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“This isn’t just a technology problem.”

When I meet with clients or prospective clients to discuss their data management issues, I’ll often hear something along these lines: “Our data management challenges aren’t just a technology problem.” And you know what? They’re absolutely right. Because ANY challenge you have with managing your data is always more than just a technology problem. It’s also a people and process problem.

As the visual below illustrates, for ideal data management, you need to have the correct intersection of people, process, and technology.

The people involved are your staff. Do they know what to do? Are they capable of doing what you’re asking them to do? And do they have the right attitude about doing that work?

The process includes your business rules and the actual steps for managing the data. Your people can only know how to process the data if the business rules are clear and are well-documented.

And finally, do you have the right technology in place to do what you want to do? For example, if you want your members to be able to join and renew online, you have to have the right technology to allow that. No amount of good people and good process can overcome the technology needed for this.

So remember, with any data management challenge you’re facing, be sure to consider all three aspects: Do we have the right people in place to do what we want to do? Do we have clear processes in place so the people we have know how to do it? And does the technology support what we’re trying to accomplish?

If you can answer “yes” to all three questions, you’re going to be in very good shape.