Stop reading if you do not have two of the following data sources at your association:

  1. Event registration 
  2. Industry publication(s)
  3. Sponsorship/ad sales
  4. Mobile app
  5. Education credits 
  6. A social media presence

The above list represents the current state of the digitized information arena. Each hosts a variety of transactions – a credit card swipe, an email confirmation, panel attendance, or a retweet. These are all some form of a transaction. They may involve payments, or participation, some involve just your eyeballs. 

Technology is getting better at capturing them all.

Transactional data is not new, but the sources and amount of transactions that are and will soon be captured by your organization might be. Today, it means the thousands upon millions of data points that record an action or an event taking place.  

Technology will create more transaction channels in the future.

Before you get all NSA on me, lets talk about why its good news for associations and their members.

Application areas:

  • Engagement – who’s meeting with who, for how long, what are they interested in? Members can engage in ways that mean more to them.
  • Education – unstructured data analytics are growing at a rapid pace. Conversations around ideas, topics of interest, and questions can be used to generate relevant, timely, and valuable content.
  • Engineering – being able to knowingly build your event based on non-event user data (publications, webinars, etc) can lead to more efficient planning and execution.


  • There’s a ton of data – transactional data doesn’t come in the thousands or ten thousands. When you run large systems, it comes in the millions or billions.  
  • Where to start – without understanding the data in front of you, there are difficulties knowing what to look for or where to start – so take stock of what you have.

What do you look for?

Looking at your transactional data is like looking at a credit card or bank statement. All the information of every transaction is collected and at your disposal. Finding registration, attendance, among many other spectacles that are being collected, is simple. Work with your vendors, IT team, or partners to provide the raw information surrounding the transaction. With the information at hand, you can mold your marketing, sales strategy, and even logistics strategy to enhance your event.

Having knowledge on transactional data, or all data for that matter, is key for understanding what that information is holding. Take the time to look and experiment with the information in order to notice the trends and tendencies of your past events, but also to better predict the future ones.

Know what pipelines will help you get the most for your event, membership, or publication.



**Image by Scott Liddell