Digging for business intelligence via data is not just for technologists, says Debbie King, CEO of DSK Solutions, Inc. Here, she explains why data analytics is so powerful and why it should be a part of any organization's culture.
Associations Now: Why is data analysis so powerful?
King: Data levels the playing field. When a midlevel career person in an association can use data to make decisions with confidence, they reduce their risk of making a bad decision. They now have the opportunity to achieve the same results as somebody who might have been having to learn from experience, and experience comes from making lots of decisions—some of which turn out not to be good. By giving data to the people in a visual way, the business people in an association have a chance to emulate some of the wisdom that used to take decades to get.
How can associations get more out of data?
The best thing to do is to look at your strategic plan and determine the questions you have—the answers to which (if you knew) would enable you to advance your mission. Then identify the data which can answer those questions and start "data discovery." I don't see that happening as much as it should. Associations, even the smallest, spend a lot of money on their CRMs, their AMS, their event registration system—all these things that collect data—and they hardly spend anything at all on analyzing what it means. The whole point of capturing the data is to serve the customers and advance the mission.
How can all the data associations collect be pulled together?
Individual data silos are old school, but not everything belongs in the AMS either. The real power in this is when there's an enterprise data mart and it's updated every night with all the data sources. That's important because it gives you a 360-degree view and one place for a single version of the truth.
[This article was originally published in the Associations Now print edition, titled "Data Mining."]