We all know that associations are the hive for member data and thus understand the need and usefulness of benchmarking programs. These programs allow associations and nonprofit organizations to gather industry data on behalf of their members as an independent, non-competitive, third-party. Implementing a benchmarking program is not new to the association industry. Neither is the fact that this is something a company can't afford to do on their own, much less legally. Associations must be the coordinator for benchmarking platforms for their members. That usually means reaching out to tech vendors and consultants to assist with the data collection, analyzation and reporting. If the association chooses to use a benchmarking platform such as Dynamic Benchmarking, participants can compare their data against those of all other participants. They can even do a large amount of filtering to compare themselves against specific groups, and generate automated personalized and industry reports. Still many times the question remains, once you’ve collected the data, what do you do next? The answer: Tell a Story.
"This is not something companies can afford to do on their own, much less do legally. "
Joe Bates, The Institution for Association and Non-Profit Research
Implementing a benchmarking program is not as arduous as it used to be. Benchmarking has come a long way, thanks to technology that allows for automated and on-demand reporting that puts the power in the members' hands. However, there is still a process that one should follow when launching a new or re-launching a benchmarking project. Joe Bates, with The Institute for Association and Non-Profit Research outlines 4 Best Practice Steps to follow when organizing a benchmarking project that sets your organization up to tell the story behind the data.
Clean the Data
a. Identify outliers
b. Identify typos
c. Identify fraudulent data
d. Follow-up with participants to confirm/correct data mistakes
Process the Data
a. Set-up cross tabulations
b. Run statistical analysis of data to identify significant differences between groups
c. Compute KPIs
Analyze the Data
a. Determine which demographic variables are correlated with other variables of importance
b. Determine which variables are the most important
c. Determine which KPIs are most important
Write the Report
a. Summarize the data
b. Highlight key variables
c. Write executive summary
d. Write conclusions/recommendations (if any)
Dynamic Benchmarking has teamed up with The Institute for Association and Non-Profit Research to discuss The Story Behind the Data in more detail on Wednesday, February 24th at 2pm EST. We hope you will join us.