Magazine Subscriptions and the Accumulation of Data

I read a lot of different magazines. Business magazines, political magazines, so-called “lifestyle” magazines (e.g., Car and Driver). Each was purchased at a different time, but over the years they have started to accumulate and overwhelm me. I don’t really have the time to read them all. And frankly, my needs have changed over time, and some of them are no longer of interest. So it’s time to trim back some of my subscriptions.

The same thing happens with data that you collect. Over the years, different staff will have different ideas about what data to collect. It may be a one-time need, or it may have been an idea that wasn’t executed well (or not well-managed over time). The result is an accumulation of data, much of which is outdated or no longer useful.

You have to consider what data you need now, to achieve your organization’s mission. It’s not reasonable or useful to try to collect all types of data from all of your members and customers.

So take a look through your database. Which “magazine subscriptions” can you cancel, and which do you need to keep?

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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