So very often in my meetings with clients, there will be discussions around the different data points the organization is collecting. For example, someone will ask “What about areas of interest? Shouldn’t we be collecting those?”

My response to questions like this is always the same: “Yes, you should collect it, IF you are going to use it, and IF you are going to actively manage it.”

In other words, only collect data that you will use and that you will continue to update over time.

So in the case of areas of interest, you could use that data to target your marketing or possibly to identify potential speakers and writers. But interests change over time. So if you collect that data, you also have to commit to updating that data periodically.

So when you’re considering new data points for your database, remember, only collect the data if you’re going to use it and you’re going to manage it.