Clutter is nothing more than decisions you will never make. Too many reports and too much DMO data can be clutter within our organizations. This disease, called hoarding, is the persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value. These are barriers to productivity and we must be mindful this holiday season to not overindulge on destination data no matter how tempting it all may look. Don’t be afraid to donate those Christmas Fat Pants.
DMOs have had to justify our existence for decades so we've created this fear that if we don't report the same metrics we did year over year we may lose our budget. We hold on to reports thinking “I might need this someday”. Like keeping 22 Allen Wrenches in your kitchen junk drawer in case you ever have to take apart that end table in the hallway.
We experience distress getting rid of the items we have in our spreadsheets because one particular board member loves the colorful web traffic pie charts. Since our industry lacks competitive benchmarking our KPIs and goals vary for every destination. This creates inconsistencies and reporting clutter. Dashboard fatigue is real folks.
We now have so much data available to us it’s a bit overwhelming: marketing attribution, STR reports, surveys, website statistics, jobs data, resident sentiment, airport data, visitor center numbers, relocations... and tons more. Are we still measuring toll-free calls for travel guides?
Spending hours coordinating analytics is becoming a time sink and we don't need everything available.
Clutter hinders innovation and this is the moment our industry needs organizational transformation the most. This is our opportunity to prove our worth and our DMO’s contribution to our communities. If we fail to innovate we lose our team focus, we wasted our time and potentially our budget. An office clutter intervention gives us the opportunity to positively transform our organizations and focus on that which really matters such as KPIs that contribute to the betterment of our community.
1. The Closet Move- Like your clothes closet, if you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. Take a look at all of your data streams and remove the ones you’re no longer even using.
2. The OHIO Method- Don’t overthink every report! We need to apply ‘Only Handle It Once’ to the data we include in our analytics. Increased frequency does not always mean increased impact. Clean it up and send the right analytics at the appropriate time.
3. Resist Obtaining More- (ROM) Every year a shiny new toy of data comes to market. Most are great but not all are applicable so ensure it provides an outcome to your new community KPIs. Data changes frequently so keep the options that update you at your pace.
4. Make Your Case- A 27-page quarterly report may not be necessary. Often we can make our case with more concise analytics, which can convey our narrative to our stakeholders. Find out exactly what they want to see and when and simplify what’s provided.
5. Vendor Input- There are hidden data stories within each data stream we acquire. They change often and we may not always see them. Talk to your vendors frequently and ask their opinions, advice and input on the data they’re sending your organization.
Tis the season for change, reflection and renewal. We can look back on 2020 with dread or we can take advantage of the holiday gift of seeing what the world was like without us. It was far from wonderful but we have an opportunity to declutter and change our communities for the better. Clutter is old ideas, toxic relationships, and bad habits. It is anything that does not support or strengthen. We didn’t know how strong we were until being strong was the only option we had.