First ask: “How will I use this data?”

First ask: "How will I use this data?"

Whether it's during data conversion, adding a new data field, or reconsidering a given process, one of the first questions you should ask is "How will we use that data?"

Put another way, just because we can manage the data doesn't mean we should!

For example, I was speaking with a client recently about how to manage organization records within their database. They have individual members and want to associate all of the individuals with their appropriate organizations. It's an understandable desire. But when asked the question "How will we use that data?" the answer was "We're not really sure."

We all have lots of data we need to manage. And lots more we might want to manage. But for any data we manage, we need to be able to quickly answer the question "How does this data get used?" If we can't answer that, it's probably not data we need to be managing!

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

Motion vs. Action

February 14, 2019

In James Clear’s book Atomic Habits (I recommend it!), he discusses the concept of motion vs. action. […]

Are You Answering Your Calls?

February 7, 2019

I’ve written about this before, but apparently I have to keep repeating it. If you’ve […]

Who do you trust?

January 31, 2019

Who Do You Trust I was reading an article recently about Warren Buffet’s “rules” for […]

Set benchmarks to measure progress

January 24, 2019

It’s impossible to measure progress if you don’t know your starting point. This sounds axiomatic, […]

You’ll make incorrect decisions. Acknowledge them and fix it.

January 17, 2019

A client of mine recently wrote the following to me: “It’s so hard to set […]

"Experience is unobservable to everyone except the person who it happens to."

January 10, 2019

In Dan Gilbert’s book Stumbling on Happiness, he writes: “Experience is unobservable to everyone except […]

Know Your Audience Before You Speak

December 20, 2018

This one may seem obvious, but when you’re speaking to anyone, whether it’s one person, […]

"Behavior is a function of the person in their environment."

December 13, 2018

Lewin’s equation says “behavior is a function of the person in their environment.” (He was […]

Signal-to-noise ratio

December 5, 2018

Signal-to-noise ratio Signal-to-noise ratio, formally used, applies to electricity and engineering, and refers to how […]

Consultants bring perspective

November 28, 2018

Consultants bring perspective At a recent speaking engagement, I was asked what I think is […]

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