Just because you can…

Just because you can...

In response to a recent Wednesday Wisdom on averages hiding the extremes, a past client of mine said: "This reminds of the old saying: Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."

And he's absolutely right! There are many examples of this in data management. Here are just a couple:

+ "While our members are renewing membership, let's ask them a bunch of other demographic questions." Just because you CAN ask those questions, is during the renewal process the right time to do it? I would argue "no" because the more steps you require someone to complete to renew, the less likely they are to renew!

+ "Let's ask them for their [random piece of data] because we might use that data someday." Just because you CAN ask for that data doesn't mean you should. Every piece of data you collect should have some use immediately. If the data isn't being used for something, it shouldn't be collected at all.

And of course, there are many more examples. Technology makes it incredibly easy and inexpensive to collect data. But be sure you've got a good reason to collect the data, and make sure you're collecting it at the right time.

After all, just because you can collect it doesn't mean you should.

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

"Experience is unobservable to everyone except the person who it happens to."

January 10, 2019

In Dan Gilbert’s book Stumbling on Happiness, he writes: “Experience is unobservable to everyone except …

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Know Your Audience Before You Speak

December 20, 2018

This one may seem obvious, but when you’re speaking to anyone, whether it’s one person, …

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"Behavior is a function of the person in their environment."

December 13, 2018

Lewin’s equation says “behavior is a function of the person in their environment.” (He was …

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Signal-to-noise ratio

December 5, 2018

Signal-to-noise ratio Signal-to-noise ratio, formally used, applies to electricity and engineering, and refers to how …

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Consultants bring perspective

November 28, 2018

Consultants bring perspective At a recent speaking engagement, I was asked what I think is …

Consultants bring perspective Read More »

Garbage in, gospel out

November 22, 2018

Garbage in, gospel out We’ve all heard the phrase “Garbage in, garbage out.” If the …

Garbage in, gospel out Read More »

Dramatic change does not happen overnight

November 15, 2018

Dramatic change does not happen overnight Like most things in life, dramatic change does not …

Dramatic change does not happen overnight Read More »

Implementation Intention

November 8, 2018

Implementation Intention Editor’s note: I have a new email newsletter, sent weekly, called Wes’s Wednesday …

Implementation Intention Read More »

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