Clubs are beginning to discover the power of utilizing data to operate more strategically (see “Strategic Intelligence Part One,” September 2018). While enterprise grade analytics platforms that help to consistently track and analyze data may still be out of reach for many clubs, Derek Johnston of Global Golf Advisors says there are steps clubs can take now to lead to better decision making. He recommends club managers start with straight forward objectives for using and analyzing data:
Inform key decision makers at your club with customized, accurate, timely and actionable intelligence about your club’s membership, market, operations and finances.
Improve productivity and effectiveness of board and management meetings with sophisticated and reliable business intelligence.
Help club executives efficiently and effectively evaluate, develop and adjust strategy on an on-going basis.
In order to effectively collect, analyze and present the right information to the right audiences, Johnston suggests you look at your club’s strategic plan and overall club goals to identify the key questions you need to answer first. For example: If your goal is to increase intermediate membership conversion rates and build a larger pipeline, some of the things you would likely want to know are:
Conversion rates of intermediate membership over the past five years.
Number of prospects in your pipeline in the past five years and how many are in it currently.
Reasons intermediate members have and have not converted in the past.
Preferences and attitudes toward the club of those who have converted to full membership in the past.
The size and make-up of their personal networks and their willingness to recommend the club.
“If you could gather all of this information, track it and trend it over time, you could come up with a pretty good action plan to achieve your goal,” explained Johnston. “Work through this exercise for each of the most important categories of strategic intelligence: governance, membership, market, utilization and participation, employees, operations, capital and finance.”
Once you know the information that you need to frame your decisions, then you can begin to source the information from both internal (POS, member database, P&L) and external sources (population demographics and psychographics, real estate data, social media, web traffic, etc.). When you have the necessary data, you can analyze it in a way that considers your club’s unique circumstances, visualize the information in a manner that provides historical context and trends, and then determine the best approach for presenting the information to the various decision makers at your club.
Stay tuned for Strategic Intelligence Part Three in the next issue which will address examples and the key results of clubs that have leveraged data to achieve a desirable outcome.