Everyone has heard the saying, ‘Garbage In. Garbage Out.’ When it comes to member data, organizations need to be very strategic when collecting data. Cluttering up your database just for the sake of having lots of data on each member isn’t a good idea unless you can take action on it.
Wes Trochlil of Effective Database Management suggests asking yourself a simple question - "What action will I take on this data, either immediately or in the long-term?" If you can't answer that question clearly, then you don't need to collect that data. (Note: An answer of "Well, we might use it in the future" is the same as answering "We will take no action on this data.")
For example, suppose during a given event registration, you ask for the following data:
Do you need to collect all of this data? For each one, ask "What action will I take on this data, either immediately or in the long-term?" The answers might look like this:
There is a great temptation to collect lots of data whenever we can, on the assumption that more data is better than less. But if you've got no clear plans for taking action on the data provided, then don't collect it.
When working with our MemberLeap Project Managers during the member data conversion step of your onboarding process, they can assist you in identifying which data is relevant and actionable and which data, well, just… isn’t!