Tech Memo: Members Get It Done

Volunteer tech know-how streamlines a complex project.

Keeping member data updated is hard enough, but taking on a project with complicated software is an even heavier lift. For the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, tapping into volunteers’ expertise proved to be an excellent solution.

SIOP has a staff of 11 serving 9,000 members. With her team spread thin, Jayne Tegge, SIOP’s member engagement manager, was delighted when the organization’s membership analytics subcommittee took on the task of creating a member dashboard using Tableau, a sophisticated data visualization platform.

“Because data collection and analysis and making evidence-based decisions are a crucial part of what our members actually do for their jobs, they took the ball and ran with it,” Tegge says.

The new dashboard is useful for analyzing data and creating insights, giving Tegge a better idea of who is engaged, who is paying their dues, what the retention rate is, and what the different drivers of that retention are. It also provides segmentation information among members, retirees, associates, fellows, and more.

We are committed to welcoming more representative voices in all aspects of our association’s community.

An unexpected added benefit? It is also useful to help SIOP’s members to know more about each other.

“Understanding more about membership, demographics, and trends really does serve as a proxy for the study of industrial and organizational psychology as a profession and what’s happening in our field,” says Amy DuVernet, the subcommittee’s cochair.

Tegge says SIOP takes seriously its responsibility to safeguard member data, including its demographic and identity-related information. “We are committed to welcoming more representative voices in all aspects of our association’s community, but to do so we must have a clear picture of who our members are and how we can best service their needs,” she says.

When the subcommittee began tackling the dashboard project, it requested member data from SIOP’s AMS. To allay privacy concerns, a staff analyst devised a system using identifying numbers for members to provide the subcommittee with aggregated data that did not include any member personal information.

What if you don’t have access to a group of volunteers with data expertise who are ready to take on such a big task?

“My recommendations for any association that contracts out for such an initiative would be to make sure there were some really knowledgeable and trusted members involved in the project,” DuVernet says. “Someone who could help inform decisions and provide information about how members would use the dashboard and review the output from that external provider before it was shared broadly, given the sensitivity of the data.”


(MicroStockHub/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Lisa Boylan

By Lisa Boylan

Lisa Boylan is a senior editor of Associations Now. MORE

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