Things I heard at ASAE Tech Conference VII – Data you should NOT collect

At the session I presented at the ASAE Technology Conference last month, one of the points I made was that you should never collect data you’re not going to use. Seems obvious enough, but I still see many of my clients collecting data out of habit: “Oh, we’ve always asked for their highest degree attained. But we don’t actually use that data for anything.”

So I asked the audience if they could quickly think of any data they are currently collecting but not using. Several audiences, in near unison, responded “Fax numbers!”

What a GREAT example of collecting information we don’t use.

Look at the data you’re collecting in your database, especially “demographic” data. Is every piece of data being used for some purpose? And does that purpose add value to the member’s experience with your organization? If you can’t answer yes to both those questions, you’re collecting data you should NOT collect.

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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