As the world becomes more data centric, the club industry is beginning to discover the power of utilizing data, research and analysis to operate more intelligently and strategically. According to Derek Johnston of Global Golf Advisors, informed intelligence planning increases the likelihood of current and future success.
The biggest challenges clubs face in their quest for better strategy is how to source and analyze the data and then apply that intelligence to determine future action. Comprehensive business intelligence is extremely important for clubs, especially those where boards are comprised of volunteer members with varying backgrounds and professional experience. “Everyone must be working from the same set of facts when discussing and ultimately setting strategy,” Johnston said.
Business intelligence is often new to clubs and tends to be misunderstood. “Simply put, you want to use information to help determine what has happened and why,” he explained. Using data to derive insight that helps with decision making is most impactful when 1) internal and external data from multiple sources is synthesized, 2) combined with experience and key business assumptions and 3) enabled by technology in order to identify unique insight.
“This means that relying on financial information or data from your club’s information system is not enough. It will not provide the specifics needed to develop the most successful strategy for your club,” Johnston warned.
Global Golf Advisors believes business intelligence requires a 360-degree view of all the factors impacting a club’s success from competitive market forces to member perceptions to operational and financial performance evaluations. It should also be defined based on who will be using it and the reason for which they will be using the information. Global Golf Advisors warns that anecdotal information in a board room is distracting and disastrous.
“Develop a strategy that supports both operational and strategic decision making that goes beyond typical financial data and key performance indicators. The top performing clubs around the world are consistently tracking, analyzing and reporting data to leverage intelligence and create competitive advantages,” Johnston concluded.
Stay tuned for Strategic Intelligence Part Two in our next issue which will address how to implement key practices to establish a strategic intelligence process at your club.
This article was authored by GGA Partner Derek Johnston for the Private Club Advisor.