David Gammel announced the release of proposed standards from ASAE's data standards task force for AMS packages and related technology products. The standards, based on XML, should presumably make more efficient the transfer of data between associations, chapters, business partners, etc. I applaud ASAE and the task force for undertaking this effort. I know David has been very involved in this process, so I'm hereby giving a shout-out to D-Gam. Holla!
For an industry that touts the development of standards as one of its highest contributions to society at large, the association community has woefully few standards. I personally think more standards in association management would be a good thing. For example, it's virtually impossible to compare apples to apples as far as retention rates go, because it seems each association has their own peculiar way of calculating retention to fit their own needs. I'd love to see someone like ASAE develop and publish standards for computing key metrics like retention, lifetime value of a member, etc.
The prospect of data standards represents a huge opportunity for the association community, but forgive me if I remain pessimistic. Getting two associations to agree to any joint venture is not easy, and the likelihood of getting more than two to agree to something like this seems to decrease with each new entrant. If there is a ray of hope, it is that the technology providers need to adopt these standards, not the associations themselves. However, with associations as the end users, I could see them potentially blowing up any hope of data standards coming to fruition by their unwillingness to be bound to certain data standards within their technology systems.
Also, I question the ability of ASAE to pull together the consensus needed to move this project forward. I hope to be proven wrong. The development of data standards would be a big step forward for our industry.
Tagged: ASAE Association Data Standards Task Force Association Management Associations CAE Certified Association Executive