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The things we didn’t do

Oh the things we didn't do

In two years of this pandemic

Could take a lifetime

The pandemic has impacted our lives in every possible way. As a father of two kids, I often think about the birthdays, family trips, and milestones they’ve missed out on.

The last two years also impacted the business world in unprecedented ways. As professionals, we often don’t talk about ideas that languished, projects that would have thrived IRL but were left high-and-dry in the budding meta-work-verse.

It’s a rollercoaster of emotions to think about what didn’t materialize. We may, still, build a speakeasy for issue advocates and organizers…

So what did we do?

Not a complete list, but here are some important things that came to mind:

We built a data-visualization tool to help organizations understand their target audience better in order to create impactful campaigns. Then we showed the tool to 50+ trade associations, nonprofits, and advocacy groups to get their feedback.

We prioritized the migration of our analytics environment from S3 and AWS Athena to Snowflake and rebuilt our Universal Ingestion Pipeline (UIP) in order to process a larger volume of data.

We set up a polling operation to ask more than 2,000 Americans weekly about their sentiments toward key issues.

We supported the urgent work of incredible organizations like Inseparable, whose work influencing the Biden-Harris administration to address the mental health crisis got a direct mention in Joe Biden’s 2022 State of the Union address.

Why did we do these things?

Because we wanted to listen.

When the world stood still, we decided to take a pause. The pandemic allowed us to spend more time with organizers on the ground who were trying to figure out how to mobilize ahead of a consequential election.

What did we learn from organizers?

Voter data is wildly unequal in its quality, and very hard to analyze or use without dedicated expert resources.

Organizations are desperate to understand their members better — what motivates them, what they believe, and why they behave the way they do — especially in light of changing digital rules around first-party data, targeting, and outreach via channels like SMS.

Managers need more and more accurate data to make better decisions. This may seem like a “duh” thing to say, but we’ve been able to explore this along lines of say, geography, where the extra dimensions of the customer problem have become increasingly clear to us over time.

Cycle-on, cycle-off organizing is increasingly expensive and lossy. Regulatory changes like 10DLC are forcing our customers to think about “always-on” organizing, and our data and tools need to be built to support this emerging paradigm.

So, where do we go from here?

We’re building and