David J. Martin, CAE, is CEO of the Society of Critical Care Medicine. He has written a great article for the recent issue of Associations Now (available online here). In the article, Martin describes how, as CEO, he mandated that all data be managed in a single database (a principle I’ve been advocating for two decades!) in order to improve customer service and staff efficiency.

Martin goes on to make several other key points:

  1. It’s important to help staff understand why a centralized database (a single source for truth) is beneficial the staff themselves, and not just to the amorphous “organization.”
  2. If you mandate a single centralized database, you have to provide your staff with the tools to do just that.
  3. If third-party systems are absolutely necessary (and they often are), then be sure to select third-party systems that can integrate with your central data management system.
  4. And most importantly, this type of mandate can only come from the CEO. Even senior level staff who are not the CEO cannot enforce this type of directive without support from the CEO.
I was very pleased to see this article, especially from a CEO’s perspective. These principles are timeless and absolutely critical to long-term data management success.