Big Data & Analytics Heroes

Terri Dean

Chief Membership Officer at Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania

Terri Dean, chief membership officer at the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania and this week’s IBM Big Data and Analytics hero, shares how big data transformed how they retain members. 

How have big data and analytics impacted how you do your job today?

Girl Scouts of the USA and Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania have both been experiencing membership declines over the years. Girls have a lot more options now. When I saw the numbers declining I knew on an aggregate level that Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania retained 53 percent of its girl members. That’s all I knew because I just didn’t have the expertise at that point to dig deeper. So it was a natural progression when the opportunity was presented to partner with IBM on big data.

How are big data and analytics changing your business strategy?

Now, because of the influence of IBM and big data, I can tell you that we began the year at a 76 percent retention rate for girls. The information is there. Now we don’t have to just rely upon Excel spreadsheets to try to extrapolate future growth and try to develop trend lines. If we want to sustain girl scouting, we must marry data, big data and analytics with the work that we do on the ground. So I think that’s transformational. 

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