As you take the first steps into a brand new year it’s important to consider what you would like to achieve by the end of it. Many people like to create goals under the banner of ‘New Year’s Resolutions’, so why not make a few resolutions for your database as well?
As with any goal it’s important to make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.) If your resolutions don’t tick all of these boxes, you’ll find it much harder to achieve them. If you don’t specify what you want to achieve, how can you evaluate whether you’ve done it or not? Equally, if your goals are unrealistic or unachievable, why set them in the first place?
To get you started, here are some examples of what I consider good and bad resolutions:
- I will create a set of monthly checking queries to ensure data cleanliness
- I will invest in at least one day of training for my staff during the year
- I will make sure that all returned mail is processed within two weeks of its return to the office
- I will improve data consistency by making key fields mandatory and providing internal refresher training to data entry staff
These are all clear, measurable and realistic goals.
- I will tidy up the database this year
- I will do more training this year
- I will improve data entry quality
These goals are vague with no reference to how these will be achieved or measured.
Whatever you decide to do, I wish you all the very best for 2015 and good luck with your New Year’s Resolutions!