Friday, September 11, 2009

Define "Daily"

Sitting at O'Hare, and just overheard a business guy discussing an upset client. And I quote: "Our contract says that we'll accept the data daily. We do accept it daily, and we process it overnight, but we don't publish it or make it available for sometimes 2-3 days. We're living up to the agreement - we do accept it daily." Was immediately tempted to tap him on the shoulder and say that thinking is exactly what gets people who sign contracts into trouble.

The word "daily" can be problematic when not better defined:

1. Does the vendor understand your timing needs for what happens with data, not just when you're going to provide it to them? Be clear about any vendor timing requirement too.

2. Does "daily" mean every 24 hour time period, calendar days, business days ... what about holidays (and then what are those)? Be specific.

3. What if something might need an immediate change, and really can't wait 24 hours? Is it available for an extra fee, if the vendor wants to be nice, or just not possible at all? Find out.

Attorneys and staff who don't deal with data management issues may not realize that your frequency of sending data may not translate to the timing of what you need to happen with that data. Like the poor client of the guy on the phone.

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