This month's article is authored by Dynamic Benchmarking's latest recruit Holly Maki, Project Manager. Holly comes to DB with a strong background in Association Management and technology, and this month provides her thoughts and insights on influencing change with benchmarking data.
I have always found that data should provide the foundation for sound business decisions. Without data, organizations live in the status quo of the previous year, only knowing where they are at, and not where they could be, because of a lack of data analysis. It is my love for this kind of data analysis that led me to Dynamic Benchmarking, where I am able to put my training and skills to use for our clients.
In my previous life as an Events Manager at the American Cancer Society I would frequently use the intelligence gathered in our benchmarking studies to identify new communities in which to host events and to format and implement growth strategies. By using financial, operational and even intangible information provided directly from our benchmarking studies, I was able to create events that were consistently successful and always met the needs of our organization.
Benchmarking data can be used to implement change in practically any aspect of your organization. As a Project Manager at Dynamic Benchmarking, I’ve helped our clients formulate questions and surveys that have helped their organizations and their members:
· Improve profitability
· Create educational programs
· Increase workplace safety
· Improve operational efficiencies
· Increase customer satisfaction
· Discover new product and service offerings
· Identify areas for improvement
And while benchmarking has been used in this manner for many, many years, online benchmarking offers an opportunity to gather better, more accurate data faster than ever before. This enables organizations to implement changes quicker and capitalize on opportunities that, in the past, they may have missed.
For example, a question on a paper survey would ask a participant to check off a data range (e.g. 0-25, 26-50, 51-75, etc.) as tabulating individual responses would be too time consuming. That means a participant whose answer is “24” would be grouped with others who answered “2” and results would be reported for data ranges, not exact values. But this does not provide accurate data for the member, who is better compared to the answer of “26” rather than “2”.
Because data tabulation and analysis is automated when using an online benchmarking platform, exact and individual responses can be recorded and the data reported will be more accurate as well as instantly accessible. This provides participants with the most accurate data available to support proposed changes within their organizations and allows them to implement those changes quickly. Better, faster data means better, faster decision-making and helps eliminate missed opportunities.
Change in any organization can be difficult. By using meaningful and actionable data points to support your proposal, you can help pave the way for making those changes, giving management the confidence that risk is minimal and the upside more than worth the effort.