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“Behavior is a function of the person in their environment.”

13 December 2018, by , in Data Management, No comments

Lewin’s equation says “behavior is a function of the person in their environment.” (He was a psychologist and this was first published in 1936). The idea is simple; environment affects behavior. One example of where this principle is applied is in grocery stores. The products the store wants to promote most (i.e., the products they want you to buy) are presented at eye-level. Conversely, less popular or lower demand items are shelved very low or very high.

This principle should also be applied in data management, especially as it pertains to how data entry screens are set up for staff and customers. On the customer side, you should only be presenting data or asking for data that is of the utmost priority. For example, on an event registration form, you shouldn’t be asking for all kinds of demographic data that doesn’t apply to the registration itself. That’s just noise to the customer and may actually depress response. More on that here.

On the staff side, the same rule applies. The data that staff needs to see and/or update is the data that staff should see first when using the AMS or CRM. If it takes three or more clicks to get to a piece of data, the chances of that data being used and/or updated goes down dramatically. Humans go where the path leads them. Environment affects behavior. Here are more thoughts on that.

So do what you can to design your data entry screens, for both staff and customer, to drive the behavior you seek.

 

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“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
Wes Trochlil

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