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Federal Reserve Chairman Demonstrates How Important Context is to the Data

Dave Will
November 13, 2020

A friend of mine is a brilliant financier. He passed this video on to me of the Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, giving this speech in October with a dizzying amount of statistics.

In this talk there's are lots of interesting statistics, many focused on change or the rate of change. He creates a story around the direction of the transactional data without contextualizing the numbers. This is not always a bad thing. Sometimes data tells a clear story.

But, more often the data alone doesn't tell the story. But data in CONTEXT does. The context can change the story dramatically.

For example, looking at the latest economic data, we had record GDP growth last quarter. But the numbers tell a vastly different story if you leave out the context of the baseline being historically low.

Associations often utilize data to make decisions regarding members. Association execs look at data and craft generalized stories applying them to personas. And the more sophisticated associations send emails with content we are guessing is relevant to them based on the data and the personas.

For example, when someone joins your association, you know through transactional and behavioral data what it is people do most often and so you might promote those things to your members all at once or dripped over time, all the while guessing what it is they need based on stats.

And that's all understandable because the association industry lacks a good way to capture context at the individual level.

And that's why we developed the ASK - CAPTURE - ACT methodology.

By asking questions and capturing contextual data along with the transactional and behavioral data, we can service each individual with what's important to them at that particular moment. That's contextual engagement.

So if you're contextually engaging your members, you'll more likely ask them WHY they joined which will trigger a number of "actions" that address their particular needs. It's the context and the data together that tells the true story.

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