How good is your database?
If you’re like most, you rely almost exclusively on yours. They’re powerful tools that document who you’ve done business with, who your potential customers are, who’s applying for jobs or services, and more. They hold the critical contact information for your mass mailings.
But do you really understand how to work with them – do you understand their pitfalls?
Remember “garbage in – garbage out”? Never have words been so well spoken as with databases.
You keep a list of businesses and clients you work with? Are they classified properly and are the relationships in your relational database properly connected?
You keep prospective clients and employees in a database? Is that information correct and comprehensive enough to make valid decisions? (No, just because you have them fill in the fields, doesn’t ensure the useability of the information…what happens when a field is restrictive enough that it a client cannot give accurate information?)
Do you understand how to pull out the information you need? Queries can be tricky. Ask the wrong question and you will not get the correct information.
Do you think your database is up-to-date? If you’re not working with it constantly, it’s not – guaranteed. Publishers of phone directories (remember those?) and list managers know that there’s a huge attrition when it comes to contact information. People move, drop out of the market, change