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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.

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“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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