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Blog Posts

10 min read

Creating a Data Culture for Your Association in 2020

Over the last decade, associations have embraced digital channels for member engagement and other business transactions. Looking ahead to the next decade, we predict that more associations will make it a priority to develop a...
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7 min read

5 Ways Tracking Learning Tech Can Engage Your Members

Member education has become a necessary offering for many associations, with reportedly 87% of associations offering eLearning solutions.
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5 min read

Building a Business Case for Analytics in Your Association

  Associations have made significant investments in technologies to improve how they do business online. Software is incredibly easy to purchase from hundreds of vendors, and platforms like social media sites are even free for...
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3 min read

4 Ways to Improve Events with Data Analytics

  Association leaders are always looking for new ways to drive revenue and improve the event experience. That’s why analytics for events is growing in popularity, with more executives starting to perform analysis to identify...
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2 min read
News - Jan 3, 2019

Coolest New Power BI Features Revealed!

Recently the Microsoft Business Applications Summit 2019 highlighted new Power BI features and these are the coolest features to note IMO:
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5 min read
Data Visualization - Aug 16, 2018

Data Informs Decisions: ASAE and Association Analytics Aim to Predict Engagement

  ASAE’s goal was to bring all member engagement data together for cross analysis to build a rich picture of overall engagement and participation. ASAE uses multiple systems—AMS, email marketing, and online community, among...
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4 min read
Data Visualization - Aug 14, 2018

Case Study: Analyzing Member Engagement - How ASAE Captured the Unicorn

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) uses multiple systems—AMS, email marketing, and online community, among others—to collect member data, but it couldn’t compare or analyze valuable member activity across...
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12 min read
data governance - Aug 9, 2018

First the GDPR, Now California’s Consumer Privacy Bill: Your Ultimate Association Data Privacy Checklist

While many associations are still working to comply with GDPR, the State of California passed a new Consumer Privacy Bill that will have a significant impact on numerous organizations around the world.  Here is what...
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8 min read
data governance - Aug 3, 2018

Who Says Associations Can’t Continue Direct Marketing with GDPR?

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1 min read
Analytical Mind - Mar 22, 2018

Take the First Step on the Analytics Road - Join Us at PersoniFest

Serving up a concise yet comprehensive presentation on how to start shaping your organization’s analytics strategy, I will be taking the stage at PersoniFest in Austin, on Tuesday, April 10th at 9:30 a.m. CST. Co-presenters,...
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1 min read
Analytical Mind - Mar 9, 2018

Revolutionize the Way Your Organization Scrutinizes Data

The Analytic Mindset is a way of thinking poised to revolutionize the way organizations scrutinize their data. Volume of data is one thing, but how you extract value from that data is proving to be much more significant. It...
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4 min read
Analytical Mind - Feb 23, 2018

Your Association Needs An Analytics Translator

If you have a data analytics team or you are in the process of forming one, the analytics translator is a role to consider hiring for. This individual plays a critical role on that team and at your organization. She or he...
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1 min read
Association Analytics - Feb 15, 2018

Data Analytics Group Acquires Association Analytics

Sale Brings Capital Infusion and Resources to Grow (Washington, DC—February 15, 2018) Data Analytics Group, a leader in comprehensive analytics solutions for companies and nonprofits, acquires Association Analytics.
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5 min read
Analytical Mind - Jan 26, 2018

The Analytical Mindset and Association Leaders

Cultivating a data-guided culture (with an analytical mindset) is a challenge that you need to readily take on if you want your organization to remain relevant in the minds of your members and stay ahead in your respective...
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4 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Jan 19, 2018

How to Structure Your Association’s Data Analytics Team

Having a data analytics team is essential for your organization to move forward with an analytics strategy and to drive a data-guided culture. Before you build your team and identify what roles you should hire and/or fill, you...
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4 min read
Analytics Strategy and Roadmap - Jan 10, 2018

Building Blocks for Creating an Analytics Strategy

An analytics strategy offers many benefits to your organization and now more than never, analytics is changing the way organizations run their day-to-day operations.
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4 min read
Data Analytics Maturity Model - Dec 29, 2017

5 Areas To Assess Using the DAMM—Data Analytics Maturity Model

At ASAE Tech earlier this month, we shared our Data Analytics Maturity Model (DAMM) which is built for associations by association leaders. Designed as an assessment and high-level action plan, DAMM helps staff members...
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3 min read
Data Analytics Maturity Model - Dec 21, 2017

2017 ASAE Tech Conference Recap

The 2017 ASAE Tech Conference was yet another stellar event. Thank you to the entire ASAE team who managed the show—making it a wonderful experience for us to both participate and contribute. Some were there to learn, others...
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4 min read
Data Discovery - Dec 15, 2017

5 Data Discovery ProTips To Follow

There are some things to keep in mind when you infuse data discovery throughout your organization. But first, let's take a quick look back.
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4 min read
Data Visualization - Dec 8, 2017

4 Ways Data Visualization Drives Change

Data visualization amplifies your data story. Think of the elements that make up a strong and compelling story. They contain a tantalizing plot, well-developed characters, a climax, and satisfying conclusion. You read books or...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Nov 30, 2017

Developing Meaningful KPIs to Get More from Data Analytics

As the days grow shorter and end of the year lists start appearing in our feeds, it’s natural to take a retrospective view on the past year and to begin thinking about what we could do differently for 2018 regarding data...
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5 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Nov 22, 2017

4 Essentials to Ensure a Successful Customer Journey Analytics Plan

While the customer journey isn’t a new concept, the science behind customer journey analytics is still relatively new, but is slowly gaining popularity. By 2018, 60% of organizations will be adopting customer journey analytics...
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3 min read
Data Analytics Maturity Model - Nov 14, 2017

Plotting a Data Analytics Path for the Future Starts with Knowing Where You Are

It’s difficult to imagine planning a trip without knowing what the point of origin is. Whether you’re figuring out your route on Google Maps or searching for airline tickets, the first field you have to fill in is where you’re...
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3 min read
Upcoming Events - Nov 3, 2017

What Data Analytics and the Mona Lisa Have in Common

Surge 2017 Virtual Conference: Embracing the Right Mindset to Take Data Analytics to the Next Level With so much data available at our fingertips, deciding how to actually use it can easily become overwhelming. While there’s...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Oct 25, 2017

Custom Visuals in Power BI

Out of the box, Power BI gives you access to many common data visualizations. Sometimes the basic charts don’t get you to where you need to go. Luckily, Microsoft and the Power BI community created custom visualizations that...
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3 min read
data governance - Oct 23, 2017

Serve Your Association Customers Better Through Customer Journey Analytics

We recently hosted our quarterly Association Analytics Network meeting on October 3, 2017 at the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) where we discussed how to best serve your association customers. We also shared...
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2 min read
Power BI - Oct 18, 2017

Data Storytelling Gets Easier: Power BI Desktop Oct 2017

The October 2017 release of PBI Desktop includes a much-anticipated feature that makes data storytelling easier: Bookmarking. Bookmarking in combination with the spotlight, drillthrough and what-if features allows you to...
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4 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Sep 28, 2017

6 Surprise Findings to Help Your Association Become Data-Guided

Our gut instincts play a role in our decisions - both in our personal and professional life. And more times than not, we can trust our intuition when making decisions. However, in our associations, relying on gut isn't enough to...
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4 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Sep 15, 2017

5 Ways to Kickstart Your Association's Business Analytics Projects

In the blink of an eye, another summer has passed along with ASAE Annual. Last month, the Association Analytics team made their way to Toronto, Canada and as always, it was filled with informative sessions, incredible...
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2 min read
Power BI - Sep 5, 2017

Power BI: New Drillthrough and Insights Features from Sept 17

Power BI was launched almost 3 years ago.  It includes a free desktop application for authoring reports and a cloud service for publishing and sharing reports.  Since day one Microsoft promised to deliver an updated version of...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Aug 24, 2017

