Tell them why you want the data

Tell them why you want the data

Because data is so easy to collect these days, there's a tendency to try to collect all kinds of data about our members and customers, in the hopes that "maybe we'll use that data eventually."

One of the (many) problems with this approach is that our members and customers are becoming increasingly wary about sharing data that isn't critical to the transaction at hand. For example, many associations are focused on DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) issues, and as a result, are asking their members for lots of personal information (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation). But if the association isn't absolutely clear about how that data will be used, members will be less likely to provide that data.

Case in point: I was speaking at a conference alongside an association executive. As part of the speaker registration form, the hosting association asked for sexual orientation. The association executive speaking with me refused to provide that info, emailing me and asking "How is this relevant?" She wasn't trying to be difficult, she simply was asking "How are they going to use this data?"

When we ask for data that is not directly related to the transaction at hand, we have to be very clear about why we want that data and how it is going to be used. Because if it's not absolutely clear why you're asking, or what the data is going to be used for, many of your members will simply not tell you.

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

"Experience is unobservable to everyone except the person who it happens to."

January 10, 2019

In Dan Gilbert’s book Stumbling on Happiness, he writes: “Experience is unobservable to everyone except …

"Experience is unobservable to everyone except the person who it happens to." Read More »

Know Your Audience Before You Speak

December 20, 2018

This one may seem obvious, but when you’re speaking to anyone, whether it’s one person, …

Know Your Audience Before You Speak Read More »

"Behavior is a function of the person in their environment."

December 13, 2018

Lewin’s equation says “behavior is a function of the person in their environment.” (He was …

"Behavior is a function of the person in their environment." Read More »

Signal-to-noise ratio

December 5, 2018

Signal-to-noise ratio Signal-to-noise ratio, formally used, applies to electricity and engineering, and refers to how …

Signal-to-noise ratio Read More »

Consultants bring perspective

November 28, 2018

Consultants bring perspective At a recent speaking engagement, I was asked what I think is …

Consultants bring perspective Read More »

Garbage in, gospel out

November 22, 2018

Garbage in, gospel out We’ve all heard the phrase “Garbage in, garbage out.” If the …

Garbage in, gospel out Read More »

Dramatic change does not happen overnight

November 15, 2018

Dramatic change does not happen overnight Like most things in life, dramatic change does not …

Dramatic change does not happen overnight Read More »

Implementation Intention

November 8, 2018

Implementation Intention Editor’s note: I have a new email newsletter, sent weekly, called Wes’s Wednesday …

Implementation Intention Read More »

Scroll to Top