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Jan 14, 2014

A New Way for Association Leaders to Report to their Board

In addition to setting an organization’s strategic direction, the Board of Directors is also responsible for monitoring the state of an association’s health and viability. In order to make the best decisions possible, board members consume information in the form of reports provided by the organization’s department leaders. For example, an event director may be interested in the all details that go into hosting an event. However, the details that interest most boards are “Red or Black”, trends, and year-over-year comparisons. It’s these “snapshots” that help the board set an association’s direction, and focus their activities to achieve the desired goals.

Traditionally, department leaders would meet with their team, capture the most up-to-date information, parse relevant information, and aggregate the data to present a static snapshot that’s worth “a thousand-words”. Unfortunately, this exercise takes copious amounts of everyone’s time, energy, and focus. Not to mention, the second the report left the printer, it was out-of-date. Today, more and more association executives take advantage of advances in software technology, which provides the capability to create dynamic, live, mobile, and visually appealing snapshots that are created in minutes, not days. Say hello to dashboards.

Dashboards are a form of “Data-Visualization”, which is a way to represent information in an interesting, concise, and colorful manner. Simply put, a dashboard is a visual representation of data. With software systems that touch all aspects of an organization, from membership, to events, to finance, association leaders can confidently portray the state of business to the board – with the click of a button. This allows leaders to satisfy the boards thirst for key information and save valuable hours in the process. Here’s an example of an Events dashboard that a board member would find valuable:

The advantages aren’t just limited to time-saving and data-accuracy either. By utilizing business-portals, association leaders can provide board members with a self-service platform that presents dashboards on-demand, from any location, including the smartphone in his or her pocket.

If a snapshot is worth “a thousand-words”, dashboards are worth a thousand conversations with your entire organization, condensed in 10-seconds. This 2-minute video discusses some of the ways associations can utilize their data to make timely, impactful decisions that their board would be proud of.

Posted by Don Carnevale on Tue - Jan 14, 2014

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