Use it or lose it!

Use it or lose it!

I'm referring here to the data you collect. If you are collecting data that you're not actually using (and I bet you are!), stop collecting it, and clean it out of your database.

Almost every client I've worked with has identified data in the database that is no longer being used. Often it was collected for one-time use (e.g., a point-in-time survey) or was being used and managed by a staff person who has long since left the organization. But the data remains in the database because no one has bothered to clean it out.

You should set aside time periodically (e.g., once every six months) to review your data and get rid of data no longer in use. I call this kind of data "noise" in the database. And the more noise you have, the less faith your users will have in the data (e.g., "Look at all this garbage in here; this data was collected years ago and is no longer being used, but it's still IN here!").

When it comes to your data, use it or lose it.

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