Dead lines = dead numbers

An interesting key of our processes is when we update the national member directoy. I think it has a great impact on the quality of our data.

We call for club member lists in summer, and do the big count in September. Because presidents are in charge since July, they have 2 month to send us an updated list. The summer period means low activity and students holidays : it’s hard to reach people, and hard to raise motivation. For starting presidents, just discovering their new charge, reporting to us -national board- is not their top priority.

At a glance, these lists are a boring job to do, in a lazy period of the year, when people are hard to reach, and you’ll do it in the last minute. Now, imagine how you would do the job in such situation ? Nice, clean, perfect ? Noooope. If you are a normal human being, you will do one of these options :

  • send at the last minute what you have right under your hand, probably the last year’s dirty stuff, roughly updated.
  • send your list after the deadline,
  • try to negotiate the deadline.

… some club do never send their list at all… and I wonder if it really changed something for them.

So that’s my point : to get good data, we set up deadlines. Then who’s dead after all ? …our data.

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