Who is your data evangelist?
I was recently talking with a client of mine about a new position they are hoping to add, one they were calling "data hygienist" (a title I love). This is an association with over 50 staff, so having someone on staff dedicated to keeping the data clean makes a lot of sense.
The conversation got me to thinking about my clients over the years. I've had clients of all sizes, from zero staff (all volunteer) to over 700 FTEs. And one of the common characteristics of those that are most successful is that someone (or multiple someones) on staff are data evangelists. They are people who simply just really care about keeping the data clean and well-managed.
For the vast majority of my clients, this is not a full time position. And very often, it's not even in anyone's job description (though it should be!). It's someone who has decided that, as part of her job, she's going to make sure the database is well-managed and the data is kept as clean as it can be.
In recent years I've seen more of my clients add data management responsibilities to more staff job descriptions and/or annual work objectives. Acknowledging the importance of good data and good data management is one key to inculcating this kind of thinking into the broader culture of the organization.
People, process, and technology are the three pillars to successful data management. It's no coincidence that "people" comes first on that list. To be most successful, your people need to care about the data.
So who is the data evangelist in your organization?
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