29 Jun 2015 139 hits
The Power of (Good) Data !

The Power of (Good) Data !

How you measure up? What data do you collect, track, monitor? What do you use? Why do you use it and how do you respond?

I love how good business intelligence, fed by strong data, allows me to present meaningful information that can help an organization move in the right direction. I learned the discipline working for a Starwood property, then applied it at Maritz Travel in the meeting environment. At one point, I was leading a team of about 10 business analysts, and, as data nerds, we decided to create a Top 10 List of Data Management Tips. (I doubt very much David Letterman has covered this one.) We created this list in the context of strategic meetings management programs, but these rules can be applied to other environments.

Top 10 Data Management Tips

  1. Meeting-level details should be accurate in order to report on trends at the portfolio level.
  2. Build a thorough quality control process and know the pedigree of your data. Correct data at its source, not manually in data extracts.
  3. Technology is an enabler not a solution to your business intelligence effort; assume ownership of your technology landscape (structure, training, reporting tools).
  4. Reporting is not business intelligence; data turns into business intelligence through analysis.   Never send a report or analysis to stakeholders without proper guidance and interpretation.
  5. Use correct visual displays (charts) and avoid pie charts; it is easy to distort a story with the wrong chart choice.
  6. The content of your report is more important than the format. Get excited about the value of your data, not by the elegance of your solution to obtain it.
  7. Look for benchmarking information to validate your findings. Track metrics that can be aligned with benchmarking data.
  8. Align your metrics with your goals and objectives so analysis can lead to behavior changes, if so desired.
  9. Start an analysis with a clear idea of what the final result should look like, but be willing to explore as the data appear.
  10. Do not overcomplicate your meeting metrics environment, and be aware of the complexity of some deceptively simple metrics such as CPPD (cost per attendee per day).

Whatever your current operating environment is, use these rules to tell more meaningful and impactful stories using good data. And most importantly, when you have data, don't keep it under wraps.

But how can we use them in our day to day activity of event planners? What is Data Responsiveness?

Capturing and using data to inform future actions will help you respond to future trends quickly and with more impact.  Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson of the Harvard Business Review simply express it “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

This is supported by Rob Allen who, in MPI's Future of Meetings research, believes that good decisions and responses are informed from data that is collected, interpreted and applied to the business. A critical step in future-readiness: “The way in which you respond to the information you possess.

Allen also believes that integration of technological platforms, in particular improving synchronization between suppliers, systems and procedures which in turn improves confidence levels of your clients. What type of data is relevant to your business or your clients? It is about tracking activity, measuring sales, ROI, ROO, conversion rates and algorithms. How could this apply to meetings? Many tools help with this such as delegate identification, attendee behavior, and registration hot points but these are not widely adopted nor communicated.

The focus of competitiveness in the meetings industry could well be centered on demonstrating with data the value of your events. Because of what you measure you will know more about your business and your clients and direct this to every decision you and they make. For Rob Allen the ability to use the information you get from clients and how you use this in your business and delivery of your event is essential just to maintain competitive advantage. For example, Certain Inc. offers a results measurement service that can demonstrate specific value indicators for your event. And Dataflow Events can manage your delegate database extrapolating key marketing information in order for you to attract additional clients.

In the age of Information and technology, businesses need to enable employees to exploit their skills and competencies so that they can review and act upon consumer trends, evaluate and build relationships and rapidly respond to changing market conditions.

Christian Savelli and Jessie States, Meeting Professionals International

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