Creating a central data warehouse where all the information/data that is spread across the Ramblers can be brought together.
This is our heart. By understanding our data – both people and places - we will all be able to plan for the future, support our charitable aims, recruit new members, guide our footpath activity and help everyone to get out walking.
We are planning on ‘ingesting’ 12-15 of our current databases, including our membership system, our routes database and our led-walk log.
This data warehouse is simply where the data is organised and stored – it does not change the systems which you see and use.
Using a business intelligence tool we will be able to take the information and use it to provide real insight and evidence. This will display the data in the data centre and will allow it to be viewed through interactive dashboards.
An insight dashboard visually presents relevant data so that you can see and understand what is important to you. For example, for your AGM you may wish to know how many people have walked with you in a year, and what days and what lengths of walk were the most popular. The new insight hub will be able to provide you with this information in a simple and easy to use way exactly when you need it.
We currently record only a little about the people who walk with us. Without this information we cannot make sure we are providing the right things to satisfy our existing members but also to attract new ones. This data will enable us to shape our led-walk offering at national and local levels. It will also give us more confidence to ask people who have walked three times to become members.
Volunteer roles and activities
We have many people doing many volunteer roles and activities to support the charity. By understanding who does what we can support our volunteers, recruit new ones and ensure the vital work of the charity, such as campaigning for rights of way, continues.
The above data will be immediately reflected in the Insight Hub in their own dashboards, so everyone can see how we are progressing.
There are other areas to develop, but this year we are concentrating on the two areas above.
Mobile is extremely important to us - as an enabler. Over the last three years we have made some good forays into mobile with the Big Pathwatch and Medal Routes apps, and the Ramblers website has a responsive design so you can view all the content conveniently on a smartphone or tablet.
We will build on these successes, learn from the failures and develop a coherent mobile strategy based on apps for members and volunteers.
We will be reviewing the apps we have in the marketplace; what their long term aims are; how they fit with our charitable aims; and how best to present them (and our work) to the world at large. We are looking at what else we should be adding to our mobile portfolio to aid you with your volunteering work and enjoyment of open spaces - even down to something as simple as a virtual Membership card. We are already in the very early stages of trialling a means to collect walker data so that you can see how many (and how often) people come to your walks, and where they are walking.
Watch this space for how you can get involved – apps need testing and feedback to be brilliant. We would especially like to hear from those who didn’t find Pathwatch useful. Just submit your interest on our form.
Ordnance Survey have indicated to us that they would like a closer, more strategic partnership with The Ramblers. They have made a significant investment in digital mapping products, with highly intuitive interfaces and are best-in-class.
Thanks to our volunteers, we have checked, high-quality route content. We are due to review the Group walks and event manager (GWEM) and the Ramblers Routes systems over the next couple of years, but this time, instead of inventing everything ourselves we will we will explore mutually beneficial initiatives with OS, which will play to our strengths.
Many of you have told us you need the ability to communicate with walkers and volunteers in a data-secure environment. This workstream is about delivering a system which serves relevant communications to walkers, members & volunteers.
This will begin in September 2018.
Our websites present a mixed view of The Ramblers. This workstream will look at the many different options available and propose a complete refresh of our strategy and central website.
This work will begin in January 2019.