Is Private Club Data Analytics Due for A Disruption? (2/2 – Case Study)

This post is part 2 of the topic. You can find Part 1 here.

This part is a case study of a Platinum club in the US. Here we present a case study of a real Platinum club so that readers can see how we enable non-technical club users to be data self-sufficient.

The Start

“One of our restaurants is underused, and I would like to drive more members there. Who should I reach out to?”

“I want to see who comes to the club to eat but don’t play golf.”

“I want to see which families have teenage dependents.”

“I have a list of members I know personally. I want to greet them in person when any of them visits the club.”

“I would like to know how much extra $ members spend when they come in for our complimentary events.”

One afternoon a couple of years ago, I was in a conference room full of managers and directors of a highly prestigious private club, busy writing down their questions and requests. A friend introduced me to the club’s General Manager, and he brought me to the club (a big club with one city club and two sites with golf courses and close to 4,000 members) for demo and discussions.

The Project

After nearly two hours of passionate discussions, I was once again amazed by how creative these club professionals are. Every question was relevant, and you can directly attach a $ number to it. It looks to me that the club has plenty of data, and people have many ideas. The bottleneck in the middle that’s holding the club back is accessing the data. A term quickly jumped into my mind: Business Discovery. The rise of Business Discovery has been one of the most critical trends in data analytics in recent years. Business Discovery is a collection of technologies and principles that aims to empower information workers to slice and dice the data themselves to discover business opportunities instead of waiting for IT to build reports. This new approach to big data has been very successful in numerous industries, and it seems to be a good match here. 

Once I decided on the approach to the dashboard, it was time to get into the details. From the discussions above, I quickly came up most critical requirements for the dashboard.

  • Data from all systems must be integrated and put in one place. No one wants to learn how to run reports in different tools and merge them in Excel. The club decided to include data from these systems into the dashboard: Jonas, ForeTees, ACT, and E-Commerce
  • Users should be able to build their own reports. The club faces different challenges every day. Therefore users’ data needs keep changing
  • The interface should be easy to use for non-technical users
  • Users should be able to look at summary data as well as drill into transaction details
  • Every query should return results within seconds so that the user’s chain of thoughts is not interrupted
  • Data up till yesterday should be in the dashboard

The dashboard took around eight weeks to set up. It also went through several iterations to reconcile data and make it more intuitive. We delivered an easy-to-use cloud-based dashboard with a sub-second response time。 It integrates five years’ worth of historical data from all four systems and has over 300 charts & reports. Users can apply any filter to data and drill into transaction-level details. They can also develop reports to answer ad hoc questions.

The Benefits

When people replaced horse carriages with cars in the 1920s, they didn’t just go to the same places faster but also to more places. When club users get data more quickly, they start to include data into more decision-making. After using the dashboard for a couple of years, I had multiple conversations with the club management on its benefits. Here’s what they shared with me.

  • Higher per member spending. The club achieved this by marketing the right offer to the right member
  • Better serving members. The club learned what each member wants to use the knowledge to enhance member service
  • Higher club employees productivity. Time spent on assembling reports is much less than before
  • When asked about member attritions, which in many clubs is an area the dashboard could help, they told me they do not have this problem at all in the first place

Final Words

I hope you by reading this article you have a good idea of how private club analytics could be done differently using new technologies. In my opinion, this disruption would empower club managers and take the club to the next level.

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