May 28th, 2016 by comments-o-matic
On a range of database management issues. You can read it all here: http://bit.ly/1sMrmN0
It is said that if an organization is not growing, it is dying. In other words, there is no such thing as stasis. Either you are moving forward, or you are moving backward, but you are always moving.
The same can be said for data management. Either your data management practices continue to help improve the quality and value of your data, or they slowly (or quickly) move your data toward garbage and uselessness.
May 13th, 2016 by comments-o-matic
May 9th, 2016 by comments-o-matic
May 6th, 2016 by comments-o-matic
When I work with my clients on implementing a new software system, one of the first things I tell them is this:
“We will make some decisions that ultimately are wrong. Because things change. We’ll make the best decision we can make, given the information we have at the time, but we may find later on that it was the wrong decision to make. What’s most important to understand is that that’s OK. We can adjust and adapt, and everything will be fine.”
Acknowledging that things change during a project is critically important to the success of the project. If team members (and other stakeholders) believe that anything less than perfection is failure, they are guaranteed to fail. What’s most important is how the team responds and adapts to the changes in the project. And by acknowledging that changes will occur, you set yourself up for success rather than failure.
Often my clients will tell me they want to be more efficient with how they manage data. And that’s important. If we have to manage the data, we might as well manage it as efficiently as possible.
But it’s equally important to consider how effective we are with our data management.
As a good friend once said to me, if you’re managing crap, and you become more efficient, all you’re doing is making crap faster.
So it’s important to make sure that if you’re planning on making a process more efficient, be sure that the process itself makes you more effective. Consider why you’re collecting the date, what it’s being used for, and how it helps advance your organization’s mission. Maybe you’ll discover that becoming more efficient with that data won’t make you more effective after all.
And you certainly don’t want to make crap faster, now do you?
Apr 27th, 2016 by comments-o-matic
I once met with a potential client who was seeking a new database. In a conversation with the executive director, she explained to me that she wanted a database that would collect all types of data about her members, including information about calls with her members.
When I suggested that there was software that would do this and that she would simply have to enter information about the call when she completed the call, she asked how the data would get into the database. When I told her she would have to enter the data herself, she said “That will never happen.”
Often I’ll meet with potential clients who are looking for new software because they believe the problems they are having are because the software isn’t “good enough” to do what they want to do. But in reality, it’s because the processes in place (or NOT in place) aren’t effective. And no change in software will address weak processes.
So before you jump to changing software to fix your problems, make sure the problem isn’t, well, you.
Apr 27th, 2016 by comments-o-matic