TrackResults 6th Annual Poker Tournament

TrackResults is hosting its 6th annual charity fundraiser event benefiting SendMeOnVacation.org on Sunday night, April 7th, coinciding with the blast-off of the ARDA World Global Timeshare conference in Orlando, Florida. Historically attended by only 100 invitation only sponsored poker players and special VIP guests, the incredibly fun annual Texas Hold ’em poker tournament (no cash prizes) is the primary source of support funds for SMOV cancer survivors. This event will occur at the appropriately named “Main Event” entertainment center, and has been repeatedly referred to as the highlight of the conference for 200 or so of the 3,000 or more attendees whom attend ARDA World. Timeshare industry executives and their management teams enjoy genuine facetime, networking with other industry powerhouses, tons of laughs, open bar cocktails, and a truly powerful philanthropic evening.

TrackResults puts a unique twist on its fundraising approach for this event by not opening it to the public. Hospitality industry leaders are invited to sponsor the event by making donations to reserve a limited number of player’s seats in the poker tournament, relative to the size of their donation or pledge commitment. To get a seat in the game you must receive a sponsor seat or becoming a sponsor yourself. To see a who’s who list of these sponsors, become a sponsor, or obtain a ticket to the event, visit www.SMOVpokertournament.com.

As a SMOV fundraiser, 100% of the net proceeds go to cancer survivors as a fully funded vacation at timeshare resorts around the world. These vacations are no strings attached to the cancer patient, and the green light from their physician is the only requirement. All the resort inventory and travel expenses for the patient’s travel is donated by timeshare industry resort developers, hospitality industry suppliers, service companies and timeshare travel clubs. These recovery vacations provide palliative care for the survivor to help recover from the mental, physical, financial and emotional damage of battling cancer.

Last week, a new individual record was set in our fundraising efforts by Valentinov Danchev. Val has supported SMOV for the past six years, and this year Mr. Danchev pledged $10,000, on the spot, when asked to donate. The size of Val’s pledge is already in the upper limits of our TrackResults corporate fundraising efforts, however when asked “Which brand do you want us to deliver the invoice for your pledge?,” Mr. Danchev replied “This is not a business transaction by our resort, rather this is my personal donation to help these brave survivors on the path to full recovery. I believe in these fighters and have seen the devastation of cancer first-hand.” Danchev then pulled his personal credit card from his pocket, handed it to our staffer to swipe and said “Please charge this to my personal card now, I’ll handle the details of accounting later.” This donation was the highest single transaction amount ever tendered from a single individual rather than a corporate entity in our seven years of soliciting donations and hosting this fundraising event.

Each year Valentino, through his partners and associations with Vidanta resorts, SQN Escapes, and his internal staff at Fidelis marketing, brings in waves of support to many charities. They volunteer with time, enthusiasm, and a one-team-one goal mentality that mines their extensive travel industry network to donate vacation resort dates, rooms, and fun activities to SendMeOnVacation.org, and other charities, as true leaders in corporate citizenship.

Shawnah Sheehy, SMOV Board Member and COO of iMDirect Marketing said, “Running a non-profit is a constant labor of love. Organizing volunteers, donations, events, marketing and accounting is practically like having a second full-time job.” Cathy Backus, Founder of SMOV said, “Thank goodness we are lucky to have supporters like Val. He brings so much value to our organization, and his heart is in the right place.”

Chasing down C-suite executives for charitable donations can be an arduous task, requiring fundraisers to be willing to spend social equity and possibly impose on personal and business relationships. Fortunately travel industry professions are by nature a generous group, and it’s rare when we are soliciting yet “another ask” that we are turned down with some excuse espousing obstacles.

