3 Glimpses at New Advancement Technology Survey Data

EverTrue and Zuri Group partnered this fall to conduct a survey of advancement professionals to understand current sentiment about the advancement technology landscape. It’s a big study, with dozens of questions and hundreds of respondents. We are just getting started with the analysis. Here’s a quick glimpse into the our survey in advance of the AASP Summit #AASP16.

The survey reached a broad group: 646 responses from 434 institutions. And these respondents represent all aspects of advancement, including 11% among vice presidents and nearly 180 advancement services professionals. Here’s the breakdown by role and area:

While our analysis has just started, one important reporting issue jumped out at us: while reports are considered useful, access to reporting is considered a real problem. These two charts show that satisfaction is much greater for reports than for users’ access to them. This raises the obvious challenge–how do we make our often inefficient, sometimes hand-crafted reports more readily available for consumption?

We are working on a thorough report from these survey results. In the meantime, ask yourself whether your useful reports are less accessible than your users would like. If so, consider automated dissemination of reports (think: monthly email blasts, ideally with links to secure locations), dashboards, and self-service functions that will put data in users hands more effectively. If you’ll be at #AASP16, let’s connect and discuss what we’re seeing in our technology landscape.

Update: the full survey is now available here. What we found overall was that this dissatisfaction with technology is endemic. None of the areas had significant satisfaction levels. Particularly when we think of the “it’s ok” response as an indicator of mediocrity, the results are clear: advancement technology is not meeting users needs. As we move away from the basics (database of record, gift handling), we find the satisfaction goes down. So, the opportunity we face is that more complex and innovative needs require the most attention. Let’s hope we can get better and better tools to move the needle from mediocrity to magnificence.

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