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Member Data That Works

ASSOCIATIONS NOW, August 2013 Membership

By: Joe Rominiecki

Summary: Data-driven engagement can't be achieved overnight, but here are three tips from Rebecca Achurch, PMP, CSM, CAE, of the American Chemical Society on how to build a solid foundation.

The better you understand members' behavior, the better you can keep them engaged and renewing. But, as Rebecca Achurch, PMP, CSM, CAE, program manager at the American Chemical Society, has learned, there is "no magic bullet" for turning masses of data into actionable intelligence. Achurch shares some tips on building true data-driven engagement.

  1. Build a foundation. Data isn't a new program to be launched; it's a culture to adopt. "It just doesn't happen overnight. You've got to really understand your data," Achurch says. Associations "are great at collecting data, but we don't necessarily understand it."
  2. Get staff buy-in. ACS has begun with educating staff on data standards and getting data out of silos. "The message is about the more we share, the more collective control we can have," Achurch says. "You're giving up the data for a greater good, but really what you get is more stuff back."
  3. Start small, then build. For a tangible data ROI, Achurch suggests beginning with using engagement data to unearth new volunteers. "That is a potential low-hanging fruit in understanding your data that has a very quick return on investment," she says.

Joe Rominiecki is a senior editor at Associations Now in Washington, DC. Email:

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