Moving the Needle on Member Data at NCACPA

Nikki Vann, CPA, is the Director of Finance & Administration at the North Carolina Association of CPAs (NCACPA).  She, along with Jennifer Rowell, Director of Member Engagement (also from the NCACPA) and I were honored to...
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2 min read
data governance - Aug 21, 2017

Data Governance: Know Your Data

An easy way to think about the complex field of data governance is the following simple triad:
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Aug 7, 2017

Refreshing Tableau Public Data

Tableau Public is a free tool to share your visualizations with the world.  One question we often here is how do you refresh data for a Tableau Public visualization.  Tableau Public will do an automatic, nightly refresh data...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Jul 17, 2017

DAX the Way - with Power BI

DAX stands for Data Analysis eXpressions and it is the formula language used in Power BI.  It's similar to Excel formulas and it's an extremely powerful language for creating measures and calculated fields within your Power BI...
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3 min read
data governance - Jul 5, 2017

An Approach to Analytics both Hamilton and Jefferson Could Embrace

Happy 4th of July!  What a great time to think about data independence, democratization, and governance for your association.  In this post we’ll talk about the balance between the central management of data by IT and data...
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3 min read
Data Visualization - Jun 25, 2017

How To Choose the Right Visualization

Creating a report or dashboard in Power BI is quite easy.  A few mouse gestures and a couple of clicks and voila, we have a report!
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Jun 17, 2017

How Do I Create an Analytics Strategy & Roadmap for My Association?

When I think about the many reasons an association should create an Analytics Strategy and Roadmap, I am reminded of Stephen Covey's great advice: "Begin with the end in mind".  Business intelligence and analytics...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Jun 13, 2017

Power BI vs Tableau

I am often asked, “Which tool is better: Power BI or Tableau?”
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2 min read
Uncategorized - Jun 5, 2017

Filtering in Power BI

A question I get often is how to filter reports in Power BI.  Well, there are many ways to filter your data in Power BI.  I am going to walk you through the three ways to filter your dashboards using Power BI: Slicer, Page...
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1 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - May 22, 2017

Are you asking the right questions about your email marketing?

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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - May 11, 2017

Introduction to Data Augmentation

What is Data Augmentation? Data analytics provides a complete understanding of your customers so you can provide better, more relevant products and services. However, the value of analytics is limited without rich data on...
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1 min read
Power BI - Apr 24, 2017

Using Dates in Power BI

Analyzing dates in Power BI is quick and easy. There are just a few things you need to know to format dates.
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1 min read
Power BI - Apr 24, 2017

Build Power BI KPI Visualizations

Building Key Performance Indicator (KPI) visualizations in Power BI is a breeze. KPI visualizations allow you to view a specific measure against a target. The target might be last year’s totals or it could be your goal for...
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1 min read
Power BI - Apr 3, 2017

Resolve Power BI Column Discrepancy

During development or enhancements to a Power BI solution, you may encounter this message: "An error occurred while processing the data in the dataset. The 'handouts_path' column does not exist in the rowset." You probably...
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1 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Mar 30, 2017

Are You Ready for Cloud Analytics?

Cloud analytics is likely to be one of the biggest analytics trends in 2017. According to a recent survey published by the consulting firm Enterprise Management Associates, cloud analytics was of key importance and an essential...
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2 min read
data governance - Mar 30, 2017

What Happens When You Have No Data Governance?

Association Analytics® CEO Debbie King recently co-presented a webinar on predictive analytics with Abila's Carlos Restrepo. During the webinar, Debbie and Carlos asked the audience of association professionals if they had an...
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2 min read
Tableau - Mar 8, 2017

Creating a Dual Axis Chart in Tableau

Dual Axes Definition Dual axes are two independent axes that are layered on top of each other. According to Tableau, dual axes allow you to compare multiple measures. Dual axes are useful when you have two measures that have...
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1 min read
Tableau - Feb 28, 2017

How to Add Tableau Information Icons

Neuroscientists from MIT discovered that the human brain can process entire images seen in as little as 13 milliseconds. Data visualizations can instantly communicate complex information and ideas, but that doesn't mean...
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1 min read
Business Intelligence - Feb 28, 2017

Why You Should Include Data Literacy in Onboarding

A critical part of onboarding involves introducing the culture and setting expectations. If your association strives for an analytical culture that makes data-guided decisions, you should think about how to include data literacy...
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1 min read
Member Engagement - Feb 27, 2017

How to Get the Most Out of Your Website Analytics

An association website provides invaluable data and information on what your customers (i.e., members, prospective members, nonmembers, and the public) care about, what they don't care about, and how they find information. By...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Feb 14, 2017

Workbook Performance Recording – Tableau Server

The first and most important rule about making workbooks more efficient is to understand that if it loads slowly in Desktop on your computer, then it will be slow on the server too once it is published. Desktop and server each...
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1 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Jan 31, 2017

Output vs. Outcome: Metrics for Email Marketers

Email marketing is a primary way that associations engage with members. With the cost of email marketing systems and staff time, the investment in email marketing can be significant. So how do you measure the success of emails to...
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3 min read
R - Jan 31, 2017

Tableau's R Integration

Ever wondered how data scientists and data analysts use Tableau for predictive analytics? The ability to integrate R into Tableau is powerful functionality. For those familiar with using R, it can be tricky to get started....
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Jan 31, 2017

Tame Your Data Analytics with Governance

As more and more associations invest in data analytics, it's important to develop some policies that govern the use of data analytics. It might seem inconsequential, but an established governance policy for data analytics can...
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2 min read
Predictive Analytics - Jan 4, 2017

Top Posts of 2016

We looked at our Google Analytics data to bring you our most popular blog posts from 2016 based on total hits. If you missed these popular posts, here's another chance to read them.
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1 min read
Predictive Analytics - Dec 29, 2016

Five Advanced Analytics Ideas for Associations

At the ASAE Technology Conference this past month, Kelly Baker (Chief Analytics Officer at Association Analytics®) and Galina Kozachenko (Director, Strategic Data Analytics, Association for Financial Professionals) presented a...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Dec 29, 2016

Make a New Year's Resolution to Make Data-Guided Decisions

In a world where the pace of change is always increasing and a failure to adapt can result in diminished value, we can’t rely on the old way of doing things.
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Dec 29, 2016

Using Learning Analytics to Support Students

For many associations, education is more than just a source of revenue and a key member benefit. It is a cornerstone for the organization's existence. Despite the importance of education, associations still struggle with how...
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2 min read
Association Analytics - Nov 30, 2016

Analytics Guide to 2016 ASAE Technology Conference & Expo

There are a bounty of sessions on data and data analytics at the 2016 ASAE Technology Conference & Expo, being held December 13-14 in National Harbor, MD. For a data-centric conference experience, here's our guide to the #TECH16:
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2 min read
Tableau - Nov 30, 2016

Tableau Conference 2016 Highlights

I had the opportunity to attend the 2016 Tableau Conference in Austin, TX. Every year at the conference, Tableau announces and demoes new functionality that will be released in upcoming builds. Here are some of the new,...
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3 min read
Data Visualization - Nov 21, 2016

Storytelling with Data

I recently had the opportunity to attend a workshop called Storytelling with Data by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic. Instead of focusing on data analytics tools, the workshop focused on using data as part of the storytelling process....
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2 min read
Member Engagement - Nov 14, 2016

Customer Experience is about the Journey

The constantly growing number of choices for customers mean many aspects of our products and services are in danger of becoming commoditized, but customer experience is not one of them.
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Nov 7, 2016

What Would Your Members Write in a Postcard to You?

