About ASA > How We Do It > Governing Documents

Strategic Plan

(adopted March 2008, revised December 2012)

PDF Format Strategic Planning Cycle

Theme: The ASA as "The Big Tent for Statistics"

Membership Growth

Background: A strength of the ASA is the mix of members from business/industry, government, and education. Serving the needs of these traditional constituencies and emerging areas of practice requires continuing vigilance. There is widespread concern that the ASA does not serve the needs of applied statisticians (including master's-level statisticians) and other nonacademic groups as well as it could. A challenge for the ASA is to reach out to underserved groups while continuing to serve our traditional constituencies.

Objective: Make membership attractive to students, young statisticians, applied statisticians, quantitative analysts, educators, government and official statisticians and others in emerging areas such as business analytics and data science

Strategies: (a) Conduct systematic reviews of the knowledge and skills needed by these groups; (b) Work with appropriate committees, sections and chapters to provide products and services to meet these needs, and to add and communicate value.


Background: The ASA's meetings and continuing professional development programs are well attended and are a major strength of the Association. However, changes in the format and focus of meetings need to be considered in order to serve an increasing diversity of member needs.

Objective: Provide a portfolio of meetings to serve the diverse needs of our members and to attract new members.

Strategies: (a) Implement improvements to JSM based on recommendations from the Committee on Meetings; (b) Determine the nature and scope of meetings, including virtual meetings, needed by specific subgroups (such as applied statisticians) and introduce a program of activities to meet those needs.

Publications and Information Needs

Background: The ASA's journals have a worldwide reputation for scientific excellence and are a major asset of the Association. The ASA needs to ensure that its range of publications serves the diverse needs of all members. Electronic access in a rapidly changing environment provides new challenges and opportunities. Providing the membership with free electronic access to journals has resulted in a revenue decline for the ASA.

Objective: Offer a variety of publications, web-based services, and professional development opportunities to address the diverse information needs of the statistical community.

Strategies: (a) Develop a journal access policy that combines breadth of access and fiscal reality; (b) Institute a process for timely identification and response to information needs (such as advice on sound statistical practice for applied statisticians); (c) use ASA website to engage membership.

Financial Status

Background: Although the ASA is currently a financially stable organization, decline in revenue from traditional sources, such as journals, threatens its future well-being.

Objective: Ensure long-term financial viability and the ability to support the Association's strategic activities.

Strategies: (a) Continue to seek stable sources of future revenue consistent with the ASA mission; (b) Continue to monitor and control costs.

Organizational Effectiveness and Efficiency

Background: The ASA depends critically on the volunteer efforts of its members through committees, sections, and chapters. Consequently, as a large and complex organization, any organizational weaknesses undermine the ASA's ability to meet long-term goals. Continuing challenges include: reliance on a small set of volunteer leaders, a large number of committees, some of which may no longer be serving a clear purpose, and declining health of some chapters.

Objective: Ensure that the ASA's structures and processes support the Association's mission and objectives.

Strategies: (a) Where possible, work within existing structures rather than creating new ones; (b) Minimize the structural complexity required to support the ASA's activities; (c) Develop a plan to assess and strengthen chapter health, which will enable chapters to support the ASA's mission; (d) Ensure that policies and procedures are followed or revised to meet organizational needs.

Theme: Increasing the Visibility of the Profession

Public Awareness

Background: The field of statistics suffers from lack of visibility and identity in spite of ever-increasing demands for statistical analysis in areas of science, government, and business that rely on massive data bases and information technology. The ASA should become the primary source for the media on events that involve statistical issues, and for management in business and government on the role and value of statisticians.

Objective: Stimulate public awareness of the role of statistics and statisticians in issues that affect daily life. ASA should become the "face of statistics" to the public.

Strategies: (a) Develop and implement a comprehensive public awareness plan, identifying our various audiences, devising messages for each, and using appropriate vehicles to reach those audiences; (b) strengthen the ASA's ability to advise the media and respond to media requests; (c) continue to develop collaborative relationships with statistical and other scientific associations.

Visibility and Impact in Policy Making

Background: Decision-making discussions in public policy and science policy must be guided by sound data and competent statistical analysis. The ASA and the statistical profession should actively participate in these discussions to promote the use of appropriate data and effective methods, and to ensure that the statistical sciences receive an appropriate share of public funding for scientific research and education.

Objective: Promote the need for sound statistical practice to inform decision making in public policy and science policy.

Strategies: (a) support efforts of government statisticians to ensure the quality and integrity of government statistics; (b) continue to develop collaborative relationships with statistical and other scientific associations (c) continue advocacy efforts at the Capitol and elsewhere.


Background: Through leadership in all levels of statistical education, the ASA can help to build a statistically literate society, make statistical careers more attractive, and better prepare statisticians for success. The Common Core State Standards are likely to transform statistical education at the secondary level. Other opportunities are the rapidly increasing numbers of high school students taking AP/regular statistics and undergraduates majoring or minoring in statistics. Better preparation for secondary school teachers is necessary to support this change. The content in the first statistics course in college should also evolve in response to these changes. Recent developments (such as large, open courses in statistics (MOOCs)) may represent opportunities for ASA to take a leadership and quality-promoting role.

Objective: Advocate and provide materials for statistics education at K-12, undergraduate, and graduate levels. Provide leadership in the education community about statistics.

Strategies: (a) In collaboration with entities internal and external to the ASA, provide guidelines and information on appropriate statistics education to statistics teachers, curriculum developers, and educational policy makers at all levels; (b) Develop and implement a plan to provide resources to K-12 teachers to enhance their ability to teach statistics; (c) Provide appropriate continuing professional development for ASA members.