Meet the updated Lighthouse / Connect sync.

At long, long last, we have good news on the Lighthouse / Connect sync!

Our new synchronisation process is now up and running and you should see significant improvements in the accuracy of membership data in Connect.

We know that this not being fixed has been a long-running source of frustration for many people for a long time and this is hopefully an encouraging step towards improving our data and tools.

The synchronisation process ensures that for every member & registered supporter on Lighthouse (in Great Britain), a MyCampaign record should be created and then matched to MyVoters where possible.

MyCampaign records linked to a membership will have the following information associated with them.

The matching process won’t be perfect and there will be some people who validly don’t have linked MyVoters records – but Lighthouse and Connect should be much more closely aligned now and this should let you call, canvass and post with confidence!

This also only applies to local parties within Great Britain. Connect doesn’t currently support address formats outside of this area, so members living outside of Great Britain won’t appear in the system.

Unfortunately, this being fixed, does mean that we need Data Officers to do a little work!

What to do now

We’ve updated our Process Guide on how to tidy up your membership data in Connect – and if you don’t have elections, it will make your life a lot easier if you can make time to do this.

The automated process will get this correct in most cases, but there are always edge cases and things that we can’t resolve automatically. For these, we need a local person with local knowledge to work through the process of resolving these issues.

You can view the updated process guide here.

There’s also a Geek Sheet that explains in more detail how the synchronisation process works:

If you have elections in May – this probably isn’t a priority right now but would be ideal to do over the summer.

What to do if you run across an issue

If you run into an issue whilst doing the matching process and you get a record you can’t work out what to do with, just drop us a Connect Support request.

Please include as much information as possible on what’s wrong as it’ll help us resolve the issue quickly and easily.

Other changes

There have been a few other changes to the data that’s synchronised from Lighthouse that are worth bearing in mind.

Firstly, email addresses are only synchronised currently where the All – Email or Local – Email are set to true on Lighthouse. The same rules are in place for phone numbers.

We’ve also tightened up on the synchronisation of under 18s, for safeguarding reasons. As a result, nobody under the age of 13 will be synchronised to Connect and for people aged 13-18 email addresses and phone numbers won’t be synchronised to Connect.

This data will still be available in Lighthouse and can be identified by using the Under 13 and Under 18 Member and Supporter reports.

It’s also important to note that some records will be marked as being under 13 or under 18 due to errors in the provision of dates of birth by users.

Where this is the case, please contact the member in question to confirm their age. If they are over 13/18, then you can update their date of birth by:

  • Getting them to complete the Demographic survey, linked from their profile (more on that here)
  • Submitting a problem report containing their correct date of birth (more on that here)

If they are under 13 and don’t have a parent contact listed on Lighthouse, it’s important that you contact HQ by submitting a problem report relating to the under 13 in question as quickly as possible.

You can find out more on the party’s safeguarding processes here.

Movers Process

Now that we’ve got our registers process running more smoothly, we’ve also been able to run the Movers process for the first time since 2020.

This process transfers data between people who’ve moved across the country to their new records where we can be confident that it’s the same process.

This should mean there’s a little more data on people in your patch than there was a few days ago.

Additional Fields

We’re in the process of consulting on some additional fields to add to Connect from Lighthouse. There are some very strict limits on how much data we can synchronise to Connect, so we can’t move everything, but if there’s anything else you’d find useful, please let us know by emailing [email protected]

Learn more about our roadmap

We recently hosted two sessions at Conference to share with you more information on the party’s technology project and what we’ve got planned.

You can catch up on that session here.

We’ve also planned another session later this month, that you’re very welcome to join us at! You can register here.

You can also keep up to date with all of the changes to the party’s technology and tools on the Tech Blog.

* Katy Perryment is Head of Product at the Lib Dems.

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3 Comments

  • Laurence Cox 1st Apr '22 - 1:30pm

    One thing that we must do is to ensure that the names of members and supporters are the same on Lighthouse as they are on the Electoral Register. And that means correct names and initials, even if we have to have extra fields for “Commonly Used Surname” and “Commonly used Forename(s)” as on nomination papers. When sending out lists of members to candidates for getting their nominations completed, we don’t want to risk having the wrong names on the nomination paper. When doing this recently for the May 22 elections, I discovered the surname of one of our members was subtly different on Lighthouse from what it was on the electoral register; our local RO found evidence for the correct name dating back to 2002, so it is likely that a mistake was made by Membership inputting the data when he joined in 2015. This was not the only mistake I found. We do need to ensure data accuracy, and not just transfer errors from one system to another.

    Once the election is over I will comb through Lighthouse for our Local Party and check names and addresses against the electoral register. I recommend others do the same.

  • Laurence – membership do not input data. Members input it themselves and have been known to make mistakes.

    If you follow the process guide above (after the elections) you will see a step to match the data in My campaign (from the membership system) with the data in My Voters (from the electoral register)

    This step will pick up issues like that which you can then resolve as necessary, and going forward can use lists of members in My Voters for completion of nomination papers

  • Greg Foster 3rd Apr '22 - 8:24am

    Also, make sure you speak to the person before you change their name? Lots of members are on Lighthouse by the name they prefer to be addressed by and on Connect by their fuller name that they use on official documents.

    I’d be fairly annoyed if my local party updated my name without asking me!

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