Dear Data Have you ever heard of a book titled Dear Data? I first learned about it from an article in Wired magazine.  The book is not a story, but rather a collection of postcards written between two information designers who...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Oct 26, 2016

Associations Tableau User Group Covers Best Practices in Visualizations and Advanced Analytics

The Associations Tableau User Group met in Chicago on October 13, 2016. Formed in August 2016, the Associations Tableau User Group (AssocTUG) serves as a platform for association professionals using Tableau to network and...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Oct 25, 2016

Columns Aren't Just for Advice and Holding Up Buildings: They Can also Help Your Analytics

Traditional databases, like an Association Management Systems, are designed to handle frequent transactions and store data. This is very different from dimensional data models that are specifically designed for analysis while...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Oct 19, 2016

A Detailed Explanation of Level of Detail Calculations

Level of detail expressions (which are sometimes also referred to as "LOD Expressions" or "LOD Calculations") are an advanced analytics feature in Tableau. LOD Expressions are useful for cohort analysis or looking at averages...
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2 min read
data mining - Oct 3, 2016

How to Determine What Data to Combine

There is a lot of value in combining data from one business area with data from another business area. Similar to a jigsaw puzzle, when we combine data sets and put the pieces together, we get a complete picture of customers,...
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3 min read
data governance - Sep 27, 2016

How to Develop a Data Governance Policy

Do you have a data governance policy for your association? In this post, we'll discuss why data governance is important and what your policy should include.
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1 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Sep 16, 2016

The Importance of Tableau Server Backup (TSBAK)

What's TSBAK? If you are not a Tableau Server administrator, then you might have been thinking - great another acronym. This is an important one and is a file type. TSBAK stands for Tableau Server Backup.
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Sep 6, 2016

What Level of Social Media Analytics Are You At?

As associations strive to better understand their customers to provide excellent service and relevant products and services, social media strategy and data are growing sources of competitive advantage. Social media is a rich...
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4 min read
data mining - Aug 30, 2016

How Your Association Can Implement Propensity Modeling

Last week, we introduced you to Propensity Modeling and how it can help your association make data-guided decisions while providing great value to your customers. We'll now dig into some of the technical detail and steps to...
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3 min read
Member Engagement - Aug 22, 2016

Using Propensity Modeling to Drive Revenue and Increase Engagement

At the 2016 ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo, Gwen Fortune-Blakely (Enterprise-wide Marketing Director) and Leslie Katz ( Marketing Director) with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) presented an amazing session...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Aug 18, 2016

Everything You Need to Know About Tableau 10

This week, Tableau released Tableau 10 - the latest version of their business intelligence software. Here's everything you need to know about Tableau 10.
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Aug 18, 2016

The Power of Combining Data from Multiple Sources

Super Charge Your Data Combining or blending data happens when you connect two or more different data sources. Combining sources from multiple data sources reminds me of one of my son’s favorite shows, Power Rangers. While...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Aug 8, 2016

How to Succeed with Data Analytics

If you’ve ever participated in a data analytics implementation, you may be familiar with the indescribable excitement around the project. Who wouldn’t be eager for a solution that makes it easier and more efficient to...
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2 min read
Company Announcements - Aug 8, 2016

Your Analytics Guide to the ASAE Annual Meeting

The 2016 ASAE Annual Meeting kicks off in Salt Lake City on August 13. This is our guide to all things analytics and data at this year's event.
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3 min read
Tableau - Aug 1, 2016

Demystify Tableau Permissions and Roles

Ever get stuck trying to grant a Tableau user or group permissions to a project, workbook or data source and find yourself going in circles?  In this post, we'll cover definitions, how different permissions interact with each...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Jul 25, 2016

How to Hire for an Analytical Mindset

What is the Analytical Mindsest? In today's fast-paced, data-driven world, high-performing organizations seek individuals with an analytical mindset. Individuals with an analytical mindset are able to analyze information,...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Jul 19, 2016

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask ‘What If?’

The oft-cited Gartner image depicting an analytics maturity model shows different forms of analytics that associations can use to understand customers and make decisions with confidence. We’ve previously discussed how...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Jul 11, 2016

Derby Curse or Myth? Using Data to Challenge Instinct and Assumptions

The Major League Baseball All-Star festivities kick off tonight with the home run derby, where the leading power hitters face off to see who can hit the most home runs in a three round contest. Like most sports all-star events,...
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2 min read
Tableau - Jul 5, 2016

Top 5 New Features in Tableau 10

The beta version of Tableau 10 is currently out and I took some time out to review some of the new features of 10. There are a lot of great new features and a cleaner UI, but here are my top 5 favorite new features.
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1 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Jun 27, 2016

3 Signs That You're Ready for Data Analytics

I recently went onsite to a client’s headquarters to facilitate a Strategy & Discovery session - the first step in a data analytics journey. With this client and many others, I've noticed some common issues with their current...
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1 min read
Company Announcements - Jun 20, 2016

DSK Solutions is now Association Analytics

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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Jun 12, 2016

Take Action: Using Web Analytics for Marketing Automation

This week we’re wrapping up work with a client that focused on using data analytics to facilitate marketing automation based on web traffic. For example, the client wanted to message only to a group of members who visited a...
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1 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Jun 6, 2016

Association Leaders and the Analytical Mindset

In April, I had the pleasure of speaking with a group of aspiring association executive leaders as part of the “Through the CEO Lens” series about how leaders of the future will increasingly need an analytical mindset. I was...
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3 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - May 30, 2016

Our Favorite Public Data Sources

We've demonstrated the importance of both leveraging the data that your association already has along with extending beyond the walls of your organizations to understand customer journeys.  Incorporating publicly available...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - May 23, 2016

What will data do for my Associaton? Understanding Value in 3 Stages

  Previously, we’ve discussed how to kick start an analytics initiative with Strategy and Discovery, a process where you compare the current state to a desired future state for the purpose of creating an Analytics Roadmap.   
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - May 16, 2016

A Beginner's Guide to Analysis with R Part II

This is a continuation of our previous blog on a Guide to Analysis.  The previous blog covered defining your S.M.A.R.T. goal.  In this section we will discuss preparing and checking your data for analysis.
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2 min read
Data Visualization - May 9, 2016

Data Visualizations: Super Highway from the Eye to the Brain

Did you know that approximately 70% of the body’s sense receptors reside in the eye? Of all 5 senses, vision stands out dramatically as our primary and most powerful channel of input from the world around us! Not only that,...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - May 2, 2016

Put Tableau Content in its Place

Tableau Organization
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2 min read
data mining - Apr 18, 2016

How to Harness the Power of Recommendation

Taking a customer-focused approach to data analytics helps provide optimal value, enhance engagement and understand the overall customer journey. Individuals' actions provide valuable information that goes further than what is...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Apr 11, 2016

Need a Data Champion? Start Searching Close to Home

One of the most important factors in successfully adopting a data strategy is the data champion. This person is able -- through influence, education or example -- to advance the cause of data throughout the organization. His...
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2 min read
R - Apr 4, 2016

A Beginner's Guide to Analysis with R

Many associations want to do more advanced analytics projects using R — a programming language used for statistics — but are not sure how to start.
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Mar 28, 2016

Tableau 9.3: Smarter Version Control and Better Use of Color

Tableau 9.3 was released last week and has several exciting new features. These are a few of my favorites.
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3 min read
Data Quality Management - Mar 21, 2016

Why Your Data Needs a Clean Bill of Health

You’ve found the data you want to analyze and have brought it into a data mart. You know how to use visualization software to turn the data into informative pictures. You know the kind of things you want to find out from your...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Mar 14, 2016

The Smart Way to Measure Email Effectiveness

Have you ever wondered what happens after someone clicks a link from an email that directs her to your website? With a little attention to the links you use, Google Analytics can help you find out. Here's how to do it.
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Mar 7, 2016

Finding the Cost of Doing Nothing

It’s likely that every association has multiple challenges and opportunities that can be addressed with data analytics and uncovering all of the costs of those situations is a powerful way to evaluate whether it's time to take...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Feb 29, 2016

How Analyzing Social Media is Like Walking Across Bridges

How do your customers connect with one another? Social media mixed with a historic mathematical theory can help you find those patterns and bridge gaps.
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3 min read
Business Intelligence - Feb 22, 2016

How to Jumpstart an Analytics Initiative Through Strategy and Discovery

Recently I wrote about improving adoption, a critical topic for associations looking to maximize results and ROI for their analytics initiatives. But what about associations that have not made the investment yet? What is the...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Feb 15, 2016

