March 18, 2015

How to Fix Data Silos

How to Fix Data Silos

A common question among association staff is “Where’s that data?” Do you have an answer? Most often we hear, “It’s in the database.” This is followed by the question, “Well, which database?”

As the team leader for your association’s information technology, that means it’s your responsibility to get rid of any data silos. You probably know where all this data “lives”, but is it integrated for easy reporting? If your board asks for a report showing membership numbers by state, how long would it take?

“All of us have experienced at some point a situation where data is needed, but the person who ‘owns’ that data is not around, and therefore the data is inaccessible,” wrote Wes Trochlil in his blog, Where is the data?

Trochlil has 25 years of association management experience and runs the firm Effective Database Management. He’s seen the true impact of how data silos can hurt an association’s profitability and efficiency.

For modern associations, you understand the power of a centralized database using association management software (AMS). The AMS can hold all this magnificent data and integrate with all of your applications, including association membership renewals, event registration, billing, E-marketing, and syncing to third-party applications for CMS and LMS through an open, scalable API. You understand the power of an AMS to serve as the “hub” for all of your data and get it out of silos.

For associations relying on outdated technology that hasn’t been updated - who are still doing manual data entry from various spreadsheets to run critical processes such as registration for the annual conference - there is an easier, less painful way.

Of course, since you’re the IT guru, you probably already know the answer to curing the data silo plague, so we’ll review ways to talk to your leadership and board members about how data silos can cause your association to lose money, members, or both. Your board has to understand that having access to data will help drive revenue for your association.

In MemberSuite’s brief - The Hidden Traps of Data Silos - we’ll discuss the different ways to fix data silos at your association. We’ll also hear from one association about how they’ve consolidated their eight disparate data silos and streamlined processes for their team.

Click here to download our executive brief on how to fix data silos at your association with modern AMS technology.