I heard a new concept from a financial services executive recently that caught my attention:
The life cycle of information
When planning data collection strategies to build a custome-centric integrated experience, one needs to take a view on this issue. You want the contact centre to know about the problem you had with your plastic at the cash machine last night, but a year later this information is probably valueless. However, you do want the whole history of your mortgage is probably pretty essential.
This concept ports readily into other environments. In conversation with a United Way representative recently, we discussed how some information is mission-critical during a given campaign, but has little or no lasting value. Likewise, information that is useful for local committee management is mere clutter at the national level.
A young IBM analyst told me some time ago that their company policy was not to keep hard-copy of anything more than two years old unless it was of continuing value as a reference, and unreplaceable. A highly useful policy which I have tried to implement to keep the paper under control on my own desk (admittedly, not always with success).