How to Pare Down Your Wardrobe -- and Your Dashboards

As spring approaches, people start thinking about cleaning out their closets and decluttering their lives so they can start the season feeling renewed. You should take advantage of that mindset to get rid of some of your...
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3 min read
Business Intelligence - Feb 8, 2016

How Creating Dashboards is Like Opening Christmas Gifts

When I get the opportunity to develop visualizations for a client, I feel it's a little like Christmas. A present has been handed to me.
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Feb 1, 2016

Journalism vs. Analytics: Finding the Story

 
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Jan 25, 2016

How to Find the 'WOW!' Factor in Visualizations

When I review a new visualization, I’m always thinking it doesn’t have any wow factor. Here is a perfect example of something that gives an initial impression of WOW, but upon further review takes a lot of effort to understand.
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4 min read
Association Analytics - Jan 18, 2016

Words with (Association) Friends

Associations define the future through the exploration, analysis, and visualization of data. This generally involves using existing data to consistently describe key business events like event attendance, member engagement,...
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1 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Jan 11, 2016

Find the Business in Your Data

Recently I read the phrase, "find the business in your data."  For years I have been saying, "your data is telling a story, and once you understand the story, you can change the ending." Both ideas are similar and powerful:...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Jan 4, 2016

Association Analytics New Year’s Resolution #1 – Accelerate Adoption

January is the month of big plans.  Personally, many of us have looked back on 2015 and resolved to make big improvements in the coming year – eat
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1 min read
Business Intelligence - Dec 31, 2015

Top Business Intelligence Trends in 2016

Tableau recently published their top trends in Business Intelligence for 2016.   A few of these deserve a closer look in the context of Association Analytics.
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1 min read
Business Intelligence - Dec 22, 2015

New Features in Tableau Desktop 9.2

I have reviewed the new features available in Tableau 9.2, which was recently released. While this is not a major release, there are still some pretty exciting new features. Here’s a few that caught my attention:
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1 min read
Tableau - Dec 14, 2015

New Features in Tableau Server 9.2

Just in time for the holidays, unwrap the latest Tableau version available, 9.2, and install it for your association.  Staying current with Tableau Server is always a good idea:
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1 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Dec 14, 2015

Association Analytics Network Launches!

The first meeting of the Association Analytics Network, sponsored by DSK Solutions and held at ASAE, 1575 I Street, NW, Washington DC was held on Friday, December 11, 2015, from 10 am – 2 pm.  The focus of the meeting was an open...
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3 min read
Data Visualization - Dec 7, 2015

Enabling the Analytic Workflow

Just as associations have a treasure of diverse data waiting to have a conversation, Tableau offers a variety of options for interacting with your organization’s data to enable association analytics.
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3 min read
Business Intelligence - Nov 30, 2015

Cognitive Bias in Decision Making

Associations and data guided organizations of all types know that important business decisions should not be made based only on intuition, tradition, or politics.  There is more data available than ever and an increasingly...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Nov 23, 2015

Association Analytics - Begin with Why

Simon Sinek in his famous TED Talk, "How Great Leaders Inspire Action", explains that inspired leaders and organizations all think, act and communicate the same way.  They start with "why". Only once they are clear about "why"...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Nov 16, 2015

Organizing Your Tableau Server

Compared to the many critical decisions made over the course of an analytics engagement, the organization of the Tableau Server environment may seem trivial.  In fact, this is a relatively small task that can have a big impact...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Nov 9, 2015

Using hub and spoke to show paths in Tableau

One of the reasons I love being a data analyst and creating visualizations is that it combines my love of data with my natural interest in marketing (it was my college emphasis). Tableau software is perfect for this -- helping...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Nov 2, 2015

Color Science Tips for Improving Data Visualizations

One session from the Tableau Conference 2015 caught my eye: Using Color Effectively: Tips from a Color Science Researcher. Color is an important part of any visualization, and even more so for me because I am one of the 10% of...
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6 min read
Data Visualization - Oct 27, 2015

Association Analytics at Tableau Conference 2015

We had an amazing opportunity to attend the 8th annual Tableau Conference last week in Las Vegas.  For us, the highlight of the event was a great dinner where we celebrated our partnership with many of our association data...
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Data Visualization - Oct 19, 2015

How Association Leaders Make Good Decisions

Hal Varian, Google's Chief Economist, is quoted as saying, "The ability to understand, visualize, and communicate data will be the most important skill in the next decade."
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Business Intelligence - Oct 12, 2015

Making Decisions with Confidence

Later this month, I’ll join thousands of data analytics enthusiasts and practitioners at Tableau Software’s annual user conference in Las Vegas.  While there, the goal is very simple – to better understand how to help our...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Oct 5, 2015

Power Visualization Choices (Part 4)

Last week we discussed some common use cases for  two advanced chart types: histogram and bullet chart.  In this post, we'll introduce the Gantt chart and heat chart (also called heat map).
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Data Visualization - Sep 28, 2015

Powerful Visualization Choices (Part 3)

Previously we discussed the best use case scenarios for some common chart types: bar, line, and pie chart.  We also discussed some more advanced and less common chart types: maps and scatter plots. In this post, we are going...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Sep 21, 2015

Leave Manual Data Collection and Static Reports in the Past

 
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Business Intelligence - Sep 14, 2015

Powerful Visualization Choices (Part 2)

Previously we discussed the best use case scenarios for some common chart types, such as the bar, line, and pie chart.  This time we are going to discuss the best time to use for two of the more advanced and less common chart...
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1 min read
Case Study - Sep 11, 2015

Case Study: Association for Financial Professionals AFP

Association Challenge: How can we get customized web analytics reports to our website sponsors? The Association for Financial Professional's London sister company gtnews converted to a new CMS and then needed reporting for their...
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1 min read
Case Study - Sep 11, 2015

Case Study: Using Data Analytics to Convert Prospects to Members

Association Challenge: How can we identify & encourage ‘customers’ to become members? Our client did not understand the size and demographics (type, sector, etc.) of their prospect base.
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1 min read
Case Study - Sep 11, 2015

Case Study: Data-Guided Market Analysis for Product, Service, and Pricing Decisions

Challenge: How to set the right price for membership, events, and other products? An association we work with was having difficulty creating a pricing strategy because they didn’t fully understand their market.
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1 min read
Case Study - Sep 11, 2015

Case Study: Understanding and Optimizing Membership Dues Collection

Association Challenge: Which members are late paying their dues and which members are ‘at risk’? Our client, a trade association, was struggling with dues collections. They were unable to identify those members who were late...
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1 min read
Case Study - Sep 11, 2015

Case Study: Predicting Event Attendance to Improve Planning & Drive Revenue

Association Challenge:  How can we predict attendance so we can improve event planning and drive revenue? The association's annual conference was its largest source of revenue. They used email campaigns and direct mail to stay in...
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1 min read
Case Study - Sep 11, 2015

Case Study: Data-Guided Event Planning

Association Challenge: What is the most profitable event per attendee? Our association client was not able to see the full picture for their event registration. They had registration counts and revenue information available from...
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3 min read
Data Visualization - Sep 8, 2015

Planes, Trains, Automobiles… and Meetings

Each Labor Day weekend, analysts discuss the impact of gasoline prices and other factors on travel driven by an extra day off and the symbolic end of summer. Some estimates indicate that a greater number of travelers by car ...
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3 min read
Business Intelligence - Aug 31, 2015

3 Steps to Fantasy Football and Association Analytics Success

A popular theme in the DSK blog is to explore how applications of data analytics in business and culture relate to our work with Associations.  With the NFL season kicking off in 2 weeks, fantasy football draft season is at...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Aug 24, 2015

Association Analytics: Begin with the End in Mind

Often association leaders ask me, "Where is the best place for us to begin our data analytics initiative?"  I like this question and am reminded of Steven Covey's expression that before we undertake a new initiative, we should...
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4 min read
Business Intelligence - Aug 17, 2015

Powerful Visualization Choices (part 1)

