I spent six years working for a large company with revenues in excess of $500 million. Organizations that size are able to staff database analysts. These are people who wake up every morning thinking about things like polynomial regression theory and predicative analytics. I depended on these amazingly brilliant people and their talents and skills to guide my marketing investments and make business-critical decisions.
What about about database analytics for the rest of us?
Now that I work with a variety of organizations, I’m amazed at how many nonprofits and churches with multi-million dollar operating budgets don’t invest in this kind of vital business intelligence and process mapping. The prevailing practice — in many instances — is to “just go with it” and see what happens.
I can certainly understand why:
- The urgent squeezes much of the opportunity to pause for analysis of any kind.
- The availability of people who can perform such work is often limited.
- The salary for a database analyst (when you do find the fight person) is often out of reach for many nonprofits and churches.
My goal is to remove obstacles for my clients, so I’ve found a way to provide database analysis for the rest of us.
It’s really simple (on your part at least):
- You identify the questions you’re trying to answer. (e.g. What age groups are growing in total dollars given? Who has increased/decreased their giving in the last 12 months?, etc.)
- We help you get the data we need out of your existing database. (e.g. ERP, ChMS, etc.)
- We process the data, put it into graphs and charts you can use internally, and offer insight into what we discovered.
Here’s what you can do with this information:
- Modify existing workflows or organizational strategy for better performance. (Huge area for growth among existing clients is in the area of assimilation and donor tracking.)
- Adjust your existing content strategy.
- Evaluate new initiatives or areas of opportunity to invest time, money, and people. (Stop leading with your gut.)
Take a look at some redacted charts and graphs we’ve created for some of our clients. Databases are powerful tools if used correctly. Part of harnessing the intelligence captured in this one place is understanding how to interpret and report over the available information. The questions you’re asking (or maybe afraid to ask) are probably hidden within the data you’re already collecting.
How do you use database analysis to inform your content marketing strategies for mission-critical functions like donor acquisition, cultivation, and relationship management? For churches, how can you be sure your assimilation process is engaging people who are then investing in your ministry with their time, talents, and resources?
Ben Stroup is a content activist in a post-paragraph world. He is chief broker of opportunity at Ben Stroup Enterprises. Connect with Ben via email, Twitter, and Google+. Subscribe via email to learn how to use content to move people to action.