Drew Reynolds, TrackResults co-founder said, “Most CEOs and VP’s we approach can afford to write a personal check or whip out a credit card and donate a couple thousand dollars easily, and they do so because they really care. Val striking a personal check for 10k really sets the bar high for others to follow.” Todd Rogers, founder of the TrackResults poker tournament fundraiser said, “Even though some aren’t blessed with the good fortune of talent and success to be able to donate $10,000 like Val, virtually everyone is willing to donate something towards our cause. It may be a small donation or a pledge to go big next year, but everybody offers something up because I think we all lose a piece of ourselves when we lose someone to cancer. We just lost a friend and 25 year industry veteran named Brett Estes to cancer on February 7th. Brett was a great guy who helped others too. I recognize and respect that our sponsors are bombarded with requests for support donations; it can be overwhelming for them, and yet year after year they manage to find a way to say “yes, I want to help”.”

More about Kaloyan Valentinov Danchev:

K. Valentino Danchev is a successful businessman in the resort industry. He is the Founder of The Chilpayate Foundation, a non-profit organization created to assist children in need and their communities and an ardent supporter of Send Me On Vacation. Valentino is the CEO of Fidelis Marketing, the marketing firm that conducts all international timeshare sales for the Vidanta group of Mexico, which operates many hotel and timeshare brands including most notably the Grande Luxxe, Mayan Palace, and Grand Mayan / Grand Bliss brands, among others. www.valentino-danchev.com

More About Send Me On Vacation

Send Me On Vacation is a non-profit organization that strives to provide assistance to breast cancer survivors who have been financially and emotionally devastated by cancer treatments. Send Me On Vacation provides the opportunity for mental and physical healing through a holistic recovery plan, helping breast cancer patients and survivors back to full health. Send Me On Vacation believes that a memorable vacation is a key factor in renewing, restoring, and rejuvenating a cancer survivor’s body, mind, and spirit.

More About TrackResults

Established in 2005, TrackResults is based in Salt Lake City, Utah. TrackResults is the leading provider of business-intelligence solutions for the vacation ownership industry and the only ARDA member company that is focused exclusively on marketing analytics, sales intelligence, digital manifesting and industry specific software consulting designed to help developers, club owners, and vendors improve efficiency by engaging in empirical data mining and applying prescriptive analytics. TrackResults was the sole recipient of the 2015 ARDA ACE Innovator Award for small business. 

TrackResults has created unique industry intelligence as a result of manifesting over 15 million tours, and its SaaS is accessible via any web browser or web enabled device. The TrackResults SaaS platform remains the only business intelligence software company designed from the ground up for the sole purpose of providing BI to timeshare and travel clubs. Over 300 sales forces and marketing teams in the vacation ownership industry worldwide trust TrackResults to provide a single truth that everyone can rely on. TrackResults is a Chairman’s League Member of American Resort Development Association (ARDA), Better Business Bureau (BBB), Resorts of Distinction (ROD), Resort Developers Association(RDA), Cooperative Association of Resort Exchangers(CARE), Mexican Resort Developers Association (AMDETUR) and The Utah Technology Council.

Marketing Blurb:

Discover New Ways TrackResults Power Users are Diving Deeper Into Marketing and Sales Insight, at a Glance.

 

We’ve created an all new Custom Form that has multiplied our ever popular notes capacity. That means if you have multiple questions crammed into any one of our existing note fields, you can now break those questions out. Each into their own little home.

 

All this comes with an enhanced Sales Detail View that allows you to quickly scan for the details you seek. You will now see emphasized note titles and a dedicated section for all of your Custom Form information. We even display the questions that are missing answers. That way you can address who ever is leaving their work incomplete.

 

We know you are busy, and when it comes to quickly scanning for important information, access to every little trick in the book helps. Become a TrackResults power user today and contact us for access.

Training for Account Managers:

 

Original Use Cases:

Client requires their Sales Reps to answer a series of questions. Historically, they had to cram multiple questions into the single “Sales Notes” record, using some sort of delimitation to separate each question. It was a challenge for the Sales Reps to keep their questions / responses consistent, and it was very difficult to for managers to quickly read and identify trends. As a result, we were tasked with building multiple note fields (15 to start) so the client could break each question out into a separate field. This was done so the client could clearly define the questions to be answered, but also to make the information more easily legible.

