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Magazine Subscriptions and the Accumulation of Data
13 October 2009, by , in Data Management, No comments

I read a lot of different magazines. Business magazines, political magazines, so-called “lifestyle” magazines (e.g., Car and Driver). Each was purchased at a different time, but over the years they have started to accumulate and overwhelm me. I don’t really have the time to read them all. And frankly, my needs have changed over time, and some of them are no longer of interest. So it’s time to trim back some of my subscriptions.

The same thing happens with data that you collect. Over the years, different staff will have different ideas about what data to collect. It may be a one-time need, or it may have been an idea that wasn’t executed well (or not well-managed over time). The result is an accumulation of data, much of which is outdated or no longer useful.

You have to consider what data you need now, to achieve your organization’s mission. It’s not reasonable or useful to try to collect all types of data from all of your members and customers.

So take a look through your database. Which “magazine subscriptions” can you cancel, and which do you need to keep?

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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
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“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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