What’s Your Database Worth to You?

$948.00 was the annual dollar value of each person in your work email address book according to a recent IBM study published in the Winter Information Systems Conference in February 2009. In other words, this means that every contact in your database has the potential of making you at least $948.00!

IBM and MIT researchers were looking to scientifically determine how valuable electronic social networks are. They followed 2,600 IBM consultants, spread out around the country, who collaborated on thousands of projects during a one year period. They monitored their email traffic and financial success using mathematical formulas and determined that not all email relationships are equal.

Consultants with strong email ties with a manager or who had a diverse network of contacts enjoyed greater financial success than those who tended to keep to themselves. Also, individuals with diverse networks tended to be less than 2 degrees away from the person or information they were seeking. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have some scientific proof to back-up what I have been saying and writing about for years!

Are you treating your database as the valuable resource that it is? Do you keep it updated and routinely back it up like you would any other resource that was worth over 100,000 dollars to you? Now that I have your attention, here are three action steps to get you started;

Invest in a good database software program/system. Do your homework, ask your friends and colleagues for recommendations to find a database management system for helping you find the person, information or resource you need, when you need it.
Back it up! Look into all the options out there to back-up your database system daily. Be prepared for computer crashes, burglary or property damage by having your system backed-up by a reliable online system. I use http://www.carbonite.com/ Remember your database is your lifeline…don’t lose it!
Start connecting the dots. The best way to grow your NetWORTH with your network is to be able to quickly identify who in your database might have the information or resource your contact is looking for and then offer to connect them.
Everyone in your database is a dot just waiting to be connected to another dot. When you stand at the intersection of life and look for ways to connect people, opportunities and ideas your Networth will rise and your network will expand. This will make you a priceless resource in everyone else’s database.