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Case Study: How To Better Allocate Association Resources Using Data – Part 2

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Data Management - Association ResourcesIn Part 2 of our 4-part Case Study on association Special Interest Groups (SIGs), we’ll look at the most effective ways to analyze each group and decide if the resources your association is allocating to that group are worth it. (If you missed Part 1 of this series on gathering data, you can access it here).

Our client was in a pickle. They had 100 different SIGs within their association, and they weren’t sure if their money was going to the groups that needed it most. They asked Massa & Company to use data to determine the wellness of each SIG so they could make smarter financial decisions for each individual group.

Step Two: Decide How The Data Will Be Used

After creating uniform procedures for data collection across all the groups, and assigning unique identifiers to each SIG, we created an evaluation system that would help us determine the level of wellness of each group.

During Step 2, we….

  • Worked to determine the size of each SIG, both in terms of its number of members but also their participation level, contributions, and attendance.
  • Created an evaluation system with a scale from 1 to 100. This system helped us properly weight Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for every SIG.
  • Evaluated each SIG using the same 10 KPIs

The most important part of Step 2 is finding a way to fairly score each SIG. For this reason, we didn’t use a scoring system that pitted SIGs against each other, but instead opted for a ranking system that evaluated how each individual SIG was using the resources provided to them by the association.

The purpose of ranking each SIG was to determine how the association should invest in each group, which groups needed assistance, which groups were perhaps receiving too much assistance, and which groups were doing well with what they had.

After gathering data and using that data to rank each SIG, we moved on to Step 3 in our process: Normalizing the data to make it even more powerful and effective.

Food for Thought: Roasted Mushroom Ravioli

Making pasta from scratch is one thing, but making stuffed pasta from scratch is a whole other thing! This month I’m testing ravioli. First, you have to get the thickness of the pasta just right.  Second, you have to make sure the stuffing is sealed to keep it from bursting into the pot of boiling water in which it cooks. Third, you have to choose the perfect filling.

I love ravioli!  What’s not to love about pasta-pockets of goodness that ooze whatever flavor you like?! I have experimented with ravioli a lot lately trying to find the optimum stuffing, and deciding exactly how I’m going to use each of the delicious ingredients and fillings.

It reminds me of deciding exactly how data is going to be used. Gathering data is just like gathering ingredients; there are a million different ways to combine each for the best outcome. The trick is getting clear about the end result, and choosing the data that will paint the most accurate picture to help you reach your goals.

To me, one of the most important parts about making ravioli is getting a perfect square pocket that looks like it was cut with pinking shears. I tried rollers and stamps to make a crinkly edge, but wasn’t happy until I discovered this little ravioli press that looks like an ice tray – perfection!

This recipe for Roasted Mushroom Ravioli with Thyme and Garlic Scapes will make your brains fall out!

…and if you want to try a simpler stuffing, try this ravioli recipe that calls for ricotta cheese stuffing: .

Are you investing in any part of your business where you’re NOT collecting data? Chances are you may be leaving money on the table. Contact Massa & Co. today to find out how you can boost profits, slash expenses, and grow your business through the power of data. Find out more by calling (312) 463-1050 or contacting us online.

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About the Author:

Bonnie Massa is Founder and President of Chicago-based Massa & Company, Inc. She works with companies and nonprofits to make the best use of their information about customers, partners, donors and sponsors. With more than 30 years of experience in marketing and predictive analytics, Bonnie is passionate about helping clients make informed, data-driven decisions to increase the value of their customer base. She works with organizations of all types to attract new customers and constituents, segment existing customers and analyze customer behavior to predict future behaviors. She speaks fluent “geek” and is an effective translator between business executives and technology experts. Bonnie currently serves as President of American Marketing Association Chicago Chapter, a volunteer position leading the best marketers in the city. She strongly believes that making pasta and ice cream from scratch are worth the effort, and she spends much of her free time testing and re-testing that theory.