we offer nine (9) standard Solutions in four key areas: General Management, Leadership Giving, Annual Giving, and Member/Alumni Relations.

Additional Features of ADVIZOR Technology


Discoveries made in the course of analysis can easily be shared with others in report format quickly and easily, by right-clicking on a chart and exporting it to Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, as a PDF, or as a standard web HTML.

A completely interactive project can be shared with others by publishing it to ADVIZOR Desktop Navigator (client-based) or to ADVIZOR Server AE for access via the Internet.

Ad Hoc Analysis

No need to be limited to predesigned dashboard solutions. ADVIZOR provides a flexible platform for doing ad hoc data analysis and rapidly building interactive visual query and analysis projects on the fly. And should a project change, or a different visual element be desired, an ADVIZOR authoring end-user can make these changes to an existing dashboard in seconds!

III. Solution Implementation

Implementation Steps and Timeline

ADVIZOR's professional services teams work with its customers to deliver a fully functional project or dashboard that refreshes from the core systems each night. We also train our customers end-user teams and get them up-to-speed in the use of ADVIZOR. Training is hands-on, and revolves around using ADVIZOR to answer key questions and improve fundraising results.

In order to minimize the workload on IT, ADVIZOR loads existing data tables. ADVIZOR installs a small script and a .exe on one file server that will access the source data tables each night for refresh. The .exe will create the ADVIZOR dashboard project file (.advm) that the individual users will access. The individual users will need access to this shared file, much like they would for a shared Excel file. ADVIZOR Server (for web delivery) runs this same project file(s) and delivers it to end-users through a web portal.

The key steps to implement an ADVIZOR project take a few weeks, and include:

  1. Working with the customer end-user team to identify their key issues and needs
  2. Identifying the core data tables necessary for decision making. We typically loading the following tables. Note in many cases not all of these are available or populated. We can will work with whatever is available:
    1. Entity table (one row for each entity). This table should have in it:
      • Entity ID# and name
      • Demographic data for each entity (state, city, gender, etc.)
      • Primary affiliation
      • Total Commitment or Total Giving Amount (could be in a separate table)
      • Status Codes (active, deceased, lost, inactive, etc)
      • If all of this data is not in the entity table, then we can copy it from other tables in our Data Pool once the tables are loaded
    2. Gift Transaction table (one row for each gift; go back in time as far as possible; codes to separate hard vs. soft credit; AF, etc.)
    3. Rating & Capacity (and/or wealth screening data; must have entity IDs)
    4. Staff Assignments
    5. Contacts
    6. Proposals
    7. Higher Ed specific tables:
      1. Affiliation (multiple affiliations for each entity)
      2. Committee Participation
      3. Degrees
      4. Employment
      5. Student Activities and Sports
    8. Other tables as appropriate
    9. Descriptors for key codes that are in these tables
  3. Getting access to the data tables either by secure FTP, or via remote VPN access.
  4. Tuning its standard templates to the needs of our customer end-users, adjusting the dashboard pages and overall layout using the customers data. This is reviewed by various members of the client team for feedback and refinement. This is done in 2 to 3 webinar sessions, and also offline via feedback on screenshots in PowerPoint. As part of the project build ADVIZOR will:
    1. Determine how to link and join the data tables in the ADVIZOR memory pool, and then create the necessary links and joins
    2. Create any necessary calculated expressions, hierarchies, parsed date fields, giving bins, segments, etc. that are not in the data tables
    3. Identify and work with all necessary security and access issues
  5. Setting up daily auto-refresh on customers file server:
    1. Define the process to feed the data tables to ADVIZOR on a regular basis
    2. Install small script and ADVIZOR .exe that creates the ADVIZOR dashboard project file (.advm) that the individual users will access. We anticipate that this script will run each night at, say, 3am after the text files have been created
    3. The users then access the ADVIZOR .advm file, which is self-contained with the full dataload
  6. Providing hands-on training to key end-users on how to use the ADVIZOR project to answer key fundraising questions. This includes providing "best practices" from other universities (this is done onsite)
  7. Providing hands-on training to key power users and/or project authors on how to build and modify the ADVIZOR project.

The charts in the dashboard(s) are interactive, and allow the development team to easily drill into the data through ADVIZORs patented Visual Discovery technology. It is expected that the dashboard(s) will improve focus and decision making, while at the same time reducing the load on IT to produce special reports.


ADVIZOR is a Microsoft .net application. Our client software runs on Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8. Our server software runs on Windows Server 2003, 2008 or 2012, and delivers through all standard browsers IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc and iPads. Our Server is a multithreaded 64 bit application that can support multiple concurrent users. While there is one data pool for each dashboard, each user has a separate session with the data pool and hence he / she can do different analyses and see different results at the same time as others.

Hosted Solution

ADVIZOR also offers a fully supported and certified hosted cloud based solution for those clients who do not want to implement and on-premise solution.

"ADVIZOR was able to have us up and running and trained in 4 weeks. They were able to use our roughly sixty Advance datatables from our Oracle database without changes. The system refreshes from the database each night so our users have up-to-date information every morning. It was a very quick and efficient process which placed very minimal load on our IT team."

State University

Standard Solutions

Learn More

Copyright 2024 ADVIZOR Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved // Contact Us
Advizor, Advizor Solutions, SalesAdvizor, MedAdvizor, OfficeAdvizor, Analyst Office, Analyst Office/X and Visual Discovery are all Registered Trademarks or Trademarks of ADVIZOR Solutions Inc.