The rise of the data manager

In my recently released benchmarking survey of association data management, I asked the following question: “Do you have a specific position dedicated to data management within your organization?” Forty percent of the associations responding said “yes.” (You can get a copy of the entire report here.)

This is very good news. Anecdotally, I would guess that 16 years ago when I began consulting to associations on data management, that number would have been 5% or less. There simply wasn’t a job called “data manager” in the association world. Data management was always just part of someone’s job (and often wasn’t even specifically mentioned in job descriptions.)

But as data has become pervasive, and as technology hasn’t gotten better and cheaper, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that with this much data, and with the data being this valuable, it’s critical that someone have data management as a specific responsibility. And that’s what more and more associations are doing.

But as the benchmark survey shows, fewer than half of associations have a specific position dedicated to data management. Does yours? And if it doesn’t, why not?

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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