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Big Data: Don’t Lose Sight of the Forest for the Trees

Big Data: Don’t Lose Sight of the Forest for the Trees

I, for one, am sick of hearing about big data. Yes, there are many quintillions of bites of data floating around in the ether. Yes, it would be fantastic if we could use that data to become omniscient about our constituents. But the problem I encounter when talking to many associations, is that they are still using antiquated tools to collect and analyze the small and medium sets of data they are already collecting.

Many organizations spend hours downloading information into a spreadsheet, then adding formulas and calculations in a manual and error-prone process. All this to report on numbers that are outdated by the end of this process. How do you get actionable insights from outdated data?

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3 Tips for Tackling Data Management & Marketing

3 Tips for Tackling Data Management & Marketing

“Stop paying lip service to data and start actually tackling it.” Corinne Sklar’s recent post for MarketingProfs.com bears this title. And it’s a sentiment to which I can certainly relate. In our experience, some organizations talk a lot about better data management, but they do very little to make sure this actually happens. Good membership data doesn’t just materialize on its own. Associations need to put processes in place to ensure that data is well-maintained.

Good data management policies and practices are particularly important at time when marketing campaigns are only as successful as the data used to implement them. As Sklar observes, “marketers need to deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time. Without trustworthy data, that level of personalization is nearly impossible.” She offers these tips for tackling your data and setting the foundation for marketing success:

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Scary Silos: Why You Should Avoid Isolating Data

Scary Silos: Why You Should Avoid Isolating Data

Okay, let’s be honest. There’s someone on staff at your association who is maintaining his or her own database (i.e. Excel spreadsheet) rather than updating and sharing information with the entire organization.

In our experience, there are generally at least one or two staff members or departments, no matter how well-intended, that feel more comfortable keeping their data isolated from the rest of the organization. As someone who appreciates how important it is to aggregate and consolidate data, that’s just scary to me, much scarier than the ghosts and goblins we see everywhere this time of year.

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Get Schooled on the Benefits of Data Journalism

Get Schooled on the Benefits of Data Journalism

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a well-designed, data driven infographic could be worth even more to your association. If like most organizations you’ve invested in some form of content marketing, you might want to amplify your focus on data journalism.

As researcher and author Alexandra Samuel points out in her recent article for The Harvard Business Review, data is the next big think in content marketing. Samuel observes that “even as companies have embraced their new role as content creators, they’ve largely missed out on one of the hottest trends in the world of traditional media: data journalism.” Her definition of data journalism is a form of reporting that “draws on the growing availability of data sets and data analysis tools to uncover and tell stories.”

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