Getting to the Good Stuff: Evidence Based Decision Making

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As management guru and former GE CEO Jack Welch noted, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” We would suggest the corollary is equally true…i.e. “You manage what you measure (and ignore that which you don’t measure).” In other words, the things about which we make decisions and the decisions themselves are often governed by what we can readily observe and count.

For many associations, the data we choose to use in decision-making is determinied not by its value to our decision-making process, but merely by its easy availability. The result can be an incomplete and seriuoly misleading picture of our assocation’s true health. We see this particularly true in regards to how associations are measuring components (chapters, sections, SIGs etc.)

This is what drove us to write, with Elizabeth Engel, CAE, Getting to the “Good Stuff”: Evidence-based Decision Making for Associations. In the paper, we explore what is data, data quality, the role of intutiion, and moving from operational dashboards to evidence-based decision-making. In it we pose three important questions for associations and point to how to use data to inform the answers:

  • What’s my baseline and what are we trying to achieve? Where and how large is the gap between the two?
  • What actually drives success for my association?
  • What do our members need to make association membership so valuable there’s no question they will renew?

Download the paper free. And tell us what questions would you answer if you had the right data?

Mariner Management & Marketing provides association management, volunteer coordinator and leadership development information for associations and non-profit organizations.