Garbage in, Gospel out

We’ve all heard the phrase “Garbage in, garbage out.” If the data entered into the system is bad, any reports coming out of it will be bad. Simple.

But what about “Garbage in, gospel out”? (I first heard this from my father.) Translated, this is reflected in the attitude of “If the system says it is so, it must be.”

We’ve probably all encountered this with a consumer goods company when the customer service rep says “Sir, my records show your service is working fine,” as I sit on my end with no internet service.

The antidote to Garbage in, Gospel out is “Trust, but verify.” It’s ok to assume your data reports are good, as long as you’ve verified they are good! One way to verify your data is through the use of data integrity reports.

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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