There is ideal, and then there is reality

When it comes to data management, I often encourage my clients to seek the ideal whenever possible, but to acknowledge reality when the ideal isn’t achievable (due to limited funds, limited technology,  limited patience, or some other reason).

For example, one ideal in data management is that data is only changed in one place, and where appropriate, that data automatically propagates to all the other places it needs to be. So, for example, when you are adding a speaker to your database, that speaker information should automatically flow to your website (where conference information includes who the speakers are) as well as to your conference app.

That is the ideal. But often, achieving the ideal may be cost-prohibitive or too technically challenging to achieve. Then reality sets in. And if reality dictates, for example, that the data can automatically propagate to the website, but has to be manually exported/imported to the mobile app, then that is the right decision.

Much like not letting perfect be the enemy of good, acknowledging that the ideal may not be always achievable is very important if you want to continue to make progress on any technology project.

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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