Just because you can doesn't mean you should

One of the great things about the latest generation of AMS products is their incredible flexibility. They’ll allow you to track almost any piece of data you can imagine. And they’ll let you display that data on your website in almost any way imaginable.

But as I always tell my clients, just because the software allows you to do something doesn’t mean you should be doing that.

For example, collecting demographic data. I’ve had countless conversations with my clients about data they collect about their members: ethnicity, age, years in the profession, company size, market served, and so on. And as often as not, when I ask how that data is being used to improve the member’s experience or provide value to the member, the answer is usually “We find the data interesting.”

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. If you can’t immediately answer how the data you are collecting can be used to add value to membership, then you probably shouldn’t be collecting that data.

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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