Four Elements of Data: Volume, velocity, variety, and veracity

I don’t remember where I first read this, but I love this description of the four elements of data. Volume, velocity, variety, and veracity.

  • Volume is how much data you are actually managing.
  • Velocity is how fast that data is being created or being changed.
  • Variety is how much different data is being collected.
  • Veracity is how “clean” the data is.

For most associations, volume and velocity tends to be relatively low, especially compared to large retail businesses. The simple fact is that most associations don’t manage that much data.

But variety and veracity are a different issue. I’ve written before about the challenge that associations face when it comes to the variety of data managed. This is why even very small associations may have need for fairly complex association management software systems.

And of course, veracity always matters, especially when it comes to counting members. The last thing an association can afford to do is lose track of members!

So when you think about how you expend resources on data management, focus on variety and veracity, because that’s where the real impact is.

About Wes Trochlil

For a quarter century, 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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