Eliminate to optimize
So much of data management is habit (both good and bad) which is why I love James Clear's Atomic Habits. Implementing better data management habits can help you improve the quality of your data.
Here's another quote from Clear that applies to data management:
"More effort is wasted doing things that don’t matter than is wasted doing things inefficiently. Elimination is the highest form of optimization." - James Clear
Where does this apply? Here are just a few examples:
- Do you actually use all the demographic data you collect during the join process?
- Do you produce a printed directory that no one uses?
- Do you mail printed membership cards or attendance certificates that no one uses?
- Do you produce periodic reports or memos that no one actually reads?
My experience with clients is that most organizations have one or more processes in place that simply aren't needed anymore. They can be eliminated. And as Clear states, elimination is the highest form of optimization.