Akron Area Y More than Doubles In-Person Engagement

By | Engage, Engagement, Fundraising, Industry, Membership, Mission Delivery | 4 Comments

Earlier in the year we published a story about the Akron Area YMCA’s efforts to increase in-person engagement at their centers. We spoke with their Technology Director, Ken Hoyt, about his efforts to motivate staff to create good engagement habits.

Today we’re seeing a dramatic increase in the number of conversations that his staff is having with members but also an increase in the quality of conversations initiated and tracked. In fact, looking at the first half of May, the Akron Area Y is reporting 899 in-person conversations. This is more than double the 404 conversations that were tracked during the whole month of April.

Why is it important to track these conversations? This is the best way to get stories. The stories the staff at the Akron Y have logged range from basic:

“Since joining the Y ___ has tried to come every weekday. He really enjoys his new routine of working out before work.”

To the inspirational:

“___ just lost her husband 2 months ago. Trying to get back on her feet. Coming here has really helped her cope. She is interested in water aerobics for her bones and joints. She thinks she will try it next week.”

By having these conversations, the Akron Area Y is connecting with their members on a deeper level and they are logging these stories to help tell the Y story to those who don’t know or don’t understand it. These stories serve as a foundation for community outreach as well as donor and volunteer recruitment. The mission of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility is reflected in stories like these:

“[I] talked about her 11 year old using the fitness room because school will be out soon. I told her that if he is big enough to use the machines and goes through teen wellness that would be okay for the summer. We discussed making the teen wellness a one on one session with a wellness coach for several sessions. We also talked about camp and volunteering for day camp for the summer as an option for him to be involved in the Y…”

“I asked what his workout goal is and he said, ‘not to worry about his wife for an hour.’ He talked extensively about his wife and her medical condition. She is home now and resting.”

“Got to sit with ___ and her newest little princess who is 2 weeks old now. Said they were all doing very well. She is ready for a run and the doctor has permitted her to start back because she was so active throughout the pregnancy. She and the kids just came in to play with the other kids in CW today. The kids were missing their friends.”

You can set your staff up for success when capturing conversations with members. By tracking and recording these interactions you have the stories that support the Y mission, inspire staff, donors, and volunteers, and benchmark your engagement efforts with your members.

Data is Meaningless (Not Really – Hear Me Out)

By | Board, Industry, Leadership, Mission Delivery, Organizational Health, Trends Reports & Surveys | 3 Comments

As the new Daxko Product Manager focused on all things reporting and analytics across Daxko products, I spend 100% of my time listening to users, documenting needs, and forming and managing plans to ensure that what we do now will improve what is delivered to customers in the short and long terms. This is sincerely fun stuff.

In my 13 years of working with data in different jobs — from U.S. Space Command (yep, you can ask me about satellites) to federal child welfare benchmarking (happy to chat about child well-being trends) to Y-USA and Y data (program, membership and impact – you name it!), my hands-down favorite thing is this…

Data doesn’t answer questions well.

Nope, I’m not kidding.

Intuitively, we all know this. If your blood pressure is 160 over 110, you think, “that’s not good” … BUT if it was 170 over 120 when you measured it two weeks ago, then all of a sudden those very same numbers make you think, “I’m improving! This is good (or at least better)”. Those “bad looking” numbers are telling you you’re moving in the right direction.

As you might infer, “how was that collected?”, “so what?”, “compared to what?” and “well, that depends … “ are my go-to responses. That’s because if we don’t answer these questions we are in danger of not understanding what is actually going on and making bad decisions as a result.

Data need to be many things to be meaningful. At a minimum, it needs the following:

#1: It needs to be correct. A nurse measuring your blood pressure needs to not only know how to use the exact model of the cuff they put on your arm, they also need to read, remember, and write-down the right two numbers while using it. To go one further, the doctor who reads what the nurse wrote has to be able to decipher his or her handwriting or the whole process is nullified. The industry word for this is data integrity. It’s self-explanatory why it’s vital, but it’s also very easily not achieved — or even realized if you don’t have it.

#2: It needs to be presented in context. This is how we know what’s good, bad, or trending in a certain direction. In this example, we have blood pressure guidelines for healthy ranges. Not only do those exist, but there are different ranges for how old you are, if you’re male or female, or if you’re on a plan with your doctor to reach a certain goal. Heck, they can even change over time as new research emerges. Good health care providers will also tell you to consider this information in combination with other factors, such as family history, diet, weight, etc.

#3: It needs to be digestible. You could have access to the best information in the world, but if you can’t explain what you have, you can’t use it. If we all needed to explain systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) of blood pressure, many would feel overwhelmed or get stuck on information that doesn’t answer their questions. In this example, if #1 and #2 above are done well, it’s much easier to take-in your blood pressure ratio than also having to take-in all the research behind it.

