It’s not what happens, but how you react…

It’s not what happens, but how you react...

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” - Epictetus

I confess, I did not know this quote came from Epictetus, but it's one I've known for a very long time. It's applicable to all of life, but so very useful in data management.

Let's face it, no matter how good we are at managing our data, we're always going to run into software bugs, data errors, bad business rules, and more. Our data is never going to be perfect. So what matters is not that something is "wrong," but how we react when we learn something is wrong.

I can't tell you how many times I've had clients say something like: "We discovered the address we have in our database for one of our board members is incorrect, so going forward we're going to manage that list in Excel."

This is a good example of overreacting to an error in data. The reality is that the data can just as easily be incorrect in Excel. And creating this shadow database actually creates more problems than it addresses.

Clean data is important, of course. But we have to acknowledge that the data will never be perfect, and our response to imperfect data needs to be proportional to the size of the error itself. How you react is what matters.

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

Don’t be a hoarder!

April 3, 2024

Don’t be a hoarder! The simple truth is that it’s almost “free” to collect data. […]

With data analytics (as with most things), keep it simple!

March 27, 2024

With data analytics (as with most things), keep it simple! Over the past several years […]

Don’t forget about periodic maintenance

March 20, 2024

Don’t forget about periodic maintenance Just as most automobiles need periodic maintenance, keeping your data as […]

Users Groups are ALWAYS Valuable

March 13, 2024

Users Groups are ALWAYS Valuable I am a huge fan of users groups. (Here’s a […]

But will you DO anything with that data?

February 28, 2024

But will you DO anything with that data? I frequently exhort my clients to always answer […]

Saying it and doing it are two different things

February 14, 2024

Saying it and doing it are two different things When I work with my clients […]

Benefits downstream are difficult to implement

February 7, 2024

Benefits downstream are difficult to implement In my 25 years of consulting, one of the […]

Your first answer may NOT be the right answer!

January 31, 2024

Your first answer may NOT be the right answer! I’m a big believer in “go […]

You don’t have to automate EVERYTHING to be successful

January 25, 2024

You don’t have to automate EVERYTHING to be successful I was discussing a data management […]

Technology won’t solve your process problems

January 17, 2024

Technology won’t solve your process problems Over the past few years I’ve watched as many […]

Scroll to Top