DAMM – Data Analytics Maturity Model

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Stage 1: Learning

Associations in this first Stage understand the value and potential of data, but lack the knowledge, tools, and processes to take immediate action. Departments often operate independently, and data is not integrated across the organization. Basic reporting capabilities exist, but only for individual transactional systems. Decisions at Stage 1 associations are made often based on instinct, politics, and tradition.


Stage 2: Planning

All of these are important questions, but even before contemplating these it’s important to have a solid understanding of where you are now and where you’d like to go. To answer this fundamental question, maturity models have been created to assess all kinds of business and technical functions. There are some analytics maturity models as well, but nothing specific for associations have been built. Until now!

Stage 2 associations are aware of some of the costs of not having an effective data strategy – operational efficiency, member experience, and even financial performance. Associations in this stage have capable staff members with an analytical mindset and interest in data analytics, including one or more business area leader and an executive who can form a core analytics team. While pockets of interest exist to do more, the analytical mindset is not pervasive.


Stage 3: Building

Stage 3 organizations are in the process of building organization-wide tools and processes to leverage their data as an asset. There is an accepted strategy and implementation plan for analytics which includes a central data repository and tools for visualization and analysis that can be used by non-technical staff.


Stage 4: Applying

Stage 4 associations are one step closer, with a maturing central repository that is the trusted source for key association data. These associations use interactive visualizations and dashboards instead of static reports to manage performance in key business areas. And they use data and analytics to solve business problems. When action is taken, there are systems in place to monitor and measure results for continuous improvement.


Stage 5: Leading

The pinnacle of the Data Analytics Maturity Model for Associations, Stage 5 associations run businesses guided by data. Member experience, product, communications, and internal operations are managed and optimized using analytics. Data-guided decision-making is widespread throughout the organization and creates strategic advantage.


What is your DAMM™ Score?

The depth and breadth of data available is already staggering and increasing every day. Association professionals understand the value in leveraging data to advance their mission, serve their members and stay current and competitive. But getting started on an analytic initiative can be daunting, especially when resources are scarce.

You need a lot of information, and it may not be obvious where or how to find it. What are some problems we experience by not leveraging our data? What outcomes can a data/analytics engagement bring? How much will it cost? What are the best tools available? Do we need a partner to help?

Associations Analytics’ Data Analytics Maturity Model for Associations – DAMM™ – is part of its Analytics Strategy and Roadmap process as well as a standalone framework for a self-assessment. DAMM™ was created in collaboration with a committee of association professionals and based on more than 15 years’ experience developing custom analytics solutions as well as extensive industry best practice

DAMM assesses your organization on key elements of a successful analytics initiative including culture, technology, process, architecture, leadership, etc. It provides:

• Overall Score – a general measure of Analytics Maturity

• Category Scores – quickly identify areas of improvement

• Score Benchmarking – compare your overall and category scores to association peers

• Best of all the DAMM™ is not just a maturity model – it’s also an action plan. Each stage includes practical advice and specific actions that will increase overall maturity.

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