At the session I presented at the ASAE Technology Conference last month, one of the points I made was that you should never collect data you’re not going to use. Seems obvious enough, but I still see many of my clients collecting data out of habit: “Oh, we’ve always asked for their highest degree attained. But we don’t actually use that data for anything.”

So I asked the audience if they could quickly think of any data they are currently collecting but not using. Several audiences, in near unison, responded “Fax numbers!”

What a GREAT example of collecting information we don’t use.

Look at the data you’re collecting in your database, especially “demographic” data. Is every piece of data being used for some purpose? And does that purpose add value to the member’s experience with your organization? If you can’t answer yes to both those questions, you’re collecting data you should NOT collect.