A common question we are often asked is how to choose the right kind of chart or graph to answer your questions. We know that transforming your data into an effective visualization (any kind of chart or graph) helps you make...
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2 min read
Agile - Aug 12, 2015

Moving Into a Data Guided Culture Means Abandoning the 35mm Camera Mentality

Some of you might have seen our CEO, Debbie King, speaking at ASAE Annual in Detroit this week.  If not you missed an inspiring presentation about building data analytics into your strategic plans and investing in a data...
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1 min read
aptify - Aug 10, 2015

APTIFY USERS CONFERENCE- October 18–21, 2015- Denver, Colorado

Data to the People
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3 min read
data mining - Aug 3, 2015

Mind Your Ps and Qs, But Be Sure to Consider R

The analytics cycle described by Gartner depicts moving beyond descriptive analytics towards analytics that answer questions of "why did it happen?", "what will happen?", and "how can we make it happen?" Value and difficulty...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Jul 27, 2015

Self-Service Association Analytics Requires a Full Service Partner

Business Intelligence and Analytics tools have become increasingly powerful with the growing appetite for data  across all types of business.  These tools can manage more data, connect disparate sources instantly, and combine...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Jul 20, 2015

Tableau Public for Associations

What is Tableau Public? It is a way for you to create visualizations and share them with the world for free.
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Jul 13, 2015

When is my Association Ready for Analytics?

Often we hear from associations who know they should be doing more with data - they know that decisions based on data are almost always better decisions, but they don't know where to begin.  Every day we hear in the news about...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Jul 6, 2015

Level of Detail Expressions: It's a Game Changer

In Tableau 9.0, we see the introduction of Level of Detail Expressions. With fairly simple expressions, we can calculate and display powerful information. The Level of Detail (LOD) Expressions allow us to compute aggregations...
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1 min read
Business Intelligence - Jun 29, 2015

Employer Associations of America (EAA) Fall CEO Conference Sept. 15 in Asheville, NC

Employer Associations of America (EAA) Fall CEO Conference     Grand Bohemian Hotel, Asheville, NC
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Data Discovery - Jun 29, 2015

Harness Google Trends for Your Association

Some time ago I discovered an educational (and addictive) web site that is worth writing about because it can help you elevate your association and spread its mission.  The web site is called Google Trends.  Google's...
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5 min read
Member Engagement - Jun 22, 2015

Advancing Trust in the Charitable Sector

I recently had the opportunity to attend a fascinating international conference on building donor trust, jointly presented by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and the International Committee of Fundraising Organizations (ICFO).
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Jun 15, 2015

3 Dimensions of Engagement

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending Tony Robbins’ Business Mastery, an immersive, intense, and often emotional event teaching the fundamentals and strategies of business growth and optimization.   One of many pieces of...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Jun 8, 2015

Tips for Successful Business Intelligence Training

At DSK we believe that a Business Intelligence initiative is really a change management initiative. A great way to increase adoption of any type of change is with education and training. Training enables staff to understand...
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1 min read
Past Events - Jun 5, 2015

2015 Finance, HR & Business Operations Conference (FHRBOC) June 4-5 at the Washington Convention Center

How Leaders use Data Analytics and Visualizations to Make Better Business Decisions  Thursday, 6/4 at 10:15 a.m.
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Business Intelligence - Jun 1, 2015

New Features in Tableau 9.0

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the new Tableau version 9 is even easier to use, quicker and smarter!  A few of the features I think you’ll enjoy are:
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3 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - May 26, 2015

The Role of an Association Analytics Expert

I'm often asked by clients, "What are the characteristics and skills needed to become an association analytics expert?"  Sometimes it's the leader such as the CEO or COO who is asking because they want to promote from within....
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2 min read
Data Visualization - May 18, 2015

Association Analytics Adoption Advice

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Data Quality Management - May 12, 2015

Let’s Spend Some Data Quality Time Together

Gartner estimates that poor data quality costs an average organization $13.5 million per year.  Drivers of these costs include lack of a common language for business information, independent data maintenance, and multiple...
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2 min read
Association Analytics - May 4, 2015

A Great Day for Sports... and Analytics

May 2, 2015 is a dream for sports fans, with compelling events and matchups across all of the major US Sports.  The NBA and NHL playoffs are in full swing.  The long marathon of the MLB season is just beginning to get...
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2 min read
Predictive Analytics - Apr 27, 2015

The Correlation vs Causation Conundrum

I find that people are often confused about the difference between correlation and causation. This can lead to erroneous conclusions when performing something like a factor analysis. In factor analysis, correlation is a...
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1 min read
Past Events - Apr 21, 2015

Data on a Mission Webinar April 21 from 10:30-11:30am ET

 
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2 min read
Agile - Apr 20, 2015

Modelstorming: Data Modeling Meets Brainstorming

Have you ever heard of the term "Modelstorminig"?  It's where data modeling meetings brainstorming and it is the best way we have found to build scalable analytics solutions in an agile fashion.  In the old days, when ...
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2 min read
Predictive Analytics - Apr 13, 2015

Everyday Analytics

When people ask me what I do and I say, “Predictive analytics,” the usual response is a blank stare and a quick change of subject.  Why people are so intimidated by those words is surprising given that EVERYONE performs...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Apr 6, 2015

Does my Association Need Real-Time Analytics?

There is a lot of emphasis in the media these days about real-time data analytics.  New technologies are being introduced every day to cope with larger amounts of data in shorter amounts of time.  Commercial brands and...
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3 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Mar 30, 2015

Focus on What Matters - Applies to Association Analytics Too!

ASAE's recent publication, Focus on What Matters outlines a 3-step framework for selecting and sunsetting association programs, products, and services.  What is fascinating to me is how closely this process parallels aspects...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Mar 23, 2015

The Road to Data Guided Decisions

In film and literature, roads or paths are often symbols of a character’s journey, usually in search of something, maybe enlightenment, love, identity or knowledge.  In business we start with roadmaps to develop a product or...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Mar 16, 2015

Begin With the End (User) in Mind

Once you begin creating data visualizations, you will find that it is very easy to spend many hours crafting what you think are beautiful visualizations.  You add actions and filters on your dashboards, making them so flexible...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Mar 10, 2015

Small Steps on the Data Analytics Journey

When my son says, “Mom, I want to be an astronaut and go to Saturn!”, I ask him, “What can you do now to make that happen?” Granted, he’s 4, so he often needs my help to answer that question. Since I’ve never been an astronaut...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Mar 2, 2015

How to be a Leader in Association Analytics

According to Gartner's 2015 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms (2/23/15), a key aspect of being a leader in the field of analytics is enabling business staff to perform interactive data analysis...
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3 min read
Business Intelligence - Feb 23, 2015

Speaking of Snow, How’s Your Star Schema?

February 2015 has been a big month for snow this year across the nation.  I love to think about all those snowflakes all being unique, like fingerprints and social security numbers.  Almost immediately my mind transitions into...
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Past Events - Feb 17, 2015

2015 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition taking place August 8-11 in Detroit, MI.

Data to the People Monday, Aug 10 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
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Past Events - Feb 16, 2015

SRRC Spring 2015 Conference “MARCH MADNESS” March 19 & 20 Deerfield Beach, Florida

Shoot to Score! Harnessing The Power of Data in Your Mobility Program Thursday, March 19  1:30 – 2:30
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2 min read
Predictive Analytics - Feb 16, 2015

Association Analytics - Regression Analysis is Your Friend

Last week, I shared my enthusiasm for developing association data analytics solutions with a Georgetown University colleague.  While testing multiple analytical models (factor analysis, cluster analysis and regression...
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3 min read
data mining - Feb 9, 2015

Introduction to Data Mining for Associations

The TV show, Parks and Recreation, recently had an episode where a huge tech company used data mining to the extreme-- knowing what would be the perfect present for every person in the town. In the episode it caused a huge...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Feb 2, 2015

Business Intelligence: Not the Same Old Tech Project

Business intelligence, data analytics, predictive modeling, and big data are all phrases that you’ve heard in the news and among your peers.  Once your association makes the strategic decision to take the plunge, what can you...
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2 min read
Data Discovery - Jan 26, 2015

Do You Know Where Your Association’s Treasure Chest Is?

