Putting Data to Work
Andrew Abernathy, Member Services Coordinator
It's hard to turn on a TV, tune in a radio, or scroll through Facebook or Twitter and not see or hear something about the power of technology and data. Ads and commercials about technology, AI, and data have become such commonplace that it seems like almost everyone has become numb to the message that they carry.
Associations really aren’t very different when it comes to data. The very nature of an association means that we are exposed to thousands of data points every single day. Going through the everyday rigmarole may make us numb to the data, the trends that it may depict, and the impact that those trends may have on the associations with which we work.
One association, with whom AMR partners, recognized the importance of their data and how that data could be used to create and influence action items for the Executive Committee. It all started with the review of a typical membership report. At first glance, it appeared that over sixty percent of the membership had joined in the past three years. Awesome news! Close the books and everyone is good to head home, right? Not so fast. What happens if the complimentary membership types are removed from the equation? Membership growth has still increased over the last three years, but it falls below the sixty percent threshold.
Based on these data trends and others, association staff worked with the Membership Services Committee Chair to compile a report that included recommendations to the Executive Committee regarding membership. Combining the lifecycle of the data, trend analysis, and the membership report with recommendations resulted in the following actions by the EC:
- A standard renewal process was voted on and passed
- The Membership Services Committee was asked to give options and recommendations for changing membership levels and the pricing structure
- The need for a better system of converting complimentary members and monitoring lapsed ones was realized
- A request for information on alternate CRM systems was made
The significance of these key items from the Executive Committee is paramount to not only to the life of the association, but also speaks volumes to the power of data and trend analysis. Without more than a surface-level glance at the membership data, the association never would have known there was a potential issue with the renewal process and the system for soliciting feedback and converting complimentary members. We may feel we are bombarded with information about data and technology, but that can be a good thing because data helps us to determine our needs and refine our processes.