Business

Chicagoland Association Group Launches New Benchmarking Tool

The Association Forum of Chicagoland says that its new InSight EZ tool can help its members compare practices using targeted data.

When an association adopts a structured and rational process for analyzing benchmarking and comparison data, that often serves as a vehicle for breakthrough thinking.

The Association Forum of Chicagoland says that its new InSight EZ tool can help its members compare technology and meetings practices using targeted data.

Sometimes it helps to get a peek over someone’s shoulder to see if they’re doing things better than you are.

That’s the idea behind InSight EZ, a new benchmarking tool released by the Association Forum of Chicagoland this week. The group says that the tool makes it easier to compare IT and annual meeting practices among a number of different associations—something that fits neatly with the nearly 98-year-old group’s mission to “advance the professional practice of association management” in the Chicagoland region. More details:

So how does it work? The free tool, which is available online, requires a series of data points from the association using it—43 for IT and 38 for annual meeting—to show differences in how organizations work. Much of the necessary data is available on a standard budget report. The tool generates reports that present information in a way that allows quick summarization and analysis of key differences between associations. “When an association adopts a structured and rational process for analyzing benchmarking and comparison data, that often serves as a vehicle for breakthrough thinking,” Association Forum of Chicagoland President and CEO Christie A. Tarantino, CAE, said in a statement.

Why is it useful? As the group’s IT director, Jason Wampler, explains, conversations about associations’ similarities were already happening informally among members. The additional metrics just help to quantify things with more specificity. “By expanding these one-off conversations into an association-wide survey, we are now able to give our members solid, comprehensive data on which to base their business decisions rather than the anecdotal information on which many once relied,” Wampler said in a press release.

Insight EZ is the group’s the latest collaboration with Dynamic Benchmarking, which created Insight, a more in-depth version of this tool, for the association in 2012.

(iStock/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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