Make sure it's actionable, not just interesting

Because data is so easy to collect and store these days, it’s very tempting to try to collect data about anything and everything on our members and customers.

But before you decide to collect yet another piece of demographic data on your members, ask yourself this: “Is this data actionable, or just interesting?”

Actionable data is data that you can actually use to provide greater benefit and value to the customer. For example, if you collect data on a member’s years in the profession, you can use this data to tailor the types of products and services you market to that member.

On the flip side, if you collect birth year (for example) just to see how your membership breaks out in terms of generational distribution, but you don’t DO anything with that data, then you’re really just wasting your time.

You can act on actionable data, but “just interesting” is just that; interesting but not useful. So always ask “Is this data actionable, or just interesting?”

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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