Data-driven decision making

April 19, 2017

The head of communications at the Mississippi Hospital Association recently gave a great talk about data. She said that evaluating the effectiveness of communications is like the advice young women get from their mothers about dating: “Don’t just listen to what he says. See what he does.”

Which is to say, if you want to know what members think, don’t just ask them what they like, see what they do.

There is data behind every website and newsletter: How many people looked at each web page? How long did they stay? How many people opened the newsletter this week? At what time? Did they click on links for more information? What kind of stories get more clicks?

Our goal is to give you useful information in a useful way. Over the next two months, we’re going to be testing some changes to Weekly Report to see if we can do better. You may be in one of the groups to see some differences from week to week. We’ll be watching all the usual metrics, but we also hope to be hearing directly from you. Do you like or hate the changes? Are you hoping for something else entirely?

When Mississippi analyzed the click rates for their health care newsletters, they noticed something interesting. It turns out the most popular stories weren’t health care stories at all; they were stories about leadership. They then added a newsletter dedicated to leadership, and it is their most valued publication. And since data is data, and “adopting best practices” is another term for “stealing other people’s good ideas,” we’ll mix in a few relevant non-health care stories and see what happens.

With open eyes, ears and mind,
Mary Kay Clunies-Ross
WSHA Vice President for Membership & Communication


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