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Simple Business Rules Make for Easier Data Management
2 September 2015, by , in Data Management, No comments

Over the years of working with hundreds of clients, I’ve discovered that one of the biggest challenges associations have with data is self-inflicted: overly-complex business rules.

For example, one group I worked with had the following business rule: If five people from the same organization attended the same event, the fifth person could attend for free (“Buy four, the fifth is free!”). In addition, this applied no matter when the five people registered. So that meant that the association would have to keep track of all registrants and when a fifth person from the same company registered, that person would be free. Of course, what happened more often than not was the fifth person registered and PAID, and would thus have to be refunded their money.

The business rule was creating more work for the association, and I might argue, probably not adding much value for the customers. Sure, “buy four, get one free” sounds good as a sales technique, but only if you’re doing it all at once. Spreading it out over multiple sales diluted its value and created more work for staff.

So if you’re struggling with managing your data effectively, be sure to consider your business rules. You may be creating more work than you realize!

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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.”

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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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