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Deep Dive Breakout 3: Applying Data to Measure and Show Your Success

July 20, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

We hear a lot about ‘data,’ but how do you apply it to assess your efforts? Panelists will discuss how both big and small teams use and apply data, different ways of tracking and collecting relevant data, and getting buy-in from other departments so you have all the metrics you need to show success.

Sophia McLeod, Association of Clinical Research Organizations
Sarah Yi, CTIA The Wireless Association
Jessica Cooper, National Federation of Independent Business
Christopher Masak, Alzheimer’s Association


  • Learning Objective: How do you use, collect and apply data
  • In an ideal world, all of our advocacy data would live in one place and can be accessed at will
    • This allows us to highlight our successes, which, in advocacy, have many ripple effects
  • Many people may think they don’t have the power or control to make an impact on the data – a word of advice, start small with something you can handle and prove the value of the data to your decision-makers
    • Develop a how-to guide: discover a problem, highlight the solution 
  • Our data is only as good as what’s in it
  • A good starting point in data is answering the question “What problems are you trying to solve?”
    • Success can be measured in a multitude of ways, but generally, it’s achieving the main goal
  • How do you collect data?
    • The best way to move advocates through the engagement ladder is by having them willingly offer their information and identify their interests
      • Ask prompting questions to discover individuals’ interests – 1st party data
        • What issues are you most interested in? How do you want to get involved?
        • You can target your database with this data and activate them with it. It also helps to develop next touch bases and thank yous or updates
      • Gathering data from a client (for example) – second-party data
      • Information from other databases – third-party data 
        • This information can be very overwhelming but it helps to know your audience and have a goal for specific answers that you are looking for
        • V-lookup may be your best friend
        • Ex. All of these people are interested in pets. Now how do I tie this back to what I’m doing?
        • Create a persona from the third-party data
    • Surveys offer tons of information and data from companies, individuals, and state associations
      • Third-party organizations can help with accurate survey creation
      • It’s important to streamline the data collection process – automate it so that all your data is automatically uploaded, and updated, in the same place
      • A mobile app for your database may allow the advocates to keep their own data up to date as they evolve
    • Tracking how data changes over time is also extremely important in order to see the progression of the data
    • Pro tip: Don’t save data from excel as a .csv if you have multiple tabs because it will only save one of the tabs
    • You can analyze data to monitor your advocate bases – who can I mobilize for x issue?
    • Streamline and digitize the data so that we can access it immediately and pull the advocates that we need when we need to activate them 
    • Specificity when collecting is critical to be able to answer the question of what problems we want to solve
  • Software
    • Excel 
      • If someone leaves [at your organization] so does the knowledge of the data/database
  • What is Power BI?
    • Connect to and visualize any data using the unified, scalable platform for self-service and enterprise business intelligence
    • This software turns data into visuals 
      • It generates charts and compares year over year
      • This allows us to note how our advocate databases have grown (or decreased) over time
      • It also allows you to find relevant, specific data that can be accessed as soon as necessary
  • How do we track data?
    • Tracking specific data points over time allows us to mine the data and figure out exactly where we have had success
  • Learning Objective: Getting Buy-In from Other Stakeholders
    • Is there a single data point that stands out as a success?
      • No, it is a cultivation of things that need to be analyzed together, and then presented to others in a way that they can digest it 
    • Communicating Value
      • Visuals display and communicate value showcased by the data
      • Understand the audience
        • Only communicate the information that your audience cares about
      • Show the steps in the process
        • Outline the strategy, and then couple that with the outcome 
  • Ask: How can Grassroots Help You / Your Team?
    • “What can grassroots do for you?”
      • Be vulnerable enough to ask this question, and then ask the right follow-up questions to dive into the Why behind the data 
        • Helps to identify advocates that are champions that we can leverage as an extra leg to the advocacy team – you discover this by asking the right questions
      • Try an activity where people identify the activities that they most enjoy by giving them an amount of money (monopoly money) that they can spend on the issues their most passionate about 
        • The departments also will realize how advocacy is helping them 
      • If you can continue to show value in advocacy activities, you can continue to get momentum behind the grassroots programs
      • Getting buy-in brings everything full circle 
      • Public policy teams and advocates can answer questions that other departments can’t – they also can leverage the other departments once their worth is proven
    • Data helps identify growth, but it also allows us to find room for improvement and develop strategies to fill the gaps 
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Reporting
    • Show the reports as a visual, but back it up with a story
    • Never discount the power of storytelling – the qualitative data
      • How many letters were delivered? Why was this important? What was the reason for doing it?
      • Personalized quotes and stories are a lead to identify advocates and they also have a greater impact on legislators that hear/see the stories – “I’m not a tax loophole”
      • Humanized stories mean more
      • Adopt a video platform where people can upload videos 
        • Publishing the videos created a “peer pressure” that generated many more submissions
    • Target people based on not taking action – “look at how many of your peers took action, now it’s your turn”
  • Learning Objective: Using Data for Internal and External Storytelling 
    • What is inside baseball and what do we share? 
    • Data scientist firm: Human Behavior 
      • How do we take in data and tailor creative and copy to the targeted audience?
      • Third parties can allow you to develop personalized lookalike audiences
    • Presenting Data for Different Audiences
      • External storytelling means altering the visuals to fit the preferences of your audience
        • Ex: the FDA likes to see dry numbers and raw data in generic charts
        • Ex: Hill staff wants to have more visual, easy-to-digest data
          • This can also be used to help advocates gather their talking points and easily explain them to others
  • Humanize your Data
    • Numbers lie
      • Just because someone took action doesn’t mean that it was a meaningful action
      • Customize it in order to know that the data is valuable 
        • Smaller audiences 
        • Allow emails to be customized 
        • Let the advocates be creative and individually participate in actions 
    • This also allows us to convince our teams that we can identify the right advocates at the right time 
      • Engage them early on so that they are ready when they are called on
      • Offer surveys and other easy actions when there are down periods on issues 
      • Externally – results mobilize others
      • Internally – it offers a proof of concept
    • Use the data to tell more stories 
  • What’s next?
    • Retargeting – this will help us further leverage data, segment the audience, and further automate and define the engagement path for advocates
      • Put data further into action
    • Updating our database and the way we collect and store data
    • Using visuals and Power BI to fill the gaps – be more specific and engage the numbers 
      • Be more strategic with the data visibility that we have
    • Sentiment tracking – gauge how into an idea someone is 
      • Use a scale: Ex. I really enjoy it, I kind of like it, Hell no
  • Human behavior changes over time and evolves rather rapidly
    • Flocks
      • An event happens and evolution happens 
      • The process is not static
      • We don’t purchase data and let it sit, keep it up to date 
    • How much does human behavior cost?
      • It started at $50,000
      • Good PMs from a third-party vendor should be able to work with you to offer a specific dataset 


July 20, 2022
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category:
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