On June 27 and 28, the PASS Board got together for the second time this year, in Vancouver, BC. To kick off the meeting, we began with a review of the initiatives launched since January and I’m pleased to share that the big investments PASS has made in our members and organization over the past year are already producing results. Some of the highlights include:

After the review, focus shifted to a planning session for the remainder of the calendar year 2017 and fiscal year 2018 (FY18). The key areas up for discussion were: FY18 priorities, the portfolio alignment with these priorities and budget updates for 2018.

FY18 Priorities

Operating within such an ever-evolving and fast-paced industry, it’s essential that PASS grows with it. Members rely on PASS to provide them with the resources they need to stay up-to-date and successful in their careers. In order to continue providing this value, PASS needs to be agile and ready for change.

With this in mind, it was clear that our priorities needed to be focused in three key areas:

  1. Thought Leadership
  2. Membership Growth
  3. Financial Strength

First and foremost, PASS is committed to our vision of being the go-to thought leadership resource for data professionals wanting to advance their careers and stay current with the latest data trends.

A leap forward in this initiative is our content-driven approach to this year’s PASS Summit sessions. Through deeper collaboration with industry experts and by leveraging insights from our partnerships with Microsoft and other vendors, we are working to improve upon the real-world, applicable learning that PASS is known for.

Following thought leadership, PASS must remain committed to membership growth in the coming year. PASS is run by the community, for the community – a place where members can connect, share and learn. We rely on our growing network of volunteer DBAs, developers, IT pros, and analysts to support our programs and help make them relevant for the audiences they serve. Whether it’s speaking at one of our PASS events, coordinating SQL Saturdays, or leading a Local or Virtual Group, without the contributions of this amazing community, our organization would not be the same hub of data-focused content it is today.

And lastly, PASS must be self-sufficient and financially stable if we are to continue growing and have longevity as an organization. This means that our organization not only needs to enhance revenue streams from existing events like PASS Summit, but we also need to diversify revenue sources and perfect our Sponsorship and Local Event models to become key revenue generators in 2019.

FY18 Portfolio Focus

In January, the PASS Board announced a new strategic vision for 2018. The foundation of this was to re-examine our portfolios to not only closely align with the priorities of the organization and the needs of our members, but also, to ensure effective collaboration across our Board as we work in tandem to achieve common goals. 6 months on, we have already achieved an incredible amount and we are confident that this new strategy will allow us to diversify and evolve with the industry. Going into FY18, we will continue to focus our efforts on leveraging our portfolios to improve how we strategize, prioritize and collaborate as an organization.

These portfolios will best position PASS to address the challenges and opportunities facing our members in a rapidly changing global data landscape. As changes occur, we will better serve our community through education, networking, and thought leadership.

FY18 Budget

At the start of FY17, PASS began making sizeable investments in an effort to shape the future of the organization. As a result, a deficit budget was approved by the PASS Board. As I shared above, we’ve accomplished a lot of great change for the organization in the past year.

Going into FY18, the PASS Board has approved an investment-focused budget with a deficit of $354K (which represents 4% of our budgeted revenues), allowing PASS to proceed with another investment year. This will allow us to continue a strong focus against the above priorities to ensure that we are able to continue to enhance the resources we provide to all of our members.

As we prepare for the year to come, we are confident that the initiatives and strategic investments we have in place will strengthen our organization in the long term and allow us to achieve our overall goal of increasing value for our members. Supporting the community will always be our number one focus and we look forward to sharing our successes with you.