When it comes to the core data in your scheduling system—your buildings, rooms, event types, etc.—a good rule of thumb is “less is more.” You want to define every item you need in order to book rooms and resources effectively, of course, but items you don’t actually need are just “visual noise” that makes your scheduling operation less efficient.
How do you ensure that you have what you need, but only what you need? You can do that by periodically reviewing your core data.
Switching to a New System? That’s a Perfect Time to Assess Your Data!
If you’re switching from your old scheduling system to a new one, that’s an opportunity for assessing your data and deciding which items need to be converted and which could be left out of the new database.
For example, data conversion processes often include all future bookings and 1-3 years of history. In doing so, they typically only bring over core data items tied to those bookings—the thinking being that if you haven’t used a piece of data for a period of years, you probably won’t need it going forward. And, if you do, you can add it to the system at that time.
Schedule an Annual Data Review
The point at which you move to a new scheduling system shouldn’t be the only time you evaluate your data. In just a year, it’s easy to create multiple data items that were only needed one time, or, in some cases, ended up not being needed at all.
We recommend reviewing your data at some regularly scheduled interval. Annually is a good target, but every six months might be even better if your scheduling office is particularly busy and it’s likely you will have created lots of new core data items in that period.
What to Review
All of the core data you’ve created in your scheduling system (or had pulled in through a data conversion) should be reviewed periodically. However, certain items are more important to review than others, including:
- Room Types
- Setup Types
- Event Types
It’s common for scheduling departments to create new entries for these data types for one reason or another. For example, you might schedule a one-time event that is different from any other you’ve hosted, so you define a new event type and/or setup type to accommodate it. And your list of customers and contacts can quickly become outdated.
Ultimately the fewer items that a scheduling system user has to view to find the one they’re looking for, the better.
A Workaround for Rarely Used Items
In situations where your team needs to be aware that a unique item is needed for an event, rather than defining the item in your system, you might consider indicating the requirement with a note on the booking. That way, it’ll be clear that the item is needed, but it won’t be taking up digital space months or years after the one time it was needed.
One caution here: Scheduling systems can’t track inventory quantities on note entries, of course. So, if there’s any chance that a particular item could be needed for more than one event and therefore could be overbooked, it should be defined as an inventoried item.
Time To Do Some Spring Cleaning?
In a busy events department, it’s easy to find yourself tackling one scheduling task after another and not thinking a lot about your core data. But now that you know “less is more” in your scheduling system, this might be a good time to take a look and do a little cleanup. That’s particularly true if the pandemic is still keeping your event volumes down and you have a few extra minutes to spare.