 

Then, at the request of a second client, we were tasked with displaying the form questions/responses in the Sales Detail View, concatenated within a single section. This was done to preserve real estate and to prevent white space when questions were left un responded.

 

Scalability:

It can only be assumed that a client will want to change the “Question” displayed on a form note.

  • Option #1) Disable the “old” field and enable a “new” field with the new question until there are no more “spare” note fields. Eventually, development will be required to build more fields. However, it must also be considered that, when disabling the “old” fields, historical information will be hidden from review. That issue will then lead to keeping the “old” field enabled, but with a prefix like “IGNORE” or “DEPRECATED” added to the label so it is not answered on future tours. The final result will be an unappealing UI.
  • Option #2) Insert the old custom label as a note record on the fields that have existing note records. Then, change the custom label to the new “Question” at the system administration level. Though it may be rare that a user will go into an old tour and complete new questions, the addition of the old label as a note record will provide a separation between the old question/responses and the new question/responses – effectively creating an audit history, or bookmark of the change.
    • inserting the old custom label on multiple old records can be achieved by submitting a dev request and should be done prior to updating the field to the new question.

 

 

I’d like to start by stating that this was just a teeny error, a simple oversight that could happen to absolutely anyone. If you love stories about Microsoft Excel, get excited! Or just hang with me for a few sentences and I will reward you with a great opportunity to laugh at my error, which again we’ve all agreed was minuscule.

 

I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to be invited to brainstorm sessions with my mentor, who also happens to be my CEO. During this particular session, I was tasked with flushing out a simple and effective formula to correlate the products of datasets throughout a workbook we’d been working on. To be honest, I was feeling rather optimistic and felt I knew more or less how to write something that would accomplish the task at hand.

 

It’s almost funny how quickly reality sets in when you hit the “enter” key on a formula you’ve just written and Excel boldly declares that your product is “FALSE”.  Now, had I been solving for a “True” or “False” this would have been terrific, but this particular Newtonian masterpiece was designed to provide a numerical value, of which “False” is decidedly not. I raced back through my formula, and subsequently every other formula that my useless jumble of code had derived data from, to find no errors.

 

As my CEO peered over my shoulder, presumably questioning his previously brilliant decision to hire me, it hit me like a ton of bricks; my formula was based on what my eyes saw, rather than what the actual value was. The value I was reading, 75.38%, fell in the parameters of the data set I was solving for, but you know what didn’t fall in that data set? .7538. This simple oversight is why my brilliant formula was reading FALSE, rather than producing the grade the formula was designed to show.

kells

The reality is that I made an error, and had it not been for the fail-safe, it could have cost us money. I managed to not account for the fact that the “number” I was reading from an Excel sheet was represented as something that, numerically, it was not. Simple enough for anyone to do, I mean really simple like I’m sure it happens to everyone…

I am lucky to regularly work with a brilliant group of people who just happen to clean, manage, and normalize complex sets of data. Their lives are dedicated to ensuring the consistency and accuracy of each. I made a simple human error, which compromised my data. I was fortunate that the tolerance of our data sets was tight, so anything outside of the correct answer would provide a “FALSE”. Long story short, it helps to have procedures in place to ensure that the data you’re using to make important decisions, hasn’t been compromised.

 

We are fortunate to conduct business at a time where many of our predecessors have already implemented SOPs to limit many errors, but as technology inevitably advances we are faced with new potential pitfalls as well as the resurfacing of issues from bygone eras. We hire the best people, use the best programs, replaced the punch cards with fingerprint scanners, Rolodexes with CRMs, and work harder and smarter than ever before. The only part of this equation that creates a problem is that at the end of the day, we’re all human.

