All your time and energy, that is. You shouldn’t leave your meetings wondering if the data was accurate, if you can rely on the insights gained, or if the insight was valuable enough to spend so much time calculating.
There’s a better way. But first, let’s start with the basics.
Why set goals?
Goals are important, of course. But why? What can you achieve by setting them?
- Focus. Spend your time and money on initiatives that matter.
- Accuracy. Prevent memory bias and remember successes and failures correctly.
- Clarity. Identify your successful and unsuccessful initiatives.
- Achievement. Accomplish big objectives by taking small steps.
You have a plethora of metrics to choose from, but you are tasked with determining which is most meaningful for your organization.
Why track goals?
Without tracking, you’ll never know your progress and whether your initiatives are successful. You won’t be able to know if the organization’s mission is truly moving forward. And if something is failing, you won’t know to adjust course. If you aren’t tracking goals, why even set them?
Most associations set high level goals, like membership renewals or conference registrants. The problem is that those metrics, while important, are not the ones that will determine if and how your organization is moving forward.
For example, if you determine millennials to be a key growth target for your organization, then set engagement goals for that demographic. Understand how millennials contribute to your overall growth by tracking the full picture, from community engagement and conference registration to session attendance. By setting smaller holistic goals, you’ll be on track to reach large goals.
The reason most associations don’t set specific enough goals because tracking them is hard.
Why is tracking and reporting goals hard?
Oh, let us count the ways. Your data probably lives in different systems, so compiling relevant metrics is a pain in the you-know-what. As a result, the actual tracking process – calculating where you are in comparison to your goal – is manual. It requires massive amounts of time and often contains errors.
The people who care most about the data are often the least equipped to access it. Tracking and pulling reports requires expertise across various different platforms and is typically resource intensive.
By the time you’ve created a report, it’s already outdated. If you’re pulling a spreadsheet from your AMS to report against your conference registration goals, what happens when 3 people register minutes after pulling the data? You’re misrepresenting (undervaluing) your contribution to the progress.
How can tracking and reporting not suck?
The solution to this headache is simple:
- Your data all should live in one place.
- That place should allow you to set and automatically track goals.
- Goal progress should be accessible to everyone, in real-time, at any time.
An automated solution (like Nucleus) will address these challenges and assist your organization in setting, tracking, and reporting on goals without sucking all your time and energy.