Baby Steps

One of the keys to developing good data management habits is to be aware of biting off more than you can chew. Or to put it another way, when you set out to change some data management habit, start with baby steps rather than some huge, unattainable goal.

For example, if you’re looking to clean up your data (and who isn’t?) set aside just five minutes per day to do some data cleaning. This could be running data integrity reports to find potential errors, or just scanning through records to find obvious mistakes (you’d be amazed at how easy it is to find typos or missing data in ANY database!).

Don’t set out to clean the entire system; just focus on those five minutes. Two things will happen:

  1. You’ll get into the habit of cleaning, and over time, your database will be cleaner.
  2. You’ll find that often you’ll go longer than just five minutes, and over time, your database will be cleaner.

So identify that next baby step to implement, and get that habit started!

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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