This is a guest post from database expert Wes Trochlil, the presenter of our free webinar on how to use data to achieve your mission, which you can watch whenever you like.
In my 18 years of consulting, I’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds and hundreds of associations and nonprofits of all sizes. And in my experience, there is a direct correlation between those organizations that are most successful with advancing their mission and those who manage their data effectively.
As I worked with these organizations I came to understand that one thing they are very good at is continually questioning how they use their data. Here are a few of the questions they ask of themselves:
How can we use the data we have to advance our mission?
A couple of years ago, I was working with a small membership organization whose primary mission is to help members enhance their performance and achieve greater levels of success. Their members work in the field, fixing motors. One way the organization helps is by providing phone consulting to members. Members can call with specific questions and get answers from the association’s staff engineers. The association tracks all of these calls. By aggregating the call data they are able to determine which issues matter most to their members, and focus their efforts there.
With better data, and data that is mission-related, any organization can improve its communications, its marketing, and its overall customer service, thus advancing its mission.
How do we measure success?
What does success look like at our organization? Is it more members? Is it better attendance at our events? Is it higher donations? The most effective organizations determine what success looks like, because then they can measure it.
And speaking of measuring, the most effective organizations ask: Are we measuring what works and what doesn’t? These organizations know whether or not what they are doing contributes to the greater good of their organization.
This is just a sampling of the kinds of questions my most successful clients are asking themselves every day. I’ll be covering a lot more of these types of questions and the best approach to answer them in my free webinar with Wild Apricot. You can watch it for free here any time you like.
Wes Trochlil, president of Effective Database Management, is the most published author on data management in the association market. For over 25 years, Wes has worked in and with over a hundred associations, non-profits, and membership organizations throughout the US, Canada, and Australia, from helping organizations select and implement data management systems, to using the database and data for improved marketing and communications, and advancing the organization’s mission.