"Single version of the truth."

While attending the TAUG meeting a few weeks back, I heard Tom Brantigan use this phrase (which I'd heard before some years ago). He was speaking in reference to business intelligence, data warehousing, and queries. It reminded me of a line I use frequently with my clients, when describing the benefits of a centralized system:

"When a question about anything data-related is asked, the answer should always be the same: Let's look in the database."

Too often, when a question as simple as "Who is on that committee" is asked, we struggle to determine who has the most up-to-date list, or which staff member has that list on their computer. There are many, many questions like these that should always have the same answer: "Let's look in the database." Your central data management system should be your "single version of the truth."

Is it?

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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