A modern buzzword: ‘data’. Data analysis, data collection, data mining. But that is all sophisticated internet stuff. Good for Google, Amazon and other web giants. But what has it got to do with BMO’s?
Simple: ‘data’ basically also means ‘facts’. Facts means knowledge and knowledge forms the basis for success. Not only in advocacy, but also to keep members happy and make them good payers.
ZFE (Zambia) with the help of ITCILO and DECP a few years ago introduced a database system that allows them to keep all the information about members (data) up to date. The database now contains general information about members, information like phone number and email address about relevant people working at the member (CEO, HR-officer, financial officer), information about services provided to the member, information about payments etc. Thus any staff member of ZFE wanting to contact a member has access to loads of relevant information: When did my colleagues meet the member? What was discussed? Did the member participate in our training? Have they paid their fee? Etc. Etc.
Some effects: members feel better appreciated, participation of members in activities goes up, payments come in quicker.
All it took ZFE was increased discipline form staff members in sharing knowledge with colleagues using the CRM. That culture shift took a few years and in all fairness it is still an ongoing process. But the lesson is already there to be learned: data means money.