Users are important, but don't forget about your data consumers

Last week I wrote about an association with 60 staff but only six users. Today I want to talk about the flip side of that: those staff who are not necessarily users of the system, but consumers of the data.

A great example of this is advocacy/government relations. In my experience, while the advocacy/GR department may be working on behalf of the members, very rarely, if ever, are they working with member data, other than a list of committee members and/or members interested or active in grassroots activities. So this group might, on occasion, pull a list of members from the AMS, but otherwise never touch the data. In other words, they are consumers of the data, not really active managers of data.

As you look around your organization, you can probably find several different people or groups who don’t really use the system, but are consumers of the data (e.g. your executive team, who might be asking for reports on membership, event registration, fundraising, or other info). Consumers may not use the system, per se, but they are still an important part of the data management equation.

So as you think about how you manage and use your organization’s data and data management system, don’t forget about the data consumers.

Hat tip to Ben Muscalino for this post idea.

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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