 

Terms like data breaches can force us to look at our processes, but they aren’t the only threat to a company’s data. The steps we take to keep the data our teams collect and input from being corrupted or inaccurate is something that is commonly overlooked. Everything from customer information to payroll and accounting is susceptible to human error, and it’s imperative that we have processes and fail-safes in place to keep these errors from damaging our bottom lines. Just remember, it’s important to make sure we have multiple processes in place to ensure our data is clean and accurate; all it takes is a ring finger inadvertently hitting delete to take us from profit to loss.

activity-analytics-business-401683

Collecting and analyzing data gives you important insights into trends in your business, which allows you to make more informed decisions for its future. Business Intelligence software helps you simplify these processes to translate data into critical information in real-time. Here are three signs you’re ready for a BI solution.

1. Your Reports Can’t be Constructed Fast Enough

You have data that needs to be analyzed and used to construct meaningful reports. You inform your IT department of the required report, and they let you know that it will be ready for you in three days. Three days later, while reviewing the report you realize that there is missing information, or that the information in the report is not displayed correctly. You then need to send it back to IT for the changes to be made, which will take another day or two. In some cases, it may take IT multiple edits to create the report that you envisioned which wastes precious time and resources. All the while you’re losing the ability to use the report for time-sensitive decisions. BI removes these problems from the data equation, at the same time allowing you to create and edit the reports instantly using real-time data.

2. Your Data and Reports are Inconsistent 

Inconsistent data leads to inaccurate reporting, which can then lead to making misinformed decisions solely based on faulty information. Inconsistent data can be the result of complex processes, or simply human error. BI software centralizes your data and establishes automated and streamlined processes, eliminating inconsistencies in how your data is reported.

3. Can’t make sense of your data- Are these fields consistent?

Your data is spread across many business applications; each application serving unique and vital functions. Aggregating and organizing the totality, sourced from each platform, is generally impossible as each data set needs to be converted to a common “language”. The goal is to make it possible to easily manipulate and make sense of one of your most valuable resources. BI software converts the data sets, allowing you to leverage the data you have already collected. Accurate reporting provides insight into your business which gives you the power to make the best decisions for your business.

Final Thoughts

Informed businesses look to gather data and analyze it to make more educated decisions regarding all aspects of their business. Optimizing this process using a BI solution also enables the mining of even more information out of their data while simplifying the processes surrounding the reporting and analysis. If you see the value BI can bring to your business, make sure your business is prepared to adopt it. Creating a detailed strategy for your BI solution is possibly one of the most important steps to complete prior to the adoption or construction of a solution. See our article “5 Topics to Consider About Your Data Before BI” to see how you can further prepare for a BI software solution.

 

We’re all looking for the best way to ensure our companies are as productive and efficient as possible. Taking advantage of Business Intelligence software has become a common vehicle to increase our bottom lines and ensure we are allocating our resources in the proper places. What many companies find is that there may be some steps that may need to be taken when it comes to implementing BI. Some others just don’t feel like they’re ready, as they haven’t been given the opportunity to have their questions answered or had the necessary steps broken down in the appropriate terminology. There are many BI options to choose from, and each has their own advantages and limitations, so choosing the best fit can also seem daunting. What we want to share is that the path becomes much easier once you’ve taken the first and most important step; ensuring that your data is ready for BI software.

 
Every business is unique and has its share of complexities and challenges. The data being generated by every industry is different, it contains the jewels of information about various business processes and customers and is available in abundance in every division. A company’s success is highly dependent on the appropriate utilization of the data they have now more than ever, and a smart business intelligence solution that can quickly transform volumes of data into understandable graphical charts in real time is always a great investment.

Below are 5 simple and important topics you should consider about your data before selecting a business intelligence solution;

Sources:

What are your sources? Determine which data sources you currently have and decide which are necessary for your business intelligence strategy. The most common of these are:

  • Databases
  • Flat files
  • Web services
  • Other sources such as RSS feeds

Data Hygiene:

You need to be able to trust the data coming into your BI solution.  Customer data is the core of your organization. It allows you to engage with customers and prospects to deliver exactly what they need. Customer data is only as valuable as it is accurate, so it’s crucial that you have confidence in the data that is influencing your decisions. By cleansing your data, you will be able to ensure that the decisions you make are based on accurate reports. Having confidence in the ability to make key decisions based on factual evidence provides you with the ability to make the correct decisions to advance your company.

