Don’t forget about periodic maintenance

Don't forget about periodic maintenance

Just as most automobiles need periodic maintenance, keeping your data as up to date as possible requires maintenance, as well. And while most cars have a "typical" maintenance schedule, they are not all exactly the same (all-electric cars, for example, don't need oil changes!).

The same is true for the data in your AMS; not every organization is the same and so the maintenance won't be identical for all groups. But here are four suggested periodic maintenance activities that would apply to most associations:

  1. Review all demographic fields being captured against individuals and organizations, and determine if any need to be updated or eliminated. For example, if you collect experience level for individuals (e.g., "new," "mid career," "experienced"), as time passes, that data becomes incorrect. The same is true for "areas of interest" and even "markets served" (for organizations). I recommend doing this annually.
  2. Send a periodic reminder to your members to review and update their basic contact information (e.g., address and email, title). This should be done at least annually, but for some organizations, even more frequent check-ins may be necessary.
  3. For trade associations, check to make sure you have correct contact information for primary and other key contacts (e.g., billing, secondary/alternate, etc.). Depending on your dues cycle, this should be done at least annually if not more frequently.
  4. If you have a student membership, send a periodic reminder to students to confirm their expected date of graduation or other key data that you collect from them (e.g., area of study). Given the high rate of changes, especially among undergraduates, this should be done twice per year.

These are just four examples of the kind of maintenance all associations should be executing on a regular basis. Your organization probably has many more that should be done. So make sure you develop this "maintenance checklist" and that it is assigned to the appropriate staff to execute when necessary, to keep your database running like...a well-maintained automobile.

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