Data Accretes

Data Accretes

One of my very first jobs in the association world was managing the production of a printed directory, a buyer's guide. Within this buyer's guide was a list of over 500 different "categories" of equipment. And each time the directory was updated, the number of categories expanded (members always had some new super-special category that didn't fit anywhere else). Eventually it got so unwieldy we had to take time to cull the list back to a manageable number.

I see the same thing happening with "demographic" data that many of my clients collect about their members. What started as a short list over time becomes a large and unwieldy list of data points that everyone feels obligated to collect but likely very few are actually using.

The reality is, data accretes. The only way to get rid of it is to proactively clean up on a regular basis.

Look at the data you're collecting. Is that data being actively collected and actively used. If the answer to either of these questions is "no" then you've found data you can get rid of.

Data accretes. You have to proactively keep it manageable or it will overwhelm you.

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

“Working with you is like going to therapy.”

October 20, 2021

“Working with you is like going to therapy.” I was working with a client last …

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The best ideas are stolen

October 13, 2021

The best ideas are stolen I don’t remember where I first heard it, but someone said …

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It’s all about expectations

October 7, 2021

It’s all about expectations One of the most critical contributors to the success of a …

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Either you test, or your members will

September 29, 2021

Either you test, or your members will If I was forced to choose the single …

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But are you really willing to change?

September 22, 2021

But are you really willing to change? When any organization is making a change in data management …

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Two tips for data conversion

September 15, 2021

Two Tips for Data Conversion I’ve written a lot about data conversion over the years …

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Who should “own” the database?

September 8, 2021

Who should “own” the database? One of the most common questions I get from my …

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What makes you weird?

September 1, 2021

What makes you weird? When I work with clients on selecting a new association management system, one …

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Why “AMS Consortiums” Don’t Work

August 25, 2021

Why “AMS Consortiums” Don’t Work About once a year I will get a call from …

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Your vendor will disappoint you

August 18, 2021

Your vendor will disappoint you I follow politics as a hobby. A past publisher from …

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