Timing:

How fresh does your data need to be? Do you need it near real-time or does daily/weekly/monthly suffice? This is something that many people overlook. Some decisions are actually better made by analyzing trends in past data, while others greatly benefit from instant reporting. Having both of these abilities is important, but looking at which set of data is best for each purpose will greatly increase the value the end result.One of the defining features of many BI platforms is the ability to generate real-time reports. This process used to be tedious and almost impossible for the casual user, but many platforms are now much more user-friendly, enabling just about anyone to query the database and create reports. Others prefer to have reports delivered from their BI analysis partners. Having a third party that delves into data and analytics provides yet another avenue for growth and opportunity.

Staging Area:

How much data will you need to be able to analyze at a given time? Are you able to stage the data inside a native BI platform i.e. Tableau Data Extracts OR do you need to host it in a separate platform i.e. Data Warehouse or Microsoft SQL Server? If you are combining from multiple data sources, we would highly recommend having some sort of data warehouse.A staging area is mainly required in a Data Warehousing Architecture for timing reasons.  In short, all required data must be available before data can be integrated into the Data Warehouse. Due to varying business cycles, data processing cycles, hardware, and network resource limitations and geographical factors, it is not feasible to extract all the data from all Operational databases at exactly the same time.

Support:

Do you have support? This may seem like an odd question but the reason why most analytics workflows fail is from lack of support. It doesn’t matter if you can get the data once and build beautiful reports if you can’t then repeat the processes. The setting of an organizational support structure for your BI platform is key.

 

 

Best Value Travel Club is successfully selling the Saveon travel club product in their market since this Spring. They have decided that they need to manage the customer experience and can do it better than Saveon can. They have hired two fulfillment companies to assist their clients to use the product and have a good experience. One fulfillment company will use the Best Value database in TrackResults, while the other will use the VRS database in TrackResults. They will use the features of TrackResults to log calls and communications of every contact with clients while still having access to the sales history. This 360-degree view of the client is important to understanding and servicing the client.

 

TrackResults is working with a well known and respected industry professional Tom Carney on a new club called Palace Hotels and Residence Club with its first sales center located at the Luna Palace Hotel in Mazatlan Mexico. Palace will be using TrackResults to manage the sales and marketing operations and to generate the analytical reporting needed to win in a competitive Mexican market like Mazatlan.

 

 

 

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Companies often have objections to getting on board with business intelligence software. Either they have something else they are using or they already run these reports and have the data. What good does the data do if you are not properly using it to make smarter business decisions? Think of it as a puzzle, you know all the pieces are there to complete it, but you need to put them all together to create the final picture. Using business intelligence properly can have several benefits:

  1. Smarter decisions backed by facts – Once a company implements business intelligence protocols, management can see detailed and current data on all aspects of the business allowing for informed decision-making and validation of instincts.
  1. Increase profit margins – A business intelligence system can point out areas of loss that were unnoticed and/or identify low-hanging opportunities for increased sales.
  1. Better Human Resource Allocations – Business intelligence can improve efficiency within your organization and increase productivity. Traditional data gathering methods can be prohibitively time-consuming especially for small businesses who may not have the resources to give full attention to data reviews. With the right BI program running these reports only takes a few seconds allowing managers to be more productive on their own tasks.

TrackResults’ team of analysts and consultants have over 50 years of combined experience in helping their clients ensure that every possible dollar flows through to their bottom line. Contact Ryan Williams (ryan@trackresults.net or 801-244-1310) for information on how to be sure that you are capturing all of the revenue that you should be.

Bill Bailey a long time client and friend of TrackResults will be implementing TrackResults for a new sales operation in Litchfield IL. Leisuretime Travel is a startup operation by a team of experienced travel club salespeople. They are starting small and growing their marketing and will use TrackResults from ground zero to capture important information to run the day to day business as well as provide analytical reporting to be more sophisticated and competitive in their efforts.