Is your data a plate of Spaghetti or a Cheeseburger?

I want to preface this post by saying that I mean no disrespect to all of my spaghetti loving friends, but spaghetti is quite possibly one of my least favorite meals.  I hate trying to get the noodles on my fork, am never sure what to do with the meatballs (do I eat them with the noodles or eat the separately??) and it reminds me of that year when my parents built a house and my mom made spaghetti weekly (okay – there is a debate amongst us as to how often, but we can all agree that she made it more than normal that year!).

On the flip side, I love a great cheeseburger.  If you season the meat well, buy good cheese, add lettuce and tomato (hold that pickle though!) and put it all on a gluten free bun, you will have one happy Christine.  I can see them all separately, but they work together in delicious ways to make my mouth sing.

I’m pretty sure you’re wondering at this point what my food preferences have to do with data, but stay with me.  If your database were a meal, what would it be?

Is it a plate of spaghetti and meatballs? One where you can’t quite figure out where one line of thought starts and stops? One where meatballs appear at random? Are you struggling to keep things straight?

Is it a cheeseburger? One where there are very distinct pieces, but they all work together for one common purpose?  Does your data make your fundraising sing?

Don’t settle for “Spaghetti” data (even if you do love the pasta).  Follow the trails, clean up the inconsistencies and pursue a database with clearly outlined, consistent patterns that coexist in peaceful harmony.  You future fundraising effectiveness will thank you.

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