The first thing that comes to mind when we think of the word dashboard is to imagine the information displayed in your car or what a pilot uses to navigate his voyage.
Navigate, we chose to use this word rather deliberately here to help you visualize navigation and the incredibly difficult task this truly is.
Navigating properly requires a multiplicity of skills and the help of either the right tools or those around us.
What is a Dashboard?
Let’s revisit the word ‘dashboard’ but now in the context of navigation in this new digital ocean, we have come to call it digital transformation.
A dashboard can help you navigate the ocean of your multi-chapter organization by displaying readily-available financial information and enabling a pulse-check into the health of the organization.
Having a readily available dashboard can then be your most powerful tool in tracking the effectiveness of one or many chapters.
Let’s dive deeper into how powerful dashboards can track your chapter's effectiveness.
- What are the Key Indicators of Chapter Effectiveness?
- What Systems Come Equipped with Powerful Dashboards?
What are the Key Indicators of Chapter Effectiveness?
1. Communicate well with the chapters or tiers within the organization on the admin side
Communication is key and doing it effectively is as challenging as it is necessary.
Much like with a large corporation, an army, or a football team, having a disconnect between different departments and teams is often due to inadequate or insufficient communication.
Therefore, one of the best indicators of a chapter’s success is identifying the flow of the communication stream.
Some questions to keep in mind are:
- How are chapters communicating with the national?
- How is national keeping branding consistent and ensuring messaging?
- Are expectations being met and are departments understanding their deliverables?
- Are dues moving swiftly from the top down or the bottom up of the organization?
If the administration of a chapter organization can look at these types of questions and answer them positively, it is a good indicator of how effective it is.
2. They have robust means to avoid manual communications regarding data
They say “data is king” and they say that for a reason.
Data doesn’t necessarily run an organization, but it helps leaders make better well-thought-out business decisions. The larger the organization the more data has to be processed.
The more data that has to be processed, the more room for error, the more errors the harder it becomes to fix them, the more time you waste, the more resources you lose, and the worse your business decisions will be and we create a negative cycle all rooting back to poor data.
The best solution to avoid manual communication regarding data is to have the necessary tools to collect and interpret it. Having a solution is generally another indication of a chapter organization’s effectiveness.
3. The Branding is consistent throughout any tier of the organization, as is the mission
Developing a strong mission and branding is the foundation of any organization. If both of these aren’t adopted at all levels of the organization, whatever awareness could’ve been gained is lost to inconsistency. A strong brand and mission are the difference between an average and an extraordinary organization.
In order for the branding and the mission to reach that level of cohesion, the organization has to be effective in its communication strategy. This ties into our first point regarding internal communication and is therefore a clear indicator of a chapter’s effectiveness.
4. Segmentation and engagement tools are used well at every tier
The depth of analytical understanding and as a consequence, the effectiveness of a chapter organization is also closely related to the segmentation, communication, and engagement tools. Having segmentation tools enables proper marketing and distribution of the right information to the right people.
This is also a reflection of the internal organization of the organization and how well it is managing all of its member information.
Engagement can be hard to measure and it can be easy to forget about. However, it can be very useful in guiding decision-making and effectiveness.
Understanding the engagement of your members and the community helps know what type of content to write (which shortens your creative process), what type of events have the best attendee rates, what messaging resonates best, and so on.
All of this information makes an organization more efficient and better able to make decisions.
How can Dashboards Track Chapters’ Effectiveness?
Now that we understand the keys to chapter effectiveness, we can come back to dashboards and their role in tracking all of those key metrics.
Having a powerful dashboard allows you to customize and modify the type of information displayed that best represents the performance of your individual organization.
Simplifying complex data in an easy-to-read format
The beauty of dashboards lies in their simplicity and effectiveness.
While it won’t give you deep insights into every minutia of the inner workings of your organization, it withholds enough information to give you a quick and accurate overview of performance.
Oftentimes, a dashboard can function as a warning sign that something is amiss. This is because looking at data from a birds-eye perspective makes it easier to process more information and get a clearer picture of overall performance as opposed to just analyzing one piece of the puzzle.
Dashboards are in essence your early warning signs, a guide and a trusted advisor all working together to make you more effective and streamlined at managing the operations of your chapter organization.
Customizable so you see what you want to see when you need to see it
Even though we’ve outlined some key performance metrics that chapter organizations track to measure effectiveness, it really is a very individual endeavor. Meaning, what might be valuable for one organization to track might not be necessarily an indicator of effectiveness for another.
That being said, one of the reasons why dashboards are so powerful is because more often than not, they are completely customizable to fit the needs of your organization.
Overview of the entire operation
When we talk about the effectiveness of an entire organization, it is essential that all pieces are considered.
Take for example a chapter organization, it might be functioning well in some chapters, but overall, there might be an issue with tracking financial data in some areas, membership growth could be increasing in some chapters and not others, branding could be followed by some chapters only so on and so forth.
With the addition of a dashboard, someone like a chapter liaison for example is quickly able to see the entire view of the operation and pivot at the right time.
How to Use Websites for Dashboards to Track Chapter Performance
A website can help chapters with dashboards by providing a centralized location for tracking key performance metrics. This can help chapters identify areas where they are excelling and areas where they need improvement. Dashboards can also be used to identify potential problems early on, so that they can be addressed before they become serious.
Here are some specific ways that a website can help chapters with dashboards.
Track member dues: This is essential for ensuring that chapters are financially stable.
Track chapter dues: This can help chapters to ensure that they are meeting their financial obligations to the national organization.
Track events: This can help chapters to measure the success of their events and to identify areas for improvement.
Track engagement rates: This can help chapters to measure the level of engagement of their members and to identify ways to increase engagement.
Track tasks and opportunities: This can help chapters to stay on top of their workload and to identify new opportunities for growth.
Looking for ways to improve your association, chamber, or nonprofit chapter website? The Glue Up and HubSpot website grader tool can help. Get scores for performance, security, mobile optimization, and SEO, along with practical improvement tips. We also offer a free consultation to help you take your website to the next level.
What Systems Come Equipped with Powerful Dashboards?
Although there are many software out there with dashboards, it is best to look for one whose dashboard can track the information you need to measure the effectiveness of your chapters. Simply put, think about what is important for you to track and look for a solution that caters to that need.
Glue Up’s chapter management solution is a great example of a system that is built specifically for chapter-based organizations and therefore is able to display most of the data that chapters find useful in its arsenal of customizable dashboards.
For example, you’d be able to track member dues (regardless of where this sits in the structure of your organization), chapter dues, events, engagement rates, tasks, and opportunities.
If at this point you have identified a need that a solution such as Glue Up’s chapter management is able to fulfill, you may be keen to explore the solution here and set some time to further discuss with a trusted advisor.
Dashboards are your navigation medium on road to organizational effectiveness and efficiency.
The way in which you’d like to use them really does depend on the information you deem necessary in determining how healthy your chapter organization is.
Regardless of what you use dashboards to measure, they are an invaluable tool that will facilitate your day-to-day and allow you to focus on ‘big picture’ tasks that you otherwise might not have the time to complete. Just like a trusted messenger or guide, dashboards are a must-have in any chapter-based organization.