Claribase (Formerly AirOps Consulting)

Choreographing Success: Dance Wire’s Transformation with Claribase and Airtable

“The result of what you built for us has been truly transformational for our organization. Compared to 9 months ago (before the project) it’s night and day. It’s running on it’s own. We are thinking less and less about day to day stuff. ” Dance Wire

Introduction: Dance Wire – Harmonizing Art and Operations

Dance Wire stands uniquely in the United States’ Pacific Northwest as the only service organization specifically dedicated to supporting the growth of the Portland dance community. Their services range from career coaching and business building to providing resources to the dance curious looking to find their groove. Even if you haven’t danced for years or are a total beginner, The Dance Community of Portland welcomes you! The organization’s journey, however, was not without its operational challenges. Dance Wire faced significant issues with scattered data management systems that were hindering their efficiency and effectiveness. Primarily due to using multiple platforms SurveyMonkey, and Microsoft Excel for data collection, leading to data being siloed and spread across different locations. The organization’s leadership, comprising Emily Running, the Executive Director, and Jessie Nowak, the Operations Director, recognized the need for a unified system to streamline operations, eliminate duplications, and centralize data. This realization led them to discover Airtable, which promised to be the solution they were seeking – a platform where everything about Dance Wire could live in one place. In this success story, we explore how Dance Wire, with the strategic assistance of Claribase, transformed its data management from scattered and inefficient to streamlined and effective. This is a testament to how Airtable can help non-profit organizations build capacity.

The Problem: Disparate Systems and Fragmented Data Management

Dance Wire provides an expansive range of services to the dance community, including event calendars, newsletters, studio directories, press kits, a co-working space and art incubator program, networking events, community advocacy, and a dance ambassador program. Their specialty is one-on-one business coaching sessions to help budding artists take the next step in their career. Dance Wire’s daily operations revolve around managing a vast array of data stemming from its diverse services (an extensive amount of data about dancers, instructors, donors, members, organizations, meetings, and projects).  Despite their substantial impact on the dance community, Dance Wire faced a major hurdle: their data was spread across various platforms such as SurveyMonkey, and Microsoft Excel. Data was fragmented, resulting in logistical challenges, and even the tracking and managing of essential information was becoming difficult. 
“Before we started with Claribase, our heads were spinning off our shoulders. Data was everywhere, tasks were falling through the cracks, and our notes about meetings and projects were everywhere (emails, paper).” 
The situation was further exacerbated by a lack of consistency in how data was managed. With different team members having their own ways of organizing data, there was no unified approach or ‘Dance Wire way’ of doing things. Over the course of the three years, this led to four separate Airtable bases in different stages of use (and depreciation). Records were all over the place, and there wasn’t any easy way of identifying what was the most up-to-date information. 
“Finding accurate data, in the format we needed, was becoming a huge challenge… we had no singular ‘Dance Wire way’. What we needed was a single source of truth for all our data.
Recognizing these challenges, Dance Wire knew they needed to overhaul their data management system, consolidate their data and streamline their processes to align with their operational needs.

Discovering Airtable: A Leap Towards Streamlined Operations

Having used Airtable already for three years, Dance Wire knew Airtable was brimming with opportunity. They already loved it’s promise of flexibility and user-friendly interface, but they knew they needed a fresh start where they could start from the foundations, and begin their system design with the end in mind.  Dance Wire proceeded to explore a potential list of vendors through the Airtable Directory – and after a few introduction calls, knew that they found their partner in Claribase.
“We found you through the Airtable directory, but it was really once we started talking to your team that we really knew you were the fit for us. From the very beginning you talked our language, and were immediately able to understand and pinpoint where we needed to start, and where we needed to go. Some other vendors were so immensly focused on the idea of the software development process… you guys started by trying to understand our processes, our tools, and our buisiness.”

The Solution: Choreographing a New Operational Rhythm with Airtable

With the strategic support of Claribase, Dance Wire embarked on optimizing their Airtable databases. Claribase took a deep dive into understanding the unique operational needs of Dance Wire. Claribase worked closely with the Dance Wire team to customize the Airtable architecture to make it scalable. The changes enable Airtable to be used not just a data repository but a dynamic tool that mirrored Dance Wire’s diverse activities. The transition to Airtable marked a significant improvement in how Dance Wire managed and collected data. The platform enabled the consolidation of various data streams into a single source of truth. This unification eliminated the previous challenges of managing data across multiple platforms, reducing duplication and making data management a more seamless process.

The Result: An Airtable CRM and Project Management System, Data Clarity, and a Single Source of Truth

By working closely with Claribase, Dance Wire transformed its base from a data repository to a dynamic tool from which it could run the operations of its organization. 

The implementation of Airtable, marked the beginning of a new chapter for Dance Wire where data management became a facilitator of their mission rather than a hindrance, enabling the organization to focus more on its core objective of nurturing and supporting the dance community.

“The result of what you built for us has been truly transformational for our organization. Compared to 9 months ago (before the project) it’s night and day. It’s running on it’s own. We are thinking less and less about day to day stuff. The notes sections, the task lists, everything – it’s just amazing. Our heads arn’t spinning off our shoulders anymore.”
The transition marked a significant improvement in how Dance Wire managed and collected data. Airtable enabled the consolidation of various data streams into a single, accessible location – reducing duplication and making data management a more seamless process. 
“There isn’t a question anymore – Where does this data go, where does it live… we have saved so much time. Communication has improved, and our team is facing way less decision fatigue. It’s been excellent”
Internal communication improved, as members could now easily share information, update data in real-time, and access the information they needed without the previous hurdles. The benefits of collaboration extended beyond internal operations and allowed Dance Wire to maintain more effective communication with its partners, community and stakeholders.  

Experience Working with Claribase: A Dance of Productive Collaboration

“Claribase looks at the way that systems and architecture can support an organization – rather than an academic view of it’s data.” 
Dance Wire describes working with Claribase Consulting as being characterized by a synergy of a deep want to understand their organization mixed with Airtable expertise and functional problem-solving. 
You are very good at listening and challenging our thought processes in a really functional way. For example, if I come to you and I’m saying, this is what we need to do, you immediately back us up to, ok well if that’s the end goal, then here is the underling system, data, and structure we need to implement to make that work in the best way possible. 
 The collaboration led to a significant transformation in how Dance Wire managed their day-to-day operations. With Airtable, tasks that were previously cumbersome and time-consuming became more manageable and efficient. This change was not just in the tools they used but also in the overall operational dynamics of the organization. The team at Dance Wire expressed deep appreciation for the real-world impact of Claribase’s work. The partnership did not just result in the implementation of a new system; it brought about a change that was both tangible and functional, aligning closely with the organizational goals of Dance Wire.
We’ve been in the weeds so much. It’s only now, almost a year later I’m seeing the big picture about how what we built in Airtable will allow us to evolve into bigger picture things. All our data is there, everything is connected. It’s amazing. 
In summary, working with Claribase proved to be a pivotal factor in enabling Dance Wire to realize their vision of a more organized and efficient operational structure. This partnership went beyond the realm of technical implementation, delving into the core of operational challenges and emerging with solutions that were practical, effective, and aligned with Dance Wire’s mission of enriching the dance community.
We have so much appreciation, this has been so transformational for our organization. And now even on a personal level, I’m using Airtable to organize everything in my life.

Key Takeaways: Elevating Dance Wire with Airtable’s Harmony

The collaboration between Dance Wire and Claribase, solidified through the implementation of Airtable, led to transformative changes, underscoring the impact of strategic technology integration in enhancing organizational efficiency and mission fulfillment. Unified Data Management and Streamlined Processes The transition to Airtable marked a significant shift in Dance Wire’s approach to data management. With Airtable, the team moved away from scattered and inefficient data collection methods to a centralized, streamlined system. This change brought about greater ease in managing data, reducing redundancies, and enhancing the overall quality of information management. Empowering Team Collaboration and Efficiency The implementation of Airtable fostered a new level of collaboration within Dance Wire. Team members could now work more cohesively, sharing and accessing information effortlessly. This enhanced collaboration directly translated to increased efficiency in managing the organization’s diverse programs and initiatives, allowing the team to focus more on strategic and creative endeavors. Transformative Impact on Operational Dynamics The partnership with Claribase and the adoption of Airtable transformed Dance Wire’s operational dynamics. The organization transitioned from dealing with operational challenges to leveraging a system that supported their growth and mission. This change was not just about adopting a new technology but about creating an ecosystem that supported Dance Wire’s unique needs as an arts organization. Positive Feedback and Enhanced Decision-Making The intuitive nature and flexibility of Airtable were met with positive feedback from Dance Wire’s team. The platform’s features allowed for more informed decision-making and a better understanding of the organization’s operational aspects. This positive reception is a testament to the success of the system’s implementation and its alignment with Dance Wire’s organizational goals. In summary, the journey of Dance Wire with Claribase and Airtable is a testament to the transformative power of the right technological solutions when aligned with organizational needs. The project’s success lies not just in technological advancement but in the holistic improvement it brought to Dance Wire’s operations, enabling the organization to better support and grow the dance community in the Pacific Northwest.

Book a consultation with Cherry


Want to learn more even about Airtable? Claribase has just released its very own Airtable course, Airtable Mastery! This course is brought to you by award-winning Airtable instructors who will walk you through every step of the way.

Whether you’re a solopreneur, a small business owner, or a member of a larger team, this course is perfect for anyone looking to supercharge their data organization and management.

Learn more and enroll today! 

Try Airtable Mastery for Free

Get the mini-version of the course free for 7 days.