"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 over 30 years, 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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