Putting data to work for your organization doesn’t have to be difficult.

Read on for practical ways to lay the foundation for data-based decision making.

Caitlin Hustrulid


By Caitlin Hustrulid, Marketing Manager, Community Brands



Recently, I’ve written about why your association can’t afford not to analyze and use member data. I’ve also written about what putting your member data to work can help your organization achieve.

Today, I’d like to give you some practical ways to put a foundation of technology, reports, and dashboards in place to support data-driven decision making at your organization. 

Having a data-driven mindset
Before we go any further, let’s first consider your organization’s approach to data. Becoming a data-driven association doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require a commitment to using data.  

An article by McKinley Advisors about developing a data strategy that fits your association’s culture puts organizations into three categories: the data-disdaining association, the data-informed association, and the data-driven association. The latter category represents an association with a culture that supports making the most of their data and research efforts. Resources, staff, and energy are devoted to maintaining a strategic data plan. And data is captured, presented, shared, and updated. 

Becoming data-driven might sound out of reach – especially for a small association. But it’s not. It just requires a commitment to making data-based decisions – plus the right mix of tools to support it. 

How to lay the foundation for data-driven decision making
Once you’ve established a data-driven mindset across your organization, you need a combination of technology, reports, and dashboards in place to support it.  

Here are 3 practical ways that YourMembership AMS by Community Brands can help you establish a foundation to support your organization’s data strategy:

1) Consolidate the power of your member data.
Data that’s in multiple systems and spreadsheets can get outdated in a hurry. It’s nearly impossible to remember to update member data that’s housed in spreadsheets and various systems every time something changes. The next thing you know, you aren’t sure how to find the most recent information.

The solution: Consolidating your data in an all-in-one association management software (AMS) system like YourMembership AMS helps to ensure you’re looking at the most accurate and current member data across your organization.

2) Put dashboards and reports to work.
To gain data insights, you must have a way to view and share data. Make sure your AMS includes dashboards for a birds’ eye view of key performance metrics as well as advanced reporting that gives you deeper insights into data.

YourMembership AMS gives you dashboard and reporting capabilities that make it easy to become data-driven, including the ability to:  

    • Configure dashboards to view key performance metrics and the overall health of your organization at-a-glance.
    • Select from pre-built reports for various areas of your association.

    • Create hundreds of reports using an integrated reporting system for visibility into member growth and retention rates, active members by member type, and more. You can even create custom data queries, save them for re-use, and share them with others in your organization. 

3) Make your data come alive.
Beyond basic dashboards and detailed reports, data visualizations can give you additional insights across your organization. Think of them as more detailed dashboards for various functions across your organization that allow each user to define how data is displayed. 

YourMembership AMS offers Premium Analytics to help you take data visualization to new levels, including:  

    • Business insights into industry standard KPIs Premium Analytics provides your association’s KPIs in one always-accessible dashboard. Easily keep track of your overall performance and fine-tune your strategy by digging deeper into your data to find answers to strategic questions.
    • Quick, easy access to data for everyone – Providing association analytics to everyone across your organization makes it easier to visualize your member data for quick analysis and action. You can also keep member data secure while easily providing your board with the data they need by creating PDFs of your data visualizations.  
    • Focused data insights – Your entire organization can save time and discover data easily with user-defined data visualizations that can be filtered to display different data to each user.   

Using member data to make more informed business decisions helps you manage your overall organization, plan programs, make improvements, and deliver a better member experience. And it doesn’t have to be complicated – you just need the right approaches and tools in place.  

Discover more tips, tools, and techniques for becoming a data-driven association: Sign up to attend the upcoming webinar, How to become a data-driven organization with YourMembership AMS on March 29, 2022. 

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