A Data-cleaning Strategy for Today’s Times
The pandemic made some data cleanup tasks easier
For Natasha Rocheleau, associate director of operations at the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), the early stage of the pandemic was an opportunity for some spring data cleaning. Over the years, SAME’s database had become cluttered with outdated or at best marginally useful member data (do you golf?). Worse, nearly a fifth of the member entries were duplicates.
Bad data practices and an inconsistent approach to data management had caught up with the association. “Somebody would go online to do something, but they couldn’t remember their password, and they would just create a new account,” she said. “Over the years, we just accumulated a hot mess.”
Data cleanup is nothing new, but the pandemic has added some new wrinkles to pay attention to—and perhaps some new opportunities. The most obvious change is that members’ shift to remote work means address fields require updates. But because “update my association’s contact information” isn’t top-of-mind for many people, a nudge is probably in order.
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