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On September 10th, we had the opportunity to speak at the Trade Union Conference in Bournemouth, England on “The Power of Data”. The talk focused on a few stories about how our clients use member data to better serve their members and to make more informed decisions! For instance, we told them about some of you who are using Member Resource Centers to provide more responsive service to members and the somewhat surprising result of getting even more responsive as you grow larger; which is the opposite of what one would expect. We also discussed how a few of you have automated the scoring of member engagement and how many of you integrate data from other sources and mine the intersection to make your membership information more meaningful.

The response to the talk confirmed for us that many of the issues facing unions in the UK are similar to those in North America. One interesting difference, however, is that most members seem to pay dues by direct debit. This really cuts down on the union’s reliance on employers to remit dues and the associated member information. One downside, however, is that they miss out on information that employers typically do provide, like terminations, classification changes, name changes, etc. – information that can assist with determining correct dues rates and accurate work locations. One very large union was particularly interested in how our clients use Member Resource Centers to better serve their members. This is always a common interest among unions we speak with.

We’ll be back in London in late November to speak at another event sponsored by the UK: Think-Tank Unions21. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more about unions in the UK.