Data on computer screen

“Our sector just isn’t very good at data.”

Sound like a familiar comment? Certainly it’s something that’s said often about the health and fitness sector, with many a critical eye cast over operators’ inconsistent data capture and their far-from-optimized subsequent use of that data.

Playing devil’s advocate for a moment, in some cases it even feels like this statement is used as a ‘get out of jail free’ card – an excuse not to get to grips with data. Because, you know, our sector just doesn’t really do that.

This needs to change, and fast, because data is the currency that will drive our success in the future.

And canfitpro Business & Leadership event – taking place on November 12, 2021 – is here to help, with a fascinating panel discussion entitled Everything You Need to Know About Data & AI.

The panel is a follow-up to the latest white paper by Keepme CEO Ian Mullane – also entitled Everything You Need to Know About Data & AI – and will see Mullane take the (virtual) stage alongside Troy Morgan and Brent Vaughan of Willows Health & Lifestyle Centre in Australia.

Together, these world-class panellists will provide answers to delegates’ most burning data-related questions, as well as first-hand insights into the transformational results that can be achieved, today, by harnessing data and AI.

As a delegate at canfitpro Business & Leadership event , you will also receive a complimentary copy of the white paper which, says Mullane, allows you to “truly understand what data is, in what forms you will find it, and how to drive exceptional business value from it”.

Identify your data

So, knowing what data is, and in what forms you’ll find it within your business, is a vital first step.

Because it is there. You will find it. Even if your data capture isn’t always purposeful or intentional, done mainly through necessity and not always comprehensively, the data you need to improve and refine your offering already exists in your business. The key is knowing where to find it and how to turn it into actionable insight.

So, what constitutes data in your business?

Data might be automatically or manually captured. It might exist digitally or on paper.

It might be spreadsheet-style ‘structured data’: club management systems, access control, website visitor analytics, class bookings, fee payment, exercise equipment, membership sign-up. It is here the tools most organizations currently use are applied to build business intelligence, and where we therefore find the most value at the moment.

Then there’s unstructured data, which – accounting for more than 80 per cent of the data in any organization and growing at 55-65 per cent a year – cannot be ignored. Examples include social media, email comms (where the body text follows no set format), internet reviews, customer surveys, webchat, member assessment/induction forms and so on.

Excitingly, it’s in the area of unstructured data that we’ve seen vast leaps forward over the past decade, allowing us to gain far more value from the data in our businesses.

There’s in-between data, too: NPS surveys, for example, where the 1–10 score is structured but the freeform customer feedback is unstructured (and gold if delved into properly).

There are data gifts from members: the data gathered by their fitness apps and devices that, if handed to us, empowers us with far greater opportunities to personalize.

The list goes on.

Imperfect is OK

After this audit, you might sit back and realize your data isn’t perfect. That there are overlaps, missing fields, duplicate records. That’s OK. In fact, unless it was collected specifically for the project you’re now trying to implement, it’s almost inevitable.

This is where AI starts to add value, stepping in to optimize the data before beginning to extract insights. Here’s an example from a recent Keepme data cleanse project:

Pre-data cleanse

Data duration: 3 years                       

Member records: 12,659                   

Complete Records: 0                         

Duplicate Records: 2,187

Membership Types: 63

Post-data cleanse

Data duration: 3 years                       

Member records: 11,201                   

Complete Records: 11,019                            

Duplicate Records: 0

Membership Types: 7

Turning data into knowledge

Data cleanse done, you can then get your AI started on turning this (now-optimized) data into business-boosting value, which it does by translating it into knowledge and insights.

Which of your members won’t, on their current trajectory, be with you in a year’s time and where do you need to intervene? Which of your sales leads are worth focusing on, i.e. which will convert? Which of your members are most likely to buy PT, and do you need to sell them single sessions or a multi-pack? Which marketing streams are attracting the members with the highest lifetime value?

Think of a question you want to ask and the AI will crunch your data to make predictions that are over 90 per cent accurate.

You’ll hear Willows’ own examples in our unmissable November panel, as well as the incredible results they’ve achieved by harnessing AI predictions to inform their actions.

Action the insights

And this – the fact that Willows has used AI predictions to inform their actions – is critical. Simply having AI in place isn’t, on its own, going to increase your revenues or optimize your performance.

There must be a willingness on your part to dedicate the time to implement the AI platform, and to then engage with it. That includes potentially changing many of your workflows once armed with the new insights.

Do so and the results can be exceptional. However, only by acting on the insights your AI presents to you will you move forward.

Put another way, the value is never in the insight itself. The value lies in the action that’s taken as a result of the insight; you will need to play your part in achieving your business goals.

With AI, though, you can proceed with a far higher degree of confidence that those goals will be achieved.

Don’t miss out on this fascinating panel. Register for the canfitpro Business & Leadership event now!


When it comes to technology and its increasingly pivotal role in the fitness sector, there are few speakers more thought-provoking than AI expert and self-professed geek Ian Mullane.

As the founder and CEO of AI-powered sales and retention platform Keepme, Ian has brought together the diverse expertise of his career to date – including 12 years as an operator – in a ground-breaking business that boosts revenues for gym operators across the globe, harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to drive optimization and transform the way they interact with customers and prospects.

Diving into a little more detail, having spent 15 years working on fintech solutions for some of the world’s largest hedge funds and investment managers, in 2007 Ian founded – Singapore’s first boutique boxing club – and alongside this, in 2008, the social media analytics platform Locowise.

It was at that he identified the need for a system that would optimize the performance of his club; his expertise in tech and AI led him to develop Keepme, which since 2020 has become his full-time focus (some might say mission!)

A respected thought leader, white paper author, regular industry event speaker and member of the ukactive Digital Futures Council, Ian has a singular ability to first understand the challenges faced by our sector, then demystify the ways in which technology can help neutralize them. His keynote is one you won’t want to miss.