Data Management

Grassroots Update

10th May

The SSS Board are delighted to share with members that the last updates to our old database have now been completed. 
 In an historic move, this now means that the Society can begin the conversion over to the Grassroots system, with effect from today. 
The Board will keep members up to date with the progress of this exciting transition to Grassroots, and our website will be updated regularly as we work through the change. 
 Any member with any questions with respect to this can contact the Secretary for assistance.
Further information on our database management can be found further down this pge. 
The existing flock book will remain accessible in the Members Area of the web site for now.


Grassroots Update 

5th May

The conversion date has been set for 10th May

Grassroots Update

1st May

Since our last update we are pleased to report that all our data has now been transferred to the new platform and we are working hard with Grassroots to map the data. Data mapping is the process of matching fields from one database to another and is the first step to facilitate data migration, data integration, and other data management tasks. Currently we are making good progress and will continue to refine the mapping to ensure a smooth transition from one platform to another.

Board members are the main testers with constant feedback helping to support data mapping and both the Membership and Registration secretaries to become familiar with the functions and operation of our new platform.

There is no absolute date to full transition to Grassroots and this will not happen until the above process has been completed. An indicative date is Friday 10th of May - Tuesday 14th of May but until the conversion is complete then we shall continue to use our PPDB database which can be accessed as usual via the Members Area of our website.

Further updates will be in the eNews and The Shetland Breed.

 Member Data Management Update

We wanted to update you on some exciting changes that the Board is currently working on in relation to our data management platform along with some additional services and member benefits that will be rolled out as a result.

Many people will know that our data is currently managed in-house utilising the services of Peter Hardman, our Database Manager. Peter has done a fantastic job in this role and has developed and managed this service for the Society for over 30 years. We’re now at a point where database software upgrades are required and the Board considered this to be a good opportunity to review this function and the services offered to members more widely.

The Board has decided to move our data management system to Grassroots Systems Limited. The process of conversion to Grassroots is currently underway. There is no timeline associated with this move at this stage, but more details will be available in the next edition of the Breed News, in the e-news and on this page.

It should be noted that for many members you might notice minimal differences as registrations can still be carried out in the same way using the services of our Registrations Secretary and pedigree certificates and the Flock Book will remain similar. 

Grassroots was selected from multiple providers as it offers similar services to those which we already have in our on-line flockbook platform.

Some of the additional features that Grassroots offers, include:

-   Online sheep Registrations and Membership

-   Online Flock Management system

-   Recording of Colours and Markings

-   Advanced search facility for stock for sale

-   Grassroots Mobile App

-   Improved invoicing and payment options

-   Online breed sale entries

- Annual Census and Survey Options

- Comprehensive and Flexible Reporting function

There are many other administrative advantages for the Society as the system links with the Society’s accounting system and will help to automate some of our other administrative functions. At all times, the data remains the property of the Society.

The Board does recognise that changes of this nature often raise questions and concern, but we will keep members updated as this project progresses and we hope to have a training demonstration in due course to highlight the features that members can now benefit from. 

The Board is extremely grateful to both Peter Hardman and Chrissie Ringrose who have supported us with this change and provided help and input along the way.

We hope all members have an enjoyable lambing.




Why has the Board taken the decision to change our Database provider?

The Board reviewed several concerns highlighted by the Risk and Audit Group with respect to our current in-house database. These included single person dependency and no disaster recovery plan that would avoid service disruption.


What were the alternatives?

Several options were considered including continuing with our ‘in-house’ database, commissioning a new database from an external provider or outsource to a database provider.


Why was this option taken?

Grassroots System Limited is a proven industry leader in providing a pedigree database system along with significant administration modules. The risks of continuing with our ‘in-house’ database were deemed too high and the commissioning of a new database would add a lengthy delay to achieving an acceptable outcome.


Why is this necessary now?

In the opinion of the Board the multiple risks inherent in our ‘in-house’ database were too high despite the effective management by our database manager. 


What are the benefits for the Society and its Members?

The benefits are many with most importantly security of our data and significant reduction in risk along with greatly increased functionality.


What change will I see as a Member of the Society?

There will be some changes commensurate with such a transformational change to our database platform. However, these changes will enhance the member experience and facilitate the administration of the Society. 


Will there be any training available on the new system?

Yes - once implemented the Board will arrange a presentation to run through how to use the system and the additional member benefits that it will provide.


Will there be any additional cost to members?

There will be no additional cost to members for the general services offered by Grassroots. If members wish to subscribe to the Mobile App then there is a small annual charge for this element of the service only. 


How much will this cost the Society ?

The annual cost will be approximately 20% extra cost with the extra cost deemed worth it for reduction in risk and security of our data. 


When will transfer of our database take place ?

A contract has been signed with work progressing to finalise the process with checking of templates and generally how the data will look. The aim is to have this completed as soon as is practicable. 


How will I know when changes will take place ?

Information will appear in the eNews and in a dedicated page on the website. This page will be updated as and when and will include links to Grassroots videos. 

Useful Information

Please follow the below links to some useful guidance and information around the new system

Grassroots Online Registry

Grassroots for Farmers


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