Business Intelligence: it’s one of those phrases that make some people scratch their heads and say “huh.” Actually, not only is it easy to define, it’s absolutely crucial to your association.
It’s a management process for using data to make decisions. Yup, it’s as simple as that. Instead of deciding to make business decisions based on what is traditional or what you think you know, gather data, analyze it and then make the appropriate decisions.
What types of business intelligence data can you/should you gather?
- Membership engagement – who is doing what and when
- Are members attending your trade shows? Participating in committees? Attending other meetings? Which members aren’t? Who’s volunteering?
- Is your direct mail marketing achieving results? Are your email marketing campaigns working?
- Use tracking codes to gather data, figure out who’s opening and when.
Some reports that can help you gather information:
- Dues history
- Event/meeting attendance rosters & history
- Direct mail and/or Email tracking reports
Some of the most important data isn’t who is participating, but who isn’t. Does your AMS offer a report to show this? A list of non-participating member companies or individuals can help your membership retention team. MatrixMaxx has a great report called the Who is Not Doing What Report. It shows you everything from who is not attending your event, purchasing publications to those who are not using any member services.
Now that you know what business intelligence is and the types of data you should be gathering, why do you care? What do you do next? Read Part 2 of Mining Your Association Management Software for Business Intelligence.