Data Is King

Dan Kamys, Editorial Director – dkamys@masonrymagazine.com

It’s pretty unusual for you to be seeing me in the column portion of our magazine, but I have a new project I want to outline. As you know, the MCAA and MASONRY are always looking for new ways to demonstrate the value and the power of the industry. The initiative we are undertaking is a series of regularized benchmarking data surveys to help us understand who you are, while at the same time allowing us to show the strength of masonry and the power of a dollar to the companies who support us.    

The biggest surprise I had in the past few months was when I was researching the economics of masonry with Jeff. According to the report, which cites US government census and statistical data, the masonry industry is currently a $22.7B a year industry and projected to be at $32B within the next five years. You read that correctly, that is an annual B for Billion. The more data we can gather on how mason contractors and their companies operate, the more we can show people what a force the masonry industry represents in the overall economy.   

You likely have already received an email from Jeff or me asking you to participate in our first wave of data gathering. While we know you’re busy, we are designing each one of these surveys to do the following:   

  • Take five minutes or less to complete  
  • Funnel respondents into tracks to provide the most relevant questions  
  • Focus on key data points that will be of interest and use to everyone involved with masonry  

There will be a few reminder emails that go out, but these will only target people who either did not open or did not click on the initial email. We’ll only hit your inbox multiple times if you ignore us.  

While you may have seen that we are incentivizing these surveys with a gift card for a few lucky respondents, the true value comes from the fact we will be regularly publishing our findings as a new series. People who complete the survey will receive the findings very quickly. However, if you don’t have time to complete the survey, we will also publish a more formal white paper in MASONRY and on our websites later in the year.   

Longer-term, the goal is to take our results and have an economist compare them with the overall economy. The end game is to show how and why mason contractors and their work are an indicator of the overall economy and health. Wouldn’t that be useful ammo for us to take with us to Washington DC? In the same vein, wouldn’t that be helpful for explaining to suppliers that they should care about things like The Masonry Foundation?     

Everyone at the MCAA asks that you please take this effort seriously, as it will greatly strengthen our ability to advocate for, educate, and inform everyone involved with this historic and proud business.  

Currently, our plans are to release 1-2 surveys per quarter. Our first one, which deployed in early April, is designed to give us a general baseline on the industry. Future surveys will likely focus on things like Capital Expenses, Operating Expenses, Industry Challenges, and Technology. If you have any topics that you would like to see us gather data on, please let us know and we will try to work it into the Survey Calendar.   

You can look forward to seeing the results of our findings in future issues of the magazines, and the intent is for the yearly wrap-up to be in our World of Concrete issue every year. Thanks again for taking the time to read about our new endeavor, and I look forward to hearing from you!   

 

dsig