Mining Your Association Management Software for Business Intelligence, Part 3

Everyone’s on board with data-gathering and the concept of business intelligence. Now, go one step further, make this a regular business practice.

tunnel of dataHow To Create a Data-Driven Organization

Identify the data that is most useful to you and make sure you use it

Often, organizations find themselves collecting bytes and bytes of data because somewhere along the line, they thought it would be good to have. Overall, they’re not wrong, but gathering data just to gather it isn’t effective. Figure out what data is useful to your association and focus on that.  For example, [NEED EXAMPLE]

Identify the data you have, who manages it now and where it’s kept.

Is it in your AMS? Is it on a spreadsheet or maybe as part of your government relations software? If your data is in multiple sources (and it almost always is), determine your process for getting key data from each of those sources into a single source for analysis and be sure to revisit all your processes at least once a year.

Is Your Organization Reluctant to Become Data-Driven?

Probably yes. Why?

Fear:

  • of not doing it right
  • of making mistakes
  • of data that contradicts conventional wisdom
  • of needing to change behavior

As with anything else, change is a process. Start off small, focusing on one goal and work on gathering data for that. Do you want to increase the number of attendees at your annual conference? Maybe you want to increase membership or participation in a specific committee.

  • Talk to your AMS vendor about your goals and share what you want to know.
  • Find out what reports are available?
  • Ask what other organizations have done, and what type of information they’ve wanted to know.

Costs and Timeline

You probably already have most of the reports you need to get started. Your AMS vendor can help point you in the right direction.

If you need a new or custom report, get a cost/time estimate from your vendor. For example, business intelligence reports from MatrixMaxx run about $750 each.

Usually, the timeline for creating a report is quite short. Most of the time results from integrating this process into your existing business processes. The more you do this, though, the faster it will become and the easier for staff/senior management to embrace it.

Action Plan

Your action plan should include:

  • Determining what your goals are
  • Identifying what data you need to make decisions that will help you reach those goals
  • Talking to your AMS vendor
  • Starting with one initiative
  • Designating a data guru
  • Deciding that business intelligence is everyone’s job

Once you’ve got this ball rolling, it’s a matter of “lather, rinse, repeat” for every subsequent initiative.

How are you gathering your association’s business intelligence?

Joanna Pineda

About Joanna Pineda

Joanna’s business card reads CEO/Chief Troublemaker for a reason. She relishes a challenge and introduces change wherever she goes. She knows anything is possible and that clients come to Matrix to hear "Yes", not "No." Matrix is purple because of Joanna. Staff like to call her JP.

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