Looking Forward Dashboard
The most recent, relevant and customizable data to inform your decisions is critical in a dynamic and uncertain environment.

For 11 years, Association Laboratory has produced our annual environmental scan of the association strategy environment – Looking Forward®. This year, the Looking Forward survey was broken into two parts–Impact and Solutions–with a third study on DEI added to round out the research of the association sector. The new DEI component is the first of its kind look at what the perceptions, challenges and solutions are to issues around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, from an association sector perspective.

All three reports within the Looking Forward family are now provided via a customizable dashboard, allowing you to focus on the segment of the association sector most critical to you, your staff and Board. See what issues are impacting members and identify the most likely challenges you’ll face. Look across the sector to the solutions that are being implemented, and benchmark your organization’s DEI efforts against those of other associations. Each dashboard allows you to create and download a customized report.

Not sure how to get started with those conversations? We are providing you with a discussion guide and high-level Executive Summary for each of the three parts of the Looking Forward® studies. The Executive Summary for the Impact study also includes a sample agenda, worksheets and how to program a Zoom meeting to have discussions with your Board or internal staff. You may download the Executive Summaries by clicking on the appropriate Looking Forward segment below:

Looking Forward 2022 Executive Summary and Discussion Guide

Looking Forward Solutions 2021 Executive Summary

Looking Forward DEI 2021 Executive Summary

How to use the dashboard

The homepage of the data dashboard displays top-level results of the Looking Forward® data. To view one of the other Looking Forward® reports, click on the three bar menu to the left of Association Laboratory on the top of the page.

Clicking “Explore” in each chart will allow you to dig deeper into that topic area.

Each chart has a book icon in the bottom right corner, which allows you to see the question that was asked of respondents. 

In addition, once you clicked “Explore,” you will see a list of filters along the right side of the page. These filters allow you to adjust the data set by annual budget, member size, organization type, location, profession and organization type (meaning professional or trade). 

At the bottom of each page, the printer graphic allows you to print a PDF of the page to use in conversations with your Board.

Looking Forward Methodology

All of the surveys in the Looking Forward® family are distributed as online surveys, accessible on a computer or mobile device. Survey links are distributed broadly through out the association community via multiple channels, including: the Association Laboratory Research Alliance, ASAE Collaborate, Association Laboratory’s contact database and social media such as LinkedIn. Surveys are generally fielded for 3-4 weeks. 

For specific methodological details about each survey, follow the links below:

Looking Forward® 2021 Impact

Looking Forward® 2021 Solutions

Looking Forward® 2021 DEI

In addition, each survey’s Executive Summary contains methodology information in the appendix.

Association Laboratory's Research Alliance

Alliance LogoAssociation Laboratory is proud to be the founder and leader of the Association Laboratory Research Alliance.

The Association Laboratory Research Alliance is a collaboration of more than 20 state, national, specialty and global societies of association executives designed to investigate, lead the discussion of and provide insight into the future of the association business model. Since its inception, the Alliance has investigated the forces shaping association members and the implications of these forces on association strategy. In addition, the Alliance provided an analysis of the strategic and economic impact of COVID-19 on the association sector and acted as a clearinghouse for vetted information informing association decision-makers. The following groups comprise the Research Alliance:

  • American Association of Medical Society Executives
  • Association Forum
  • AMC Institute
  • California Society of Association Executives
  • Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives
  • Colorado Society of Association Executives
  • Empire State Society of Association Executives
  • Florida Society of Association Executives
  • Global Association Hubs Partners
  • Georgia Society of Association Executives
  • India Association Congress
  • Indiana Society of Association Executives
  • Iowa Society of Association Executives
  • Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives
  • New York Society of Association Executives
  • Ohio Society of Association Executives
  • Philippine Council of Associations
  • Tennessee Society of Association Executives
  • Wisconsin Society of Association Executives

Association Laboratory's Strategic Partners

CE21 is a cloud-based technology and services company providing a full-service Learning Management System (LMS) that delivers distance education, online registration and physical product sales solutions to professional education verticals including: Legal, Accounting, Health Care, Insurance, Business, Education Content Providers, Professional & Trade Associations and Non-Profit Organizations.

CE21’s award-winning LMS can help your organization deliver a best-in- class e-learning experience designed specifically for your most important customers–your learners. Built for today but designed with the flexibility to take on tomorrow’s changing needs, CE21 provides an elegant, mobile-optimized learning environment that will transform your organization into a 24/7 on-demand value provider.

For more information, visit CE21.com.

Nucleus is the official Data Analytics Solution to the Association Research Alliance. 

Built on modern data lake technology, Nucleus brings together the vast amounts of member data currently stored in different systems used by associations (AMS/CRM, email marketing, events, learning/certification, online community and more) and makes insights into this data available to everyone: staff, leadership, components, the board – and even members.

When you browse a Looking Forward Dashboard you are using Nucleus, a version specially configured to deliver the results of this industry research in an easily-explorable format. We are thrilled to have been chosen as the official data analytics solution of the Association Laboratory Research Alliance and hope you enjoy this new way to delve into findings from this and other Looking Forward studies.

We invite you to browse the Analytics for Associations Success Kit to learn more about Nucleus and to contact us to discuss use cases at your organization at Shepherd.Smith@communitybrands.com.