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Low-hanging fruit

I’ve always loved the phrase “low-hanging fruit.” It creates such a great visual in my mind, the idea that I can easily get what I want by just reaching up and grabbing it.

The idea, of course, is that when starting off a new project, look for some simple “wins” that will propel the project forward. Do the easy things that have a decent return (like grabbing low-hanging fruit) so that you get some positive momentum early on.

In data management, there is often an abundance of low-hanging fruit, if you just know where to look. Consider just these three examples:

  1. When staff talk with members on the phone, do you take just a second to ask “May I confirm that we have your most up-to-date information in our database?”?
  2. When you’re scanning the database for information, are you taking an extra second to mark for deletion (or hiding) those records that are obviously bad?
  3. Are you setting aside time once per month for all database users to meet and discuss new issues, new programs, and new ideas?

My bet is there are dozens of examples of low-hanging fruit in your organization. All you have to do is reach up and grab it. Will you?

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Testimonials

“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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