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Rule of 100 and 1000 for ongoing data management
10 June 2016, by , in Data Management, No comments

Many years ago I coined the Rule of 100 and 1,000, as it pertains to data conversions. (Click here to read about it.)

As it happens, a similar rule applies to ongoing data management. In a nutshell, if you’re managing under 100 records (e.g., small trade association with few members), you may not need to automate a lot of things, since manual processes for that size of a data set will work fine.

For example, I have a client who manages 47 chapters that pay monthly dues. Rather than going to a lot of trouble creating all kinds of set up and business rules within the primary database, my client manages these dues invoices directly in their financial management system.

Normally I would say “Manage everything in your AMS!” But sometimes, that just doesn’t make sense.

This rule can apply to any set of data smaller than 100 records. If the amount of effort to manage the records is greater in the AMS than it is/would be to manage them in, say, an Excel file, then it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to force them into the AMS.

CAVEAT! There are greater considerations here, as well (e.g., are these smaller sets of data part of a larger set of data already in the database? Are we going to wind up managing redundant data all over the place?). So be very judicious about how you apply this rule. There may be times where the list is very small (e.g., board of directors) but the data overlaps with a lot of other data already managed in the AMS. In those cases, the rule does not apply. Committees should be managed in the AMS!

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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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