Established in 2014, the ukactive Business Performance Benchmarking tool has been integrated with the DataHub to give the service increased independence and more credibility.

The collaboration will offer automated input for all sites, greatly reducing the time operators need to spend uploading information and increasing accuracy. Previously, data coming into the Business Performance Benchmarking service was manually download from each operators’ Leisure Management System, sent in spreadsheets to ukactive and then manually uploaded to the service. This meant everyone’s input was slightly different, making it hard to compare. As part of the DataHub, anyone who signs a data use agreement can trigger automated data uploads, which are then standardised for accuracy.

‘When it comes to benchmarking, credibility, trust and independence are the key,’ explains Alex Burrows, director at 4 Global, which operates the DataHub. ‘If the numbers going in are accurate then the reporting coming out is accurate. ukactive’s members can therefore make operational decisions based on stats they know are reliable.

‘Until recently we’ve operated in an information-poor sector. Leisure providers are inundated with data but there’s been no industry-wide way of using it to measure your business against the marketplace or enhance your offering. The DataHub’s overarching aim has always been to put business intelligence at the heart of the leisure industry to get more people active. Our link up with ukactive’s Business Performance Benchmarking service brings this one step closer.’

Free for ukactive’s members, the Business Performance Benchmarking service provides operators with insight into how their facilities are performing against competitors across a number of key performance metrics – attrition rates, membership movement rates, joiner rates, membership yield and average length of membership – and against the industry average. All data is anonymised and so non-identifiable.

ukactive members can also access a number of free DataHub modules, meaning they have access to considerably more data. The DataHub currently holds information from more than 220 operators, who collectively run over 1,200 sites. It can draw on data from participation intelligence sourced from more than 300 million visits nationwide.

‘Knowing how well your business is performing and identifying areas that need developing is crucial for every customer-focused operator in this sector,’ says ukactive’s CEO, Steven Ward. ‘Where once we were living in the dark, our sector is now on the verge of being blinded by the light, thanks to the sheer amount of information available and our growing competence to process it. Evidence-based initiatives such as the DataHub are giving us greater insight than we’ve ever had and the Business Performance Benchmarking tool can now help members make data-driven business decisions that bring immediate results.

‘The increased competition and diversity in the marketplace makes this project more timely than ever. Meaningful data – once our biggest weakness – is fast becoming one of our biggest strengths. Sharing of data and insight is the bedrock of a successful, mature industry and an area where greater commitment will reap even greater rewards.’

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About The DataHub
The collaborative DataHub project was launched in 2013 as an automated and secure way for all facilities across the health and fitness industry to bring their data together on a daily basis, align it with data standards and then access and share consistent business intelligence and best practice. All The DataHub Club members (facility operators, NGBs and delivery partners) now have accurate reporting information, relative benchmarks and actionable operational solutions, based on a central and growing shared repository of 300+ million facility visits (1,200+ UK facilities).

The DataHub provides an eco-system, allowing partner suppliers (marketing, health and safety, customer insight, social return etc.) to leverage the centralised intelligence within their own specialist modules and services, creating a one-stop-shop that delivers simple, coordinated and enhanced customer, programme and facility outcomes. Never before have so many sector organisations been united under one umbrella with such a fundamental mandate, and with the technology to deliver this much-needed step change in how the industry uses data.

About 4 global
An international sports management and major event consultant, 4 global provides expert support in four areas. As a major sporting event consultancy, it works to assist clients with everything from bidding and planning to legacy. Using bespoke online platforms and aggregated data, it provides unrivalled sports intelligence. Sports Investment works closely with sports governing bodies to understand the future of the sector and how data and partners can add value to the sector. And finally, the team offers evidence and research-based sports planning consultancy. 4 global works with event organising committees, national and international sports governing bodies, governments, local authorities and facility operators.