Okay, let’s be honest. There’s someone on staff at your association who is maintaining his or her own database (i.e. Excel spreadsheet) rather than updating and sharing information with the entire organization.
In our experience, there are generally at least one or two staff members or departments, no matter how well-intended, that feel more comfortable keeping their data isolated from the rest of the organization. As someone who appreciates how important it is to aggregate and consolidate data, that’s just scary to me, much scarier than the ghosts and goblins we see everywhere this time of year.
I’ve written many times about the importance of consolidating data into one flexible management system (like Fonteva For Associations) so that it is easily accessible and can be used reliably in making strategic decisions. If you still need convincing, a recent blog post from Mediaspectrum really drives this point home by highlighting three reasons organizations should avoid data silos:
- You waste money. How much time and effort is it taking your technology team to manage, update, back-up, and deploy your siloed environments? Also, how well can these isolated systems change to meet evolving customer and industry demands?
- You miss opportunities. In addition to wasting money, how much are your isolated systems slowing things down? If you are unable to consolidate and collect system-wide data fast, you are not seeing a complete picture of your business processes. This means you are missing opportunities to innovate quickly and pursue new revenue opportunities.
- You jeopardize reliability. While you may think your isolated data is secure, is it really reliable? If there is a disaster, will you lose data, and how long will recovery take for all of your siloed systems?
Bottom line: Silos are scary and unnecessary. Allowing them to exist creates another frightening possibility: losing customers to other organizations that have invested in comprehensive data management and better understand their needs.