Tableau recently published their top trends in Business Intelligence for 2016.   A few of these deserve a closer look in the context of Association Analytics.



IT and business users were thought to be on opposite sides of the spectrum, uneasily meeting in the middle.  Now, they realize that they really weren’t that far apart, more like different sides of the same coin.  As more business users rely on analytics to run their day-to-day business, the need for quality data increases. Quality governance practices help IT maintain your data, while giving business users the confidence they need to dive in.  Self-service analytics also frees up IT from creating visualizations to spending time on guarding your association’s most precious asset, data.




Often in the past, data analysts have been the outliers at associations, considered specialists who didn’t necessarily speak the same language as the rest of the business staff.  Now, with visual analytics and storytelling becoming the norm, more staff across the association are developing the vocabulary necessary to engage in this conversation.  A big part of this change begins in the hiring process.  Associations need the right people in order to change the conversation.  Look for critical thinking skills, not just a list of software programs and technical skills.  Given time and training, staff will develop proficiency in analytical tools and processes but it can be more difficult to teach people how to think differently.   A culture of data guided decisions is best supported by those who don’t always take data at face-value, but want to dig in and see what is really happening.


Business Intelligence is constantly evolving. New technology and techniques will become available that can help you increase the insight from your data.  As 2015 comes to a close, make sure to spend time looking towards next year and thinking about how you can leverage these trends in order to continue moving your association forward in 2016.