Don't Expect EVERYTHING from Your Database

I’m working on an RFP for a client for the selection of new association management software system. As I’m working through the list of required functionality, I’m struck by just how much functionality is available in today’s systems, especially as compared to what things were like two decades ago when I first started working in AMS systems.

Because things are so amazing, we have a tendency to think that we should be able to do EVERYTHING in our database. And when the functionality we want isn’t there, we get upset. (I admit to suffering from this at times.) I was reminded of a great monologue from the comedian Louis CK when he was a guest on Conan O’Brien’s show. His riff is entitled “Evereything’s Amazing& Nobody’s Happy. (You can view it here.)

It’s really important to have realistic expectations about what your database can and cannot do. And it’s important to keep things in perspective; so many of the things we can do now didn’t even exist 20 years ago. Some of them didn’t exist five years ago!

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, 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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