BI Case Study: Professional Golfers Association

This is the third of four case studies on how associations are using business intelligence, about which I presented at a recent ASAE conference. There are a lot of details to these case studies, but since this is a blog, I’m going to keep this at a high level.

The Professional Golfers Association includes a national association as well as 41 sections (think of them as chapters). PGA’s sections are the primary hosts of most of the golf events that occur in the US each year. Amazingly, both the PGA national headquarters and the 41 sections share a single membership database. (That story alone is worthy of an article or two.)

Because all of this information resides in one system, PGA had an opportunity to develop a simple yet very effective business intelligence system that would allow them to display key performance indicators (KPIs) to the 41 sections and headquarters. As Larry Green of PGA explained to me, “The sections always wanted to know how they were doing compared to the other sections. Now they can see for themselves.”

PGA worked with their sections to identify 12 KPIs that would measure the effectiveness of each of the sections (things like course participation). For each KPI, the sections are ranked 1 through 41, and then the 12 KPIs are totaled to provide an overall ranking. All of this information is pulled from the primary membership database, but stored in a separate online business intelligence database that each of the 41 sections can access. The data is updated on a daily basis, and since all the sections share the same membership database, the data is complete and essentially real-time.

Now the sections can instantly view this information and see how they are doing relative to the other sections. And they can learn where they are doing well and where they need to improve, and adjust their programs and activities accordingly.

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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