I’m drawn to analysis and reporting because good data is different than available data. I would argue that meaningful data is more important than Big Data, we’ve-always-collected-that data, and that’s-interesting data.

So let’s revise what’s above…

Data collected via sound methodologies and presented in appropriate context in a way that can be understood answers questions VERY well.

Daxko is working to give customers accurate, relevant, digestible data to our users. Some of the ways we are making this happen:
  • Improving our data warehouse so all customers will have just the right (depending on the needs of their organization) access to the  data they need
  • Elevating the custom reports user experience to provide easy, quick data points in context that will make a difference to the organization
  • A quick and accurate measurement of the positive difference you are making with your members (think of it like a cause-driven nonprofit NPS Score)
  • Refining the Donor Index to allow fundraisers the ability to create targeted outreach  campaigns just for donors

You can reach me at cmiller@daxko.com if you have thoughts about Daxko data and reporting – I’d love to talk to you.

Should Disaster Strike, Daxko Has You Covered

By | Customer Experience, Facilities, Industry, Mission Delivery, Organizational Health | No Comments

A disaster can strike anywhere, anytime so planning for the worst scenario can give you the best outcome should an unfortunate event arise. The average time it takes a business to recover after a disaster is 18.5 hours. Disaster recovery and business continuity planning are integral parts of overall risk management for an organization.

Daxko continually works to improve its disaster recovery and business continuity plans. In the unlikely event that our entire data center becomes disabled via a catastrophic event (natural disaster, terrorism, etc.), we can have Daxko Operations up and running again in a completely new data center on the other side of the country in just 72 minutes. That’s right, 72 minutes. Not two days without your data. Not eight hours without your system. Just 72 minutes to replicate your entire system in a data center on the other side of the country. No other provider can come close to offering that speed and peace of mind.

According to Matt Cook, Daxko Director of TechOps:

Our team has applied considerable effort and expertise over the past year to ensure our customers experience minimal negative impact even in the case of a highly unlikely scenario. By testing our disaster recovery plan each quarter, we learn invaluable lessons with each test and continuously improve. We’ve had plans before, but actually practicing these scenarios gives our team the confidence that in a real world event, we will be successful.”

Creating a redundant data center in a different physical location with the ability to switch over at a moment’s notice is no small task and it would be difficult for an organization to do alone. This is one area where the large network of Daxko Operations customers benefit from each other and their shared interests. The technical team at Daxko knows taking the time to create, fine-tune, and practice a disaster recovery plan will pay dividends if the need ever arises.

2016 YMCA Membership Summit

By | Engagement, Events & Happenings, Industry, Leadership, Membership, Mission Delivery, Mobile | No Comments

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the YMCA Membership Summit in Dallas. With over 600 executives in attendance and the energy at the event, it is clear that the future of membership is a critical and compelling topic for Ys. After attending sessions, listening to speakers, and engaging in conversation with many YMCA executives, I noticed a recurring theme: change is inevitable; and with change, comes opportunity.

So how will Daxko support our customers through these changes?

  1. MOBILE The newest generation of members and program participants are digital natives. Mobile solutions are simply an expectation. That’s why we’ve been working closely with our customers build out the latest version of Daxko Mobile from the ground up, using the latest in Mobile development tools. Our pilot Ys love the usability and the member experience of the new solution. This project is just the beginning of Daxko’s new member experience priorities that will poise our customers as progressive, member-minded organizations in their communities.
  2. NON-TRADITIONAL MEMBERSHIPS (You may think of this as a virtual membership.) Creating a virtual health and wellness community represents an opportunity to reach the 82% of the US population who don’t belong to any gym. This is particularly true with the millennial demographic who want to work out where they want, when they want, and are accustomed to having a social network integrated into everything they do. With that in mind, we’ve excited by the launch of Daxko Well, which is being piloted by the First Coast YMCA in Jacksonville  and the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs. 
  3. DATA As a result of having 600+ YMCA customers, Daxko has more data, over a longer period of time, than any other provider. And we want that to mean something. We are actively working with Y-USA to make that data available and meaningful across the Y Movement.
  4. DAXKO ENGAGE Engaging your members is more than just sending out well-designed emails and short text messages. You can’t impact your members and consistently build relationships without a systematic and intentional approach. That’s why we developed Daxko Engage, the only engagement solution that is powered by data that accurately shows which members are engaged and who’s at risk of terminating their membership. 

I’d like to hear your your thoughts and comments. We can have a much greater impact when we all work together. 

-Dave