One of the great things about the latest generation of AMS products is their incredible flexibility. They’ll allow you to track almost any piece of data you can imagine. And they’ll let you display that data on your website in almost any way imaginable.
But as I always tell my clients, just because the software allows you to do something doesn’t mean you should be doing that.
For example, collecting demographic data. I’ve had countless conversations with my clients about data they collect about their members: ethnicity, age, years in the profession, company size, market served, and so on. And as often as not, when I ask how that data is being used to improve the member’s experience or provide value to the member, the answer is usually “We find the data interesting.”
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. If you can’t immediately answer how the data you are collecting can be used to add value to membership, then you probably shouldn’t be collecting that data.
“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.”
“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.”
Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
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