It’s no secret I like to draw inspiration from great philosophers. I’ve quoted Socrates in the past to illustrate the value of turning data into knowledge. For today’s association, that’s a given: There are so many systems, each rich in information, that are poised to help us make smarter decisions, improve our operations, and ultimately deliver a more fulfilling experience to our members.

But this morning, I found myself ruminating on another piece of wisdom from Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher Sun Tzu, who said, “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”

Turning data into knowledge is important, but so too, is acting on the information that knowledge presents. If you’re able to leverage the data, to identify key supporters or members and how they’ve become highly engaged in your association, as Sun Tzu implies it’s easy to build on that success, to create additional opportunities, and multiply your key users or “Super Members.”

Here are some basics to help you get started: 

Leverage Technology

It’s commonplace now to have multiple systems integrated into your AMS via an API (Application Program Interface), and for data to flow between these systems.

To get a full picture, ensure as you integrate your AMS with systems like your LMS that you understand what data is being collected and shared. Think about how that data can help paint a picture of the member.

For example: Is this particular member a lifelong learner? If he or she continues to buy different trainings and sign up for multiple offerings in one purchase, these could be sure signs. This person appreciates your offerings and may be a Super Member.

Identifying key attributes, like a preference for educational offers, and then using the demographic details available across your systems can help you replicate your success. Could you find other lifelong learners buried in your database? What if you targeted them with continuing education content? How could that improve their engagement – or help bolster your revenue?

Not Everything That Can be Counted, Counts

Is it possible your organization is collecting specific data points because that’s what’s always been done? Could it be that you have a demographic field in your system that was used for an event seven years ago and is now just part of your regular registration process? If so, why?

The key question that should be asked about each data point you collect is, “Why?” If you can’t qualify why you’re collecting the data and follow that up with “to what end?” then you should probably rethink the value of that data and maybe even stop collecting it.

And the Winner Is …

You’re now using technology to share important bits of data between your systems. And, you know it’s important because the data has a purpose. Now, let’s see if the cream can rise to the top.

You need a method to measure what the data is telling you, and you need to use that knowledge. At this point, you’ve moved from data to knowledge to identify Super Members.

If you’re using a modern AMS, like Abila netFORUM Enterprise™, its feature called A-Score™ can help score engagement. However, it can be done in other ways, as well. Here are some ideas:

  • Use pivot tables in your spreadsheets to look at multiple variables of interest.
  • Push data into data warehouses or other data repositories for large-scale analytics with products like Tableu.
  • Create logic for custom reports built into your AMS product.

With information like this, you’ll be able to identify users eager to engage and ready to act as your association’s advocates. These raving fans are your Super Members. And, don’t stop there, seize this information to begin developing future Super Members.

For additional details and ideas, register for my webinar, “Discover Super Members: Maximizing Your Data Strategy,” set for this Friday. See you online!