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Sales-Driven Cultures Ruin Health Club Data

Fitness data is only good if it is valid, but health club companies that are sales-driven tend to collect data that is suspect, according to the CEO of a business intelligence company that works in the fitness industry.

Many health club companies are collecting data that is invalid, and that ruins the ability to effectively use that data and do predictive modeling, according to Robert Jackson, CEO at Fitness BI, San Francisco.

“Our industry has a really big issue with sales-driven cultures ruining the data,” Jackson said, sharing that when he worked as a salesperson at a health club company before starting business intelligence company Fitness BI, at least half of the leads that went into the system were fake while only about one in 10 appointments were real.

Jackson was one of three fitness industry professionals who participated in the Club Industry Podcast: The Motionsoft Technology Summit Edition, a partnership between Club Industry and Motionsoft, Rockville, Maryland, in which Club Industry is the media partner for the 2019 Motionsoft Technology Summit Sept. 16-18 in Washington, DC. The podcast is the first in a four-part podcast series that will be posted monthly through September and will focus on some of the topics that will be covered at the Motionsoft Technology Summit.

Along with Jackson, the podcast features insights from Bruce Lewis, vice president of Silicus, a cloud-based transformation services company; and Raj Sareen, CEO and co-founder of Styku, which offers a 3D body scanning and visualization tool. The three share insights on the role of artificial intelligence on data, why data standards are needed, how to monetize data and more. Fitness BI, Silicus and Styku are sponsors of the Motionsoft Technology Summit.

Jackson noted that a gap exists between the data being collected and data that is verifiable and usable.

“When we work with clients, we see this all the time—the higher the sales culture is at the organization, the more invalid the data is going into their systems,” he said. “When we work with very high-pressure sales cultures, there is tons and tons of fake data going into the system.”

In the past, few people in the industry thought about data as the ability to be able to run great predictive modeling on or to be able to use that to monetize data, Jackson said.

“If they had the foresight to think about what their data was going to look like today and how they could monetize it, there would be a better balance between sales culture and a data integrity culture,” he said.

Sareen offered one solution.

“There’s always going to be abuse,” he said. “No matter what systems technology companies developed around AI, someone is smart enough to figure out a way around it. It comes down to making sure you are aligning incentives and you are building accountability around whatever KPIs you are trying to capture and how you are incentivizing people around KPIs.”

Hear more insights from Jackson, Sareen and Lewis by listening to the podcast on SoundCloud.

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