'One and Done' Surveys are No Longer En Vogue
The pandemic has escalated the timetable for business decisions on numerous things. Pre-Covid, many businesses were experimenting with remote work employees, but had never considered that the majority of their employees by 2021 would be remote. Yet, if you look at real estate stats they illustrate that indeed this is the case and employers are deciding to drop their leases and move forward with a remote company. COVID-19 has forced us to rethink the way we interact with our employees and our clients; or in an association’s case, their members.
When it comes to data collection, this also rings true. For many associations and businesses alike, we were used to the standard once a year surveys like: member satisfaction, client satisfaction, salary benchmarking, and the list goes on. Some organizations had begun to initiate an increase in interval data collection, but for the most part, these remained a once a year thing. We knew we probably needed to be collecting data more often, but we just hadn't gotten around to implementing it.
Then our lives in the spring of 2020 changed, and we were faced with an environment that needed data now, and needed it often. We all know how human nature works: once you get used to something it’s extremely difficult to go back to the old way of doing things.
If I haven’t already convinced you that times have changed and so should the way in which we collect data, let’s review two points that may sway your opinion.
2 Reasons Why ‘One and Done’ Surveys are No Longer En Vogue:
- Trending Data is Key to Being able to Shift a Company’s Direction to Act instead of React:
When the pandemic hit, many associations were scrambling trying to find historical data points where they could illustrate the changing economic impact their industry was faced with due to COVID-19. They were also diligently figuring out ways to collect new data points so they could lobby on behalf of their industry for financial assistance, so they could provide valuable stats to their member organizations. Those who had been collecting data on a regular basis, were able to ACT and easily pull trending reports that allowed them to add their new COVID data points and produce invaluable stats and reports for their members. Those that did not already have an interval driven data collection plan in place, had to REACT. This delayed their ability to assist their members in a timely manner. It is no secret that members rely on their association for data, but most associations do not understand that this can be a great non-dues revenue source that members are willing to pay for and sponsors are willing to support. A data collection strategy and program will garner much higher value than a one and done shot in the dark.
- No One Wants Old Data:
If you showed up to your 2021 budget planning meeting next month today using the 2020 budget numbers you decided on in December of 2019, everyone would look at you like you are crazy, right? You should think of data collection the same way. Whether there’s a pandemic going on or not, people have gotten accustomed to having the latest data at their fingertips. This does not mean that you need to be sending out daily surveys, but one should consider the frequency in which they launch surveys and the topics they are surveying about. We need to move away from the traditional-type-mindset and provide members with data that is occurring around them on a daily basis. We started doing this during COVID for topics such as re-opening strategies, but isn’t this really the relevant data our members are looking for all the time? They want stats and figures on topics happening right now in addition to the normal data we as an association provide them annually.
No matter where your organization falls on readiness to collect data for your members, we challenge you to rethink the manner in which you not only implement your plan but also your content strategy. In a world that is going more remote, the one thing we will continue to rely on is data.