Data Management

Take snapshots of your membership data for historical review

One of the more common requests I hear from my clients is that they’d like to be able to compare year-to-year membership data (e.g., current number of members vs. same time last year or same time three years ago). What they often find, however, is that pulling historical data from their primary transactional database can be …

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Sometimes it's really NOT the software that is the problem

I once met with a potential client who was seeking a new database. In a conversation with the executive director, she explained to me that she wanted a database that would collect all types of data about her members, including information about calls with her members. When I suggested that there was software that would do this and that …

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"There are no solutions, only trade-offs"

I first heard this from Thomas Sowell many years ago. And I’ve written about it here and here and here. But it’s so important that it bears repeating, time and time again. When it comes to data management, and especially data management software, there are no perfect solutions, only trade-offs. The software might be really good, but it’s …

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Associations need to formalize and operationalize data management

In my 2015 Data Management Benchmarking Survey, I asked associations: “Do you have a formal data management team?” Only 22% replied yes. This number needs to increase dramatically if associations are really going to take advantage of the data that they are managing. The simple fact is that the amount of data you manage is only …

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To host or not to host? That is the question.

I’m often asked by my clients, as they seek a new AMS, should they be looking at hosted options? Or more to the point, should they bother looking at premise-based solutions anymore? My answer is: For the vast majority of associations, a hosted solution will work fine and is actually preferable to premise-based. (Please keep …

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