Why "weeding the garden" is so important
One of the most important activities for maintaining quality data in your database is what I call "weeding the garden." Simply put, weeding the garden means proactively managing your data, consistently, over time, rather than trying to clean up the data in one big effort once every couple of years.
This point was driven home recently in a post on ASAE's Collaborate online community. The poster wrote, in part: "Using our data has been difficult with so many different "hands in the pot" over the years. We have so many redundant fields that all gathered data at different times and in different places. I am currently trying to find all the data, de-dupe it, and combine it all into one new field."
I see this all too frequently with my clients. A system that has been in place for many years, with many users over time, but no one consistently weeding the garden. And so eventually you wind up with "many redundant fields that all gathered data at different times and in different places." It's a database overgrown with weeds.
The alternative is to proactively manage the data, identifying redundant or no-longer-used data, and cleaning it up, early and often.
The choice is yours.
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