Well, do you?  Every association has a treasure chest – of data.  It contains information about your customers (members, nonmembers and prospects), their interests, and activities too.  That’s right, your AMS or CRM system. ...
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3 min read
Data Visualization - Jan 19, 2015

The Story in your Association's Data

Did you know that a 2% increase in retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%  and the most effective way to increase retention is to increase customer engagement.  I use the word “customer” instead of member...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Jan 12, 2015

Is your Association Ready for Business Analytics?

Many of our clients have moved forward to being data-guided, making investments in business intelligence (BI) capabilities to harvest their valuable asset – DATA.  They are building data marts (AKA data warehouses) to transform...
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2 min read
Data Quality Management - Jan 5, 2015

How to Perform a Data Inventory for Associations

Sometimes when our clients begin a business intelligence initiative, they become more concerned about collecting new data to analyze, and focus less on the data that they already have. One reason this happens is that they...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Dec 29, 2014

Looking Back and Forward with Association Analytics

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Data Analytics for Associations - Dec 22, 2014

Predictive Analytics Preparation: The Journey

This week, I barely beat out a more worthy contender to advance to my fantasy football league’s championship game. Why am I telling you this? It’s not just to brag. Every week, I, along with more than 40 million other players...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Dec 15, 2014

Change Intelligence and Business Analytics for Associations

According to Harvard Business Review the failure rate of major change initiatives in organizations is 70%. 
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Dec 8, 2014

Increase Membership Retention with Predictive Analytics

If your association is on a calendar year renewal, t’s that time of year again: MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS!  You have sent invoices to your members and now wait for the revenue to flow.  You’re worried because the past 2 years have...
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1 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Dec 1, 2014

Optimizing Your Association’s Dashboard Performance - Part 2

Last week we wrote about where and when to do calculations for your data visualizations in Optimizing Your Association's Dashboard Performance - Part 1. In most scenarios we recommend that you perform those calculations within...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Nov 24, 2014

Optimizing Your Association’s Dashboard Performance - Part 1

I recently had a conversation with my colleagues about the best practice for creating calculated fields based on source data.  More specifically, the conversation revolved around whether the Extract Transform Load process (ETL...
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2 min read
Member Engagement - Nov 17, 2014

Psychographics vs. Demographics: Using Data to Build Association Relationships?

Most of our clients are interested in identifying the characteristics of members who are profitable and engaged and those that are not. But how do you identify and attract new people and organizations that have the propensity...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Nov 10, 2014

5 Steps for Successful Association BI Adoption

One of the most challenging aspects of implementing Business Intelligence (BI)  is getting your team to use it.  It can be deflating to spend time creating powerful data visualizations that have the potential to not only...
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2 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Nov 3, 2014

With Association Analytics, the Question is the Answer

With all the hype about big data and analytics, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and think that the latest tool is the solution.  In my 21 years of experience analyzing data for associations, I’m clear that...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Oct 27, 2014

Can your Association Learn from a University?

Many nonprofits are challenged by attracting and retaining members and engaging stakeholders and other customers. Tableau published a great white paper entitled, “8 Ways Universities Are Making an Impact with Data,” which is...
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1 min read
Big Data - Oct 20, 2014

It Doesn't Have to be Big Data to be Important!

Everyone is talking about BIG DATA!  It sounds so important and exciting that the phrase is now used commonly. From small associations to large businesses, even socially and on Prime Time TV advertising we hear the buzzwords!...
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2 min read
Data Quality Management - Oct 13, 2014

The Importance of Naming Conventions for Association Analytics

When designing a data mart it's a good idea to follow a naming convention. Although this requires some thought in the design stage, it saves significant time when maintaining and enhancing the data mart with new data for...
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3 min read
Association Analytics - Oct 6, 2014

Seven Data Definitions your Association Needs to Know

Often when we embark on a new experience, we have to learn a new language.  Suppose you’re a new parent and you have to learn and understand things like Boppy, Bumbo, bassinet, bottle and burp. Although these are simple words...
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5 min read
Data Analytics for Associations - Sep 29, 2014

Association Analytics: 5 Steps to Success

A standard best practice for any complex initiative that involves technology, change and business process redesign is to start small in order to achieve early success and visibility, which speeds adoption and enables the...
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2 min read
Data Quality Management - Sep 22, 2014

Data Dilemma: How to Avoid the OK Corral of Data Policy at your Association

There is a long-running standoff between business users and IT over who owns the data.  Does the data belong to a central department who controls, enters and accesses data?  Or does data belong to everyone at your association...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Sep 15, 2014

Your Association’s Data: It Doesn’t Have to be Boring!

There are a few things I’m passionate about – my kids, data, and football. So, when I came across a visualization that incorporated two of those elements, I was intrigued. Facebook recently released a map that displays fans of...
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2 min read
Association Analytics - Sep 8, 2014

3 ways Associations use Google Analytics

A short time ago Tableau Software released a whitepaper entitled “5 Tips to Get More from Google Analytics,” and although it was full of valuable information, three tips stood out.  The three in this post require that your...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Sep 2, 2014

What’s the Big Deal about Big Data for Associations?

The term “Big Data” has become the latest media darling and with all the hype about it, it’s no wonder people are confused about what it means.  When I am asked to give presentations about big data, what I find is the most...
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3 min read
Tableau - Aug 25, 2014

Updating Tableau Extracts in the Cloud

Whether your association is using DSK’s cloud solution or another cloud option to host your business intelligence environment (see our post Tableau Online for Associations?), there are times when you may want to connect to a...
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2 min read
Predictive Analytics - Aug 18, 2014

Create the Future of your Association with Predictive Analytics

Everyone wishes for  a crystal ball when confronting big decisions. Predictive analytics can be  your association’s way of seeing into the future with no fortune teller required.  Predictive analytics takes your existing data...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Aug 11, 2014

Liberate your Data! Data Discovery Benefits Every Association

The freedom to explore your association’s data is at your fingertips with an intuitive, interactive and visual data discovery tool. Each person within your association can reach a new level of understanding and excitement...
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2 min read
Data Quality Management - Aug 4, 2014

Shed Light on Your Association’s Dark Data

Dark data?  That doesn’t sound good.  How can you determine if your association has any?  Start with Gartner’s definition of dark data, “the information assets organizations collect, process and store during regular business...
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3 min read
Data Visualization - Jul 28, 2014

Statistics Help Associations Understand and Serve Members

It used to be that when I talked enthusiastically about the field of statistics people’s eyes would glaze over and I realized I really must be a bit of a geek, but these days all associations want to understand their customers...
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2 min read
Agile - Jul 21, 2014

Using Agile for Association BI Initiatives

In traditional project management, every engagement is defined by the triple constraint:  Budget, Schedule, and Scope.  However, we find that the most valuable and sustainable business intelligence results are achieved using...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Jul 14, 2014

Top 5 Questions to ask when Completing a Successful BI Phase

At the completion of each phase of a Business Intelligence initiative, you should spend time to reflect on what you accomplished during the course of the initiative.  This is a valuable opportunity to identify what you did...
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3 min read
Member Engagement - Jul 7, 2014

Member Engagement: The Most Important Metric for Associations

We want to improve our member engagement! How many members are engaged? How much more likely are engaged members to renew? Who isn’t engaged and should be? These are common questions our clients ask us when starting a business...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Jun 30, 2014

Is the Cloud Best for Your Association’s Data Mart?

