As our annual communication benchmarking study gets underway, we started checking in with our readers to see where they’re most likely to go for reliable outside data about their industry and their members. While this month’s unscientific poll is still in its early stages, it looks like four out of five readers (80 percent) are consulting one of two sources: peer organizations or trade publishers that cover their industries. Just one in five respondents (20 percent) said they preferred government.
As you’ll see in Hank Berkowitz’s column and other stories this month, associations are substantially improving their data gathering, analysis and dissemination capabilities, but it all start with asking the right questions and making sure you’re asking the right way.
“You can’t put the roof on the house before you’ve get a solid foundation,” observed Sharon Moss, Ph.D., CAE, chief research officer of the ASAE Foundation.
As association professionals, we love to collect data, but actually using it and putting it into action? “That’s the hardest part for many organizations,” explained Sara Slater, MS, director of surveys and analysis at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).