Everyone's experience is the same (Or, It's just as bad everywhere else)

After nearly 20 years of working with associations on their databases, I’ve come to one conclusion: No one loves their database. OK, that’s an overstatement; I’ve met three or four people over the years who truly loved their databases (these are strange people). The reality is, most of us tolerate our database programs, and many of us actively despise them.

But this is important to know. Everyone struggles with their data management sytems. There are a lot of different reasons for these struggles (see these posts, for example). But the fact is, databases are “living documents,” forever changing, and ultimately created and managed by human beings. This means they will always be a challenge.

So it’s critically important to keep your database challenges in perspective. There will always be problems, challenges, and bugs (or there better be, or I’m outta work!). The important thing is to keep that in mind and focus on what is working. Keep working on what needs to be fixed, but don’t forget that you’re succeeding in spite of the problems. And that’s a good thing.

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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