Association Analytics Blog

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

Aug 3, 2015 6:00:43 AM / by Matt Lesnak posted in data mining, Data Analytics for Associations, Predictive Analytics, Business Intelligence

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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 both increase throughout this natural progression.

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The Correlation vs Causation Conundrum

Apr 27, 2015 8:21:32 AM / by Tamsen Haught posted in Predictive Analytics, Business Intelligence

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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 statistical technique that shows you the degree of relatedness between two variables. Two variables can be highly related but still have no direct cause and effect relationship. Causation is the connection between cause and effect. For example, walking into a door caused me to break my nose.  I might have been texting while I was walking. So, in this case, texting and breaking my nose might appear to be correlated.

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Everyday Analytics

Apr 13, 2015 6:00:06 AM / by Kelly Baker posted in Predictive Analytics, Business Intelligence

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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 predictive analytics on a regular basis in their personal lives without the scientific structure.

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Focus on What Matters - Applies to Association Analytics Too!

Mar 30, 2015 7:44:58 AM / by Debbie King posted in Data Analytics for Associations, Data Discovery, Predictive Analytics, Business Intelligence

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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 of the decisions we make when we undertake an association analytics initiative.  The author, Mariah Burton Nelson, describes the need to take a strategic, disciplined, data-informed approach to focus on what really matters.

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Association Analytics - Regression Analysis is Your Friend

Feb 16, 2015 9:01:10 AM / by Kelly Baker posted in Predictive Analytics, Business Intelligence

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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 analysis), I confirmed that regression analysis yielded the best results.  Regression analysis has been around for a long time and is often thought of as just a prediction tool.  However, it is much more than that; it is a very versatile tool for answering many different kinds of questions. Regression was developed in the early 1800’s and refined with additional capabilities as the computational power of computers developed.  Simply put, regression analysis is a statistical method for identifying relationships among variables.

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Looking Back and Forward with Association Analytics

Dec 29, 2014 7:59:00 AM / by Debbie King posted in Data Analytics for Associations, Predictive Analytics, Business Intelligence, Google Analytics

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Predictive Analytics Preparation: The Journey

Dec 22, 2014 8:07:02 AM / by Jasmin Ritchie posted in Data Analytics for Associations, Predictive Analytics, Association Analytics, Business Intelligence

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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 (according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association) spend time and often money on setting the team roster. I make my decisions on who to start, who to drop and who to bench based on past performance, but also largely on the readily available projected fantasy points. I am accustomed to seeing this number, this little bit of predictive analytics to make my decisions. All the information on past performance of the individual player, the team, the opponent, etc. boiled down into one easy to understand number is amazing! I started thinking about how this idea can help our association clients. What if we could predict how many people will attend an event if we have it in Austin, open registration 30 weeks prior and send 30 email marketing messages? What if we only send out 15 email marketing messages and do 5 mailings? It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and rush off to answer these questions using some piece of technology. However, before we rush off to implement predictive analytics, we'll first need to do some proper planning. This will ensure reaching optimal potential long-term.

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Increase Membership Retention with Predictive Analytics

Dec 8, 2014 8:32:41 AM / by Kelly Baker posted in Data Analytics for Associations, Predictive Analytics, Business Intelligence

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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 seen a decline in membership.  And early next year, your staff will start reaching out to those who have not paid, spending considerable time following up to secure the renewal.  Wouldn't it be great if you had a crystal ball and could identify those members most at risk to NOT renew?  You could begin identifying reasons they might leave and reach out to them before they do! Think about how, over the next year, if you knew which factors could be correlated to those members most likely to lapse and which factors are correlated with those member most engaged, you could begin to tailor your marketing, content, and meetings to attract more of your best members and keep those who might otherwise leave!

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Create the Future of your Association with Predictive Analytics

Aug 18, 2014 6:00:46 AM / by Tamsen Haught posted in Predictive Analytics, Association Analytics

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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 and determines patterns and trends. You can then use this information to predict possibilities for the future. Instead of relying solely on instinct for decisions, you can use data to approach and support them logically.

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Statistics Help Associations Understand and Serve Members

Jul 28, 2014 8:00:08 AM / by Debbie King posted in Data Visualization, Predictive Analytics, Tableau, Business Intelligence

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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 (members, non-members and prospects) and the way they interact with us. We want to learn who they are, what they do, where they work, how they engage, why they renew, and many other things.   We can answer these questions using both descriptive and predictive statistics.  When we combine statistics with data visualization and discovery tools like Tableau, it’s much easier to understand the story our data is telling and then use that information to create the future we envision. 

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