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 a quarter century, 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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