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Four Elements of Data: Volume, velocity, variety, and veracity

I don’t remember where I first read this, but I love this description of the four elements of data. Volume, velocity, variety, and veracity.

  • Volume is how much data you are actually managing.
  • Velocity is how fast that data is being created or being changed.
  • Variety is how much different data is being collected.
  • Veracity is how “clean” the data is.

For most associations, volume and velocity tends to be relatively low, especially compared to large retail businesses. The simple fact is that most associations don’t manage that much data.

But variety and veracity are a different issue. I’ve written before about the challenge that associations face when it comes to the variety of data managed. This is why even very small associations may have need for fairly complex association management software systems.

And of course, veracity always matters, especially when it comes to counting members. The last thing an association can afford to do is lose track of members!

So when you think about how you expend resources on data management, focus on variety and veracity, because that’s where the real impact is.

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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

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“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

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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