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 directly managed by association staff.
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 "begin with the end in mind". When it comes to data analytics for associations, this means starting with your strategic plan.
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 and evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of several of the top vendors. It’s interesting to note that in this report, Gartner emphasized the emergence of data discovery into the “mainstream business intelligence and analytics architecture”, something we have been highlighting at DSK Solutions for years.
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 encroaching on the areas that used to be the private domain of associations – content, networking, events, etc. – because they are employing the power of analytics. But now, the process and tools needed to analyze and interpret data are much less expensive and easier to use than before. Are you ready to have a conversation with your data? Each level of business intelligence has a unique language to make your data speak!
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 trends in this field for 2013. What do these trends mean to your association?
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 contractual obligations for reporting statistics to sponsors. AFP’s Director of Data Research, Galina Kozachenko, envisioned a BI solution and turned to long time collaborators DSK to execute and enhance the project. DSK created new data marts and developed C# applications to manage the separate data sources. They recommended Tableau software to build dashboards and reports with superior data visualization capabilities.
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 media, press, your staff, budget, strategic plan, and much more. But is your data accurate and are you using it fully? Your data is an asset and should be carefully cultivated, managed and refined into information which will allow you to better serve your community and ensure you remain viable in today’s competitive landscape.