Four Ways Data Mining Is Going To Change Associations

Dig Dug

Fundamentally, the only competitive advantage one has is customer knowledge. ~ Thomas Karlaris, CEO, Barclays.

CEOs are building and investing in analytic muscle more than any other functional area. They want to connect with their customers as individuals and get to know them better.

According to a 2012 IBM study of face to face interviews with more than 1,700 CEOs in 64 countries, 73% of CEOs are making substantial investments to draw more meaningful customer insights from available data.

Defining Data Mining

Data mining is the process of analyzing data from different sources and summarizing it into useful information. It is a process of discovering patterns in large sets of data. It is looking for relationships in facts, numbers and text that have not been currently found.

Associations have yet to scratch the surface in mining the data they already have. In the future, they will also be mining data on the web about their members. To continue to compete, they must piece together a more holistic view of their customers based on how they engage with the rest of the world and not just with their organization.

The challenge for associations is to identify the cues that their members leave both inside and outside of the organization and interpret them accurately. Then can they act on the insights they discovered.

Four Ways Data Mining Is Going To Change Associations

After more than a decade of talking about “markets of one” and “mass customization,” budgets are finally catching up with the rhetoric. CEOs are investing in real-time customer behavior so they can engage with them as individuals.

1. It will create a more customized member experience.

People today are used to having a customized experience. Everything from their television to their online shopping to their social media networks is personalized to their needs, wants and interests.

Why should belonging to an association be any different? Data mining will undoubtedly have a big impact on the association membership experience in coming years, helping members to create a wholly unique and individualized experience based on their needs and career goals.

Data mining can be used to provide better advice, help in choosing education programs, and even connecting with like-minded members that have similar challenges and issues

2. Members will get better advice on education programming.

Schools are already using new data mining software that helps students make better choices about which courses to take and how they will perform in those courses. Look for this type of eAdvising software to connect with the association sector. Members will get better advice on which association education programs map to their career goals, their association needs and the challenges they face.

3. It will change association marketing.

Data mining will help association leaders choose which members and prospective members to market its programs and services to. This sort of data-based marketing will be integrated with direct-mailing as mass marketing is eliminated.

4. Data mining could increase membership retention rates.

Some colleges are already experimenting with software that monitors and assess online behavior. Using specific algorithms it can predict if students are at risk of dropping out or failing a class. Expect this type of software to cross into the association world within the next decade to predict if members are at risk of dropping their membership.

What are some other ways data mining will change trade associations in the future? Where is your organization looking for customer insight?

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