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Rosslyn-based Association Analytics adds new leadership to pursue new AI tools

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A local data analytics company is bringing on new leadership as it plans to find new uses for artificial intelligence.

Rosslyn-based Association Analytics (1560 Wilson Blvd) hired a new Chief Product Officer and Executive Chairman, Rob Wenger, and a new Chief Technology Officer, Conor Sibley. The two men worked with Association Analytics President and Chief Revenue Officer Mark Lowry to build Ballston-based Higher Logic.

The hiring news caps significant growth in recent years, according to Chief Marketing Officer Dave Bornmann. The small company, which has north of 50 employees, doubled in size over the last couple of years. With new leadership focused on product development and expanding uses for AI, he anticipates more growth to come.

Like Higher Logic, Association Analytics works with professional societies that individuals join, largely in healthcare, real estate and STEM, as well as trade associations that companies join, he said. The company currently brings together data that is typically scattered across platforms associations use to run events and host online communities.

“These [platforms] don’t talk to one another,” says Bornmann. “We bring that together in one platform and serve up data visualization and dashboards that give insights they didn’t previously have because they couldn’t see data together.”

It uses AI to help associations predict, for instance, who might attend an event or renew their membership. That function has been critical as in-person events — the second largest revenue source after membership for many associations — resumed after Covid lockdowns and restrictions let up.

Using Association Analytics, clients noticed a trend they did not expect, Bornmann said.

“With insights from our platform, clients realized that, during the pandemic, they got people attending virtual events and paying money and then, when the in-person events came roaring back, there were segments of their membership who — it turns out — only showed up for virtual ones,” he said. “They realized they had this unmet need that got met during the pandemic by necessity.”

Up until now, Association Analytics has limited its use of AI to predicting outcomes based on available data, leaving analysis up to professionals. As the technology underpinning AI advances, the company will be looking into ways that AI can suggest actions to take based on trends.

As part of that recommendation, AI will look at what similar associations, based on size, industry or location, are doing.

“Those are the types of things that we’re starting to work with, and Rob and Conor are bringing depth of expertise in that area,” Bornmann said. “Their expertise — not only in tech but product development — and deep understanding of association industry is exciting. They’re able to step in and almost immediately get at it.”

Rob Wenger (left) and Conor Sibley join Association Analytics (by ARLnow)

Wenger founded Higher Logic and was its CEO up until two years ago. Sibley was the CTO and seventh employee, joining before the firm experienced substantial growth, acquiring a slew of companies in recent years. Both are based in Arlington and spent the last 18 months starting a company called Cloud Generation, a credentialing platform for associations.

They connected with Association Analytics CEO Julie Sciullo over their shared enthusiasm for data and how the association industry can use this information to run more effectively, Bornmann said.

“They both had an ‘aha’ moment and realized, ‘This is perfect,'” the marketing officer said.

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