April 14, 2016
Has your association seemed bogged down, tired, or lethargic lately? Has it been overindulging in the data buffet? You and your association may be suffering from infobesity. Infobesity is an epidemic that has been targeting associations - large and small. Associations have been plagued with an influx of data, making it difficult to analyze what’s important. With the rise of technology, it’s simple to extract data. The key is to make sure that you’re working with the right data. It’s time to follow the doctor’s orders and take control of your future. Big data has clogged your association’s arteries and it’s time to slim down.
No need to be alarmed, this is a common diagnosis that hits many associations. It may sound like a funny term, but infobesity has serious implications on associations. With an increase in data, comes a decrease in analysis. It’s become so easy for associations to pull data, that they don’t even know what they’re looking at anymore. Rather than analyzing specific information to make decisions, they are being flooded with trivial figures. Whether it’s excessive emails, voicemails, or presentations, association executives and their staff are being bombarded. Just because you CAN collect data, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. To increase productivity, associations should understand their goals and what they should be looking for.
The saying is true: There can be too much of a good thing. Infobesity wrecks havoc on an association’s staff. How do you expect them to make data-driven decisions when they can’t even navigate through it all? It just doesn’t work. It’s been proven that infobesity makes staff distracted, unproductive and unhappy - for good reason. Rather than being able to quickly and effectively find information, they are forced to muddle through data that they would never need. Your membership coordinator may be asked to retrieve member information and doesn’t even know where to begin - that’s an issue. They are dealing with information overload and it’s negatively affecting your organization. If your staff can’t efficiently make decisions, it could cost you money. Your staff is unable to focus on their primary responsibilities, as they are trying to clean up the mess that data has made.
The prognosis for infobesity is favorable, but it will take some work. Your association will be forced to sit down and realign this information with your organizational goals. Ask yourself: What information should we be looking for? How will this affect our future? Can we make decisions from this? If you’re able to streamline the data you collect with your objectives, you can trim the fat. Your association should be looking for transactional data: member information, event registrations and product purchases. Your staff doesn’t have the time to analyze every bit of data that comes their way. That’s why it’s important to understand your mission and what to look for.
If your association is suffering from infobesity, you aren’t alone. It’s easy to get caught up in the data frenzy that surrounds the association space. Luckily, there are ways to diminish the negative effects the influx of information has on your organization. By understanding your association’s mission, you will know what data to look for. This means more staff productivity, happiness and possibly a little extra change in your pocket.
To learn more about the importance of collecting the right data, check out our whitepaper, Let Your Data Do The Talking.