Sherlock Homes said, “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” And Holmes is right. But if you are not used to using data, the prospect of compiling it and then actually using it can be daunting.
Luckily, ACTIVEWorks Camp & Class Manager’s reporting tools make the compiling part a breeze–even if you are a total data newbie. But that still leaves the question of how to use the data!
Have you noticed or sensed a trend at your camp over time, but you’re not sure if it’s actually happening? For instance, it might seem to you that you have more female campers than ever before. You might feel like a specific camp program fills earlier and earlier every year. Or, you might think your camp used to have a lot of campers from a specific elementary school but does not have so many this season. You can use cross-season reporting to check on these trends: Simply create a customized report that segments the data in question–check registration dates of a camp program over the last five years, sort registration distribution by gender since the start of your time as the camp director, or see what schools are most represented at your camp over time—the possibilities are endless!
Using data to check out trends over time can help inform your decision-making. If you know a certain camp fills at an earlier date than normal, you might want to plan for more spots in that camp—or make a case to your board of directors as to why you could successfully expand the program. Knowing that more females are registering for camp might help you scrutinize their experience—what about your camp is attractive to female campers? How do you replicate that for more people? Understanding your camp’s ‘feeder schools’ helps you know where to show up for recruitment; you might focus on retention activities at well-represented schools and on recruitment activities at low-represented schools.
Oftentimes, data can confirm our feelings—and just as often it shows us something we didn’t yet see.
Custom Financial Reports
Just like registration information, using custom financial reports can help make informed decisions as a camp director. For instance, you can create a custom report that shows which families have spent the most money on your programs over the past year—like a family with four kids who all come to multiple weeks of camp. These high-commitment customers are important to retain, and you can spend extra time making sure they return next summer.
You can also combine cross-season reporting with financial reports for more impactful data. Let’s say you started a new camp program just three years ago and your board of directors wants to see how it’s grown. It can be useful to show them camper numbers (in other words, how many registrations), but it could be more powerful to show them the increase in revenue! Let the numbers tell the story of your success.
Report Concierge is an automated reporting tool that allows you to create custom reports that you can automatically send to any of your users in the Camp & Class Manager system. This is a super-powerful tool from a management standpoint. Traditionally speaking business leaders would not share metrics with their staff members, especially financial ones. These metrics were held as ‘confidential.’ However, the newer approach of Open-Book Management promotes transparency and shares financial information with employees. Studies have shown that this empowers employees, helps them invest in the organization, and makes them into stronger decision-makers. If you are able to create custom reports linked to goals or metrics for your camp, you can benefit this way as well.