Even a relatively small database can become a nightmare without any attention paid to tidiness. Things start running slower. People can’t find things. Rage!

“Big data” or no, many businesses are still learning how to have any sort of data at their disposal. Heck, many will never get organized. Learn the skill of organization and ruthless pruning, or continue to run a time-suck of an organization with unhappy employees. Your choice.

These types of systems prove to be the most challenging to keep under control:

  • CRMs (customer relationship management)
  • DAMs (digital asset management, sales/marketing asset libraries)
  • CMSes (content management systems)

It’s ironic that all three of these include the word “management” in their titles. Whether your system truly helps you organize and manage data is a point of conversation that I will bring up later. But all three tend to become “the enemy” after some use by folks in your business.

At the very least, general feelings of hatred and despair are signs that these systems are important to you. Treat them like they’re important. They really do want your love, the lost puppies that they are.

As soon as it gets warm outside (it’s not yet warm here in Ohio), it’s time to doing a little spring cleaning. Audit your data and how it is organized.

  • Is a single person in your organization the only one who recognizes the need for a certain category or tag? It’s time to either rename it, document it, or delete it.
  • Are you hoarding records or even systems? Delete or archive unneeded records. Export your data from systems that you don’t need anymore and kill those accounts.
  • Delete blog posts and web pages that are generating little business or just plain suck. No one will miss them, not even you. I promise.

Seriously, challenge yourself to remove things. We’re always adding, adding, adding. Why not take away for a change?

Stop torturing everyone with information overload and too many needless choices. We have enough data as it is, and it’s only going to get worse from here. Stop the bleeding!