Inertia Contributes to Bad Data

Inertia Contributes to Bad Data

Without knowing anything about your organization or its data, I'd be willing to bet you have data in your system that you are no longer actively managing/using (e.g., data that was collected long ago for some initiative at the time) or, worse yet, actively collecting data that you aren't actually using (e.g., demographic data collected during membership join process).

In both cases, one of the contributing factors to why this is happening is inertia. That is, once we've started collecting data, we continue to collect it, just because we always have. Or once we've collected data, we continue to keep it on a record, even though it's not being used (because it's easier to just leave it there than it is to clean it out).

I once worked with a client on a data management project. In the course of the project, we identified several data fields within the database that no one could really explain. Finally, one staff person pointed out that, in each case, a prior marketing director had asked to collect the data. Then that marketing director left, a new one came in, and asked for different data. And then a third marketing director did the same thing. The result? Five years later, lots of data that no one is actually using.

No organization is immune to this. It requires intentional action to clean up data that is no longer being used, and intentional action to identify business processes that are collecting data that never gets touched.

What actions are you taking to keep your data clean? Don't let inertia win.

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

Only one can be best

February 26, 2020

Only one can be best One of my (many) pet peeves with software vendor marketing […]

Seek to simplify

February 19, 2020

Seek to simplify When I work with my clients on system selection or implementation, one […]

Some problems are not problems

February 12, 2020

Some problems are not problems “A problem with no solution is not a problem, it’s […]

UI Matters!

January 29, 2020

UI Matters! Almost since I began consulting over 20 years, I’ve noted how important the […]

Be careful with absolutes

January 28, 2020

Be careful with absolutes When I speak with clients I try to be careful about […]

New Year’s Resolutions

January 22, 2020

New Year’s Resolutions Why do New Year’s Resolutions fail? Research suggests that part of the […]

Why Process is So Important

January 15, 2020

Why Process is So Important One of my favorite business authors is James Clear, who writes all […]

The Significant Change of SaaS Software

January 7, 2020

The Significant Change of SaaS Software One of the most significant technological changes in the […]

Always, ALWAYS budget for more training

December 18, 2019

Always, ALWAYS budget for more training Always, ALWAYS budget for more training. I don’t know how else […]

We’ve always done it that way

December 11, 2019

We’ve always done it that way A couple of weeks ago I wrote about approving memberships, […]

Scroll to Top