August 9, 2016

Become a Data-Driven Association

Become a Data-Driven Association

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Association professionals are no strangers to having to sit down and make them. Often times, many people wonder if they made the right choice during that process. If your association utilizes data to be the foundation of your decisions, you are able to take the guesswork out of the equation. You no longer have to rely on your intuition or resort to a crystal ball. With the help of modern technology, associations can become data-driven organizations. Is your association ready?

Don’t Fall Behind

The association world is changing, evolving and expanding so quickly that many people aren’t sure what the future holds. However, the concept of becoming a data-driven organization is taking the association space by storm. Associations want to make better, strategic and informed decisions to better its business operations. How are association professionals expected to make these decisions if they don’t have access to the data they need? To better your membership experience, impress your board and improve your overall operations, you will need insight into your organization.

You may be wondering how you’re expected to retrieve all of this useful data. Luckily for you, technology wants to extract it for you. A modern Association Management Software (AMS) will make it simple for your staff to pull data for analysis. The right solution will allow them to efficiently search for member information. Additionally, your AMS should be able to speak with the other third-party systems you currently use. With an open API, staff members can examine data without having to log into multiple systems. It’s that simple!

The Data that Matters

Let’s say your AMS has great reporting capabilities and allows you to examine all of the data you would ever need. Sounds like the perfect scenario, right? Wrong. Just because you are able to pull data, doesn’t mean that you necessarily should. The key is to retrieve and understand the right data. So what does this appropriate data look like?

Transactional Data

  • Member information
  • Event registration
  • Product purchases

Transactional data points show you what members are engaged in, what they like, and what makes them tick. It’s important to look for common themes and overarching similarities within this data.

Historical Data

  • Data recorded over the span of several years.

Historical data is imperative to analyze when you want to understand where your association is going, and where it came from.

Staff members should understand what data is imperative for their success. With that being said, not all data is the same. Based on their role, staff members should understand which data points are valuable to them. The right AMS solution will make it easy for various staff members to extract the data needed for their jobs.

Now What?

Is your association suffering from decreased membership renewals? Low event registration? If so, it’s time to do something about it. By analyzing member data, you will be able to put words into action. Association professionals have the ability to adjust the strategies that are in place to better themselves, based on the data they’ve collected. By understanding the common issues that are occurring, you will be able to analyze the corresponding data to come up with an alternative solution. By implementing new initiatives based on your data, you will be able to improve your association’s overall operations.

Becoming a data-driven organization may sound daunting, but it’s the best way to make educated, strategic and tactical decisions. Rather than relying on a gut feeling, association professionals have tangible data to back their choices. If all of this data is easily accessible, shouldn’t you take advantage of it? Take your association to the next level by measuring the right metrics.

Want to learn more? Check out our white paper, Let Your Data Do the Talking.