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Secretariat Best Practices

Data Entry Guidelines

If your site is entering data to populate the system (as opposed to converting data from another system), being organized about the order of data entry will be of utmost benefit. Mitratech recommends entering data in modules as follows:

  • Titles
  • Jurisdictions
  • People
  • Entities

Populating the first three modules with all available information first decreases the amount of time spent searching for records to determine whether or not the records have been entered already and decreases the likelihood of duplicate entries being made as records are being added into the Entities module.

Mitratech recommends that as you go, you should create your own Secretariat Guidelines document. In addition to the generic training materials provided by Mitratech, documenting your own processes for how data is entered and used within the program will be invaluable as staff changes and new users come on board.


When populating the Titles module, it is vital that the sort orders be entered as accurately as possible before adding position records into the database. The sort orders entered into the Titles module are used as defaults when a position record is added. Sort orders can be overridden on a record-by-record basis as needed, but entering accurate sort orders for each title should be sufficient approximately 90 percent of the time so that this data entry does not have to be done when the position records are added to the People and Entities modules.

As a best practice, multiple titles held by the same individual at the same company should be entered as separate records to ensure accurate tracking of beginning and ending dates for each position. Using combined titles (such as “Vice President and Treasurer”) could cause problems if, for example, the individual ceased to be the Treasurer but continued as Vice President. Secretariat can accommodate multiple titles for the same individual, so whenever possible, enter titles separately.


Use wizards for redundant data entry tasks as well as to ensure accuracy in data entry. Secretariat has many wizards (such as the Corporate Meeting Wizard, which updates director/officer elections, and the Global Appoint/Promote/Retire Positions Wizard, which updates a number of positions for a single person all at once) that can be used to do larger-scale data edits, saving time in that each record does not have to be edited individually. Wizards also help to ensure that nothing gets missed in the process. Take the time to learn how to use wizards.

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