Need data? Consider third-party sources

Need data? Consider third-party sources

I always tell my clients, only collect data that you're actually going to use. A corollary to that rule might be "If you're really going to use the data, you don't have to collect all the data yourself; consider third party sources for data you need."

It's not unusual for my clients to want to collect additional demographic data on their members, or to want to know what the universe of potential members is, or any of a number of other data-related issues pertaining to their members or market. Often the instinct is for staff to try and collect that data themselves. "We'll just put together a quick online survey to find out."

My suggestion is that before you try to do it yourself, see if a third party data service already has that data about your members. There are all kinds of sources for data about individuals and organizations, ranging from government census data to privately collected consumer demographic information. And this data is collected at both an individual and organization level, so both trade and professional associations can benefit.

As usual, the first rule applies: Don't collect data you're not going to use! But if you do have need for data you don't have, consider third party sources as an alternative to collecting the data yourself.

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

Don’t manage to the exception!

April 17, 2024

Don’t manage to the exception! One of the universal truths about data management is, wherever possible, […]

It’s always about improvement

April 10, 2024

It’s always about improvement Talking with a client recently, she expressed frustration about one particular project […]

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 […]

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

February 21, 2024

It’s not what happens, but how you react… “It’s not what happens to you, but […]

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 […]

Scroll to Top