Cloud this, cloud that.  All the chatter is about the cloud, and of course I’m not talking about where the birds fly.  I am talking about virtualized computing across multiple physical servers.  There are many advantages to...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Jun 23, 2014

Associations Use Data to Increase Revenue

I've said for years that associations spend much more money on collecting data than they do analyzing what it means and taking action on the information it represents.  This is starting to change as associations shift from...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Jun 16, 2014

Quick Tips for Creating Data Visualizations for your Association

As you know, at DSK we love data visualization.  It is the quickest path to understanding what all of that information you are gaining from your members is telling you.  As you create visualizations from your data, here are a...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Jun 9, 2014

Building Your Association’s Data Mart with the Google Analytics API

Google Analytics is a free tracking tool you can integrate with your web site to log the clicks and behavior of visitors on your association’s web sites.  Google Analytics provides many online reporting features for data...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Jun 2, 2014

Six Steps to Running a Successful Business Intelligence Priorities Meeting

The best practice for implementing a BI initiative at associations is to start small and identify areas where they can get quick wins using data analytics.  An effective tool we use at DSK Solutions is to start by...
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3 min read
Data Visualization - May 26, 2014

Associations are Using Data to Make Decisions

Using data to make decisions is vitally important to the survival of associations in the rapidly evolving technological age we live in.  The pace of change is increasing exponentially - this means we have more decisions to...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - May 19, 2014

Defining Metrics to Measure Association Member Engagement

A popular topic of conversation amongst associations is member engagement because  this is what allows an association to survive and thrive. Studies have shown that high levels of member engagement result in higher renewal...
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3 min read
Data Quality Management - May 12, 2014

Capturing History in your Association's Data Warehouse

Now that your association realizes the importance of using data to make decisions, and has a firm grasp on your initial set of business questions, it’s time to plan how your data mart will be set up to support those...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - May 5, 2014

Making the Most of Google Analytics Segmentation for Marketing

Segmenting with Google Analytics Google Analytics (GA) is a very useful, free tool for tracking website statistics.
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Apr 28, 2014

Tableau Online for Associations?

What is Tableau Online?  It’s simply a cloud hosted version of Tableau Server.  Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages to help you determine if Tableau Online is right for your association.
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2 min read
Data Discovery - Apr 21, 2014

Data Discovery Dominates Association BI Solutions

There is a revolution happening now in the field of data analytics.  Business users are driving the train, demanding solutions that allow them to see and understand their data without having to wait for IT to create queries...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Apr 14, 2014

Business Intelligence – The End of Data Scientists?

In a recent blog, we discussed the Top Trends in Business Intelligence for 2014.  I also blogged specifically about Storytelling.  In the past business intelligence often fell under IT’s purview, and required a background in...
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3 min read
Data Quality Management - Apr 7, 2014

Getting Started with Data Governance for Associations

Data governance is a cross-functional management activity that at its core recognizes data as an enterprise asset which is used to achieve strategic and operational goals. Data governance is also one of the most talked about,...
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2 min read
Data Quality Management - Mar 31, 2014

The Benefits of SQL Server 2014 for Your Association

Microsoft will be releasing SQL Server 2014 on April 1st and they will do so knowing that SQL Server is the most installed database in the world.  Additionally,  the amount of data being collected worldwide and waiting to be...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Mar 24, 2014

Effective Storytelling for Data Visualizations

We recently discussed the Top Trends in Business Intelligence for 2014, now I want to spend time on my favorite topic, Storytelling.  Have you ever spent hours creating beautiful, insightful data visualizations yet when you...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Mar 17, 2014

Top Trends in Business Intelligence for 2014

Data analytics are no longer a "nice to have".  As we move away from static reports that tell us what already happened, we move into the field of data discovery where we investigate "why" it happened.  The next evolutionary...
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3 min read
Business Intelligence - Mar 10, 2014

The Importance of a Data Steward for your Association

Among the questions we’re asked when implementing a new business intelligence initiative is to describe the role and duties of the data steward.  As part of the planning process, we work with leadership and staff to ensure...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Mar 3, 2014

5 Ways to Narrow Scope to Increase Success of your BI Initiative

The beginning of a business intelligence (BI) initiative is exciting.  It’s likely something your association has wanted to do for a while and you are now ready to start.  Because this has been a long time coming and everyone...
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2 min read
Data Quality Management - Feb 24, 2014

Engage Your Members with Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics

In December we posted a blog about how and why it is recommended to upgrade your association’s Google Analytics account to the Universal Analytics tracking code format.  By now it is expected you have, unless you are using one...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Feb 17, 2014

Why Does Visual Data Discovery Matter for Associations?

Did you know that most organizations (not just associations) still make decisions primarily based on instinct, politics or tradition? But according to Harvard Business Review, top performing organizations are 5x more likely to...
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4 min read
Data Visualization - Feb 10, 2014

Why Visualizations Win: The Fundamentals

Today we have a rich array of applications available to us that can turn data into meaningful graphical representations fairly easily.   With these innovations, a new era of dashboards has emerged.  No longer are the Excel bar...
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3 min read
Business Intelligence - Feb 3, 2014

There Can be Only One Master Record

Data is one of your association’s most important assets.   Although collecting data is easy, creating a one-stop shop to view everything an individual or company has done with you can be complicated.  For example, we have...
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3 min read
associations - Jan 27, 2014

For Nonprofits and Associations, the Time is Now for BI

Business Intelligence can improve nonprofit and association decision making.  Most of us are familiar with the scenario where we extract information from a variety of different systems that each serve their own purpose, but...
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3 min read
Data Quality Management - Jan 20, 2014

Prevent Data Dust at Your Association

There was a really great article posted a few weeks ago on LinkedIn called “Digging through the Data: How to Separate Quality from Quantity,” that is worth sharing and supplementing with additional examples.
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3 min read
Data Visualization - Jan 13, 2014

Data Set Details to Keep in Mind when Working with Visualization Tools

Let’s say the day has arrived when your association is on the path to data discovery and visualization.  Your technical and business groups have aligned and all data sources haven been identified – great!  The data quality...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Jan 6, 2014

Association Analytics: Asking the Right Questions

The quality of the answers we receive in life is correlated to the quality of the questions we ask. What's true in life is also true in association business.
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3 min read
Business Intelligence - Dec 30, 2013

Upgrade Your Association’s Google Analytics Account

The web is always evolving, so naturally there is a time when tracking what happens on the web takes an evolutionary step.  If you’re using standard features within your Google Analytics account then the time to upgrade is...
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3 min read
associations - Dec 23, 2013

Top Trends in Business Intelligence for Associations for 2014

Top Trends in Business Intelligence for Associations for 2014
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3 min read
Business Intelligence - Dec 16, 2013

Successful Association Business Intelligence Requirements

If you have had experience with requirements gathering in the past, you know this process can be time-intensive and laborious.  However, using agile practices, requirements can be elicited at a fast pace and stay at a high...
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4 min read
Data Visualization - Dec 9, 2013

Key Components of Effective Dashboards for Associations

Many who are new to data analysis may think that creating a dashboard is complex and beyond their abilities, but that’s not true.  With the advent of applications that enable the user to transform data into meaningful...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Dec 2, 2013

Association Business Intelligence Success Factors

The field of business intelligence (BI) has a bad reputation because many BI programs are not successful.  Part of the problem is that many see BI as a “project”.  Projects have a definite "end”, and when BI is characterized this...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Nov 25, 2013

How Much is your Current Data Situation Costing your Association?

