Don't Waste Your Donors' Money
At the end of every fiscal quarter, party committees and political candidates release fundraising numbers showing that they raised millions of dollars to support their efforts. Millions that are spent on enormous numbers of campaign staff, carefully targeted advertisements, and huge swaths of data to guide every aspect of voter outreach.
But do these campaigns really know what they’re doing with all this data?
In the wake of the 2016 election, various people within the Democratic campaign apparatus traded accusations about the quality of the data that was available and how it was used to activate voters.
These themes were repeated again and again at Netroots in Philadelphia earlier this summer. During the conference, activists, campaign professionals, and organizers all spoke of the need for data-backed strategies when approaching the electorate. But throughout the sessions, it became clear that the majority of participants don’t understand, or are intimidated by the data, limiting its impact.
Silos separating data and field remain intact, preventing effective coordination of efforts and shared understanding.
That’s why Empower Engine exists.
Our platform was built by campaign professionals who understand that the people who drive a campaign come from a variety of backgrounds and skill-sets. The unifying factor is that they’re all using data to make decisions.
The genius of Empower Engine is that it makes that data accessible to data staff, as well as field organizers, volunteers, and even donors. Each group can turn to Empower Engine to understand the data that drives the campaign.
The data staff can access model scores and visualize campaign data in seconds. That means that when they are speaking to someone without experience in analytics, they can show them a map in seconds and save valuable time. Most people don’t understand persuasion scores, but they can understand a map like this, showing them where the persuadables are concentrated.
Field Directors can use click and color maps to cut up turf and assign territory to different regional teams, seeing the data implications of every change in real time. They can view this territory using satellite imagery, helping to ensure that the areas can be canvassed. They can track field progress through maps that update automatically every night, showing where the canvassers hit their goals and where more time needs to be spent. This is how you prevent some of the resource mis-allocations we saw in 2016.
Newly hired organizers can be sent a set of maps tailored to their turf before they even hit the ground. Normally it takes a single GIS professional hours to produce maps for a campaign office. With Empower Engine, these maps can be created and shared in a few clicks. Organizers who don’t know what factors a data expert used to create a model can still understand its implications through a map, unifying data and field.
Volunteers can be shown the impact of their work every time they canvass, incentivizing them to continue picking up shifts and knocking those doors.
Fundraisers can pull up maps in seconds to give a donor a true sense of campaign strategy and action on the ground.
If campaigns are going to use data to make their decisions, they need a tool that breaks down the silos, and unites the campaign around a shared understanding. Without it, they are just wasting your money.