80% is good enough – data edition

I’ve written elsewhere that 80% is Good Enough when it comes to selecting a new AMS. That is,  if you can get 80% of your functional needs met while still staying within your budget, you’re in very good shape.

The same rule applies when matching data on exports during a data conversion. If you can match 80% of the records in multiple lists, you’re doing very good and should be happy with that. The last 20% can either be managed manually, or ignored completely.

Some caveats:

  • If we’re talking about members, you should be matching as close to 100% as possible. In other words, you shouldn’t be losing members during a data conversion.
  • If it’s data that is absolutely critical to your organization’s operations (e.g., certification or accreditation data) then gain, we need to be matching close to 100%.

So don’t beat your brains out if you can’t get 100% match on data exports. 80% is likely to be good enough, and getting those last 20% may prove to be far more expensive than it’s worth.

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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