In an earlier blog, we discussed how important it is to determine the cost of your current data situation.  By putting a price tag on any dissatisfaction you are experiencing with your data, you can then make a rational,...
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3 min read
Data Visualization - Nov 18, 2013

How to Choose the Right Visualization for your Association

Choosing the right data visualization is as important as choosing the right outfit to wear to an important meeting. Although your alma mater’s sweatshirt is perfect for the ball game, a suit and tie is more appropriate when...
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2 min read
Google Analytics - Nov 12, 2013

Understanding Google Analytics Measurements

We recently wrote about the many benefits of Google Analytics as a tool for analyzing the traffic to your association’s website.   It is important to understand the metrics Google Analytics provides so that you can review the...
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1 min read
Business Intelligence - Nov 4, 2013

Building Your Association Business Intelligence Team

Tuckman’s Stages of Group Development states that every team goes through 4 stages: Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing.  Your team’s effectiveness is influenced by the stage it is in, with the end goal being to reach...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Oct 28, 2013

Data: A Strategic Advantage for Associations

Your data is telling a story. Once you understand the story it’s telling, you can change the ending. The traditional association business model is being challenged in three areas: content, networking, and education.
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3 min read
Google Analytics - Oct 21, 2013

Enhance your Association’s Google Analytics with Custom Variables

In July we wrote about Google Analytics and how associations can leverage the data collected to learn more about their customers.  Since Google Analytics is free to obtain and easy to install – everyone is using it.  In this...
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4 min read
associations - Oct 14, 2013

7 Business Intelligence Mistakes Associations Should Avoid

The private sector and government organizations have been using Business Intelligence (BI) for over 15 years. The good news for those of us in the association space is that we can learn from their mistakes and avoid them when...
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4 min read
Business Intelligence - Oct 7, 2013

Building your Association Business Intelligence Team

Now that your organization has decided to participate in a Business Intelligence (BI) initiative, you feel excited about the possibilities and everyone wants to be involved.  This has you thinking, “Who should be on my BI...
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3 min read
Data Visualization - Sep 30, 2013

Data Discovery – a "Bicycle for the Mind"

Steve Jobs said that computers are like a "bicycle for the mind" allowing us to go further faster with less effort.  Within the field of business intelligence, I believe data discovery should be the same, amplifying our...
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1 min read
Data Visualization - Sep 23, 2013

The Importance of Visual Data Discovery for Associations

Visual data discovery is an agile and iterative way for associations to answer questions with data. Because we often don’t know what all of our data questions are, we must have the freedom to explore and improvise, refining our...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Sep 16, 2013

Preflight Checklist for Association Business Intelligence

Many associations are unsure about how to begin a Business Intelligence (BI) initiative. There is confusion about how to scope a BI project, as well as how to identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and determining the...
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4 min read
Data Quality Management - Sep 9, 2013

How to Create a Common Language Dictionary and Data Quality Scorecard

In our previous two posts we describe how to create an association Data Quality Management Plan and how to perform a Data Quality Assessment.  In this last post in the three-part series we explain how to create a Common...
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4 min read
Data Quality Management - Sep 4, 2013

How to Perform an Association Data Quality Assessment

In part two of our Data Quality Management (DQM) series, we outline how to assess your association's data quality.  The two primary goals of a data quality assessment are:
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3 min read
Data Quality Management - Aug 26, 2013

How to Create an Association Data Quality Management Plan

We are often asked what we consider the most important aspect of an association's Business Intelligence initiative.   Based on our many years of experience, we find that Data Quality Management (DQM) is one of the most...
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4 min read
Business Intelligence - Aug 19, 2013

The Top 10 Association Business Intelligence Problems

We have noticed a common set of reasons why associations and nonprofits delay business intelligence and data analytics initiatives.  We know that our clients care about the mission of the organization they serve and each of these...
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4 min read
Business Intelligence - Aug 12, 2013

How Much Does an Association Business Intelligence Project Cost?

Business Intelligence (BI) Cost Overview The cost of a BI implementation is always one of the top concerns that associations and nonprofits have when budgeting for an initiative.  At DSK, we strive to be honest and clear about...
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2 min read
Business Intelligence - Aug 5, 2013

The Problem of Decision Making for Associations and What Can Be Done About It?

Better Decision Making with Your Data At DSK Solutions, we help associations use data to make decisions to create the future.  Every association and nonprofit has a mission and a strategic vision.  Associations can now...
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6 min read
Business Intelligence - Jul 29, 2013

The Best Way to Facilitate a Business Intelligence Roadmap Session

Embarking on a road trip requires not only a destination but also a map to help navigate the route from point A to point B. In the same way, creating an association's business intelligence roadmap ensures that the direction is...
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3 min read
Business Intelligence - Jul 22, 2013

The Real Issue with Implementing Business Intelligence for Associations: Changing Culture

Changing the way an association makes decisions by incorporating data analytics into the decision-making process can be the hardest part of any business intelligence initiative - but it's also the most important.   After all, you...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Jul 18, 2013

How to Configure Dashboard Subscriptions and Alerts on Tableau Server

One of the valuable features of a business intelligence platform is the ability to subscribe to updates of your association dashboards. We like the way this is handled with Tableau Server, and created this short guide to...
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Jul 15, 2013

What is the Best Way for an Association or Nonprofit to Analyze Data?

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2 min read
data inventory - Jul 8, 2013

How to Create a Data Inventory for Associations and Nonprofits

Locating Your Data Do you know where all your data is? Associations, like all businesses, have so many working parts that it can be difficult and time consuming to keep information both centralized and easily assessable....
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3 min read
Data Visualization - Jul 1, 2013

The Value of Data Discovery for Associations

The Magic Quadrant In February 2013, Gartner Inc. released an important report entitled Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms which details the current state of the business intelligence (BI) market...
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2 min read
data governance - Jun 24, 2013

How Can Associations Use SQL 2012 Data Quality Services (DQS)?

This is what bad data is like...
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4 min read
Business Intelligence - Jun 17, 2013

Leveraging Google Analytics for Nonprofits and Trade Associations

What Can Google Analytics Do for Nonprofits and Trade Associations? To the non-technical, the term analytics can be intimidating. It is simultaneously amorphous while implying abundant pain due to numerically-induced face...
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1 min read
Data Visualization - May 1, 2013

The Analytics Convergence

Data-guided decisions permeate our everyday lives as individuals, but how can you harness that power for your association and your members? The field of data analytics and big data is exploding with opportunity. Businesses are...
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Data Quality Management - Apr 11, 2013

Business Intelligence Trends 2013

Although the term "Business Intelligence" is so overused that it is almost meaningless, what is important to know is that advances in data science and analytics are affecting everyone - every day.  Tableau outlines important...
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2 min read
Data Quality Management - Mar 31, 2013

Association Data Visualization: 5 Steps You Need to Know

5 Steps to Visualize Association Data Big Data, business intelligence, analytics…..these terms have been buzz words headlining most association conferences this past year. When DSK presented at the ASAE Tech Conference last...
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1 min read
Data Visualization - Mar 22, 2013

DSK BI Solution for AFP Wins 2013 AUDC Innovation Award

DSK Solutions, Inc. received Avectra’s AUDC 2013 Innovation Award for an outstanding business intelligence (BI) project created for the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP). AFP’s sister company gtnews needed to meet...
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5 min read
data governance - Feb 11, 2013

Data is an Asset

Data is one of the most important assets an association has because it defines each association’s uniqueness. You have data on members and prospects, their interests and purchases, your events, speakers, your content, social...
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1 min read
Data Visualization - Feb 5, 2013

Gartner Magic Quadrant Positions DSK Partner Tableau as Leading Analytics Software

Gartner Magic Quadrant Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms
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4 min read
Data Visualization - Jan 16, 2013

Data Visualization - More Than a Pretty Picture

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand numbers and there is hard science to back this up.   The human brain processes images 3X faster than text, and our brains excel at the task of subtle pattern detection, and...
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2 min read
data governance - Dec 2, 2012

Balanced Scorecard and Business Intelligence

Sometimes when an organization begins a business intelligence initiative (BI) they are so excited about data visualization and data transparency in the form of dashboards that the first thing they want to do is start measuring...
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3 min read
artificial intelligence - Nov 21, 2012

Agile Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence (BI) projects that incorporate key aspects of Agile processes dramatically increase the probability of a successful outcome. 
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2 min read
Data Visualization - Oct 2, 2012

What is Business Intelligence?

What is business intelligence?  The first thing that may come to mind is a flashy dashboard with cool gauges, graphs and pie charts. Some people associate the term with complex multi-million dollar data warehouse projects....
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innovation - Apr 11, 2012

DSK Wins 2012 Avectra "Outstanding Partner of the Year"

DSK Solutions, Inc. is the only company to win this prestigious award three times during the eight years the award has been bestowed. The award recognizes the partner that demonstrates outstanding customer service, solutions...
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