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Beware self-inflicted data management issues
28 January 2016, by , in Data Management, Executive, 1 comment

Managing data is difficult. It takes time. It can be tedious. And it’s a never-ending task.

So it’s very important to be sure we’re not making the management of data even more difficult by virtue of the business rules we have constructed.

For example, I worked with one association who had such convoluted business rules for joining the association that it usually took staff five minutes on the phone just explaining which membership type a potential member qualified for and what the membership fee would be. This wasn’t time selling, mind you, just time explaining.

As a result of these incredibly complex membership rules, joining online is exceedingly difficult, as is processing dues and dues renewals. Much custom programming is required to address all the nuances of membership.

The worst part of this scenario is that this is all self-inflicted. The association set these rules; they were not forced upon them by government or some other all-powerful force.

So look around your organization. Where do you have data management challenges? Are any of those challenges because of business rules that the association has complete control over? Very often the answer is “Yes.”

The good news is, if it’s self-inflicted, you can fix it. If you’re willing to.

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1 Comment on "Beware self-inflicted data management issues"

Linda Boudreau - 4 February 2016 Reply

Great post, thanks for sharing. Because of the rising importance of data-driven decision making, having a strong data governance team is an important part of the equation, and will be one of the key factors in changing the future of business. There is so much great work being done with data quality tools in various industries such as financial services and health care. It will be interesting to see the impact of these changes down the road. Linda Boudreau http://DataLadder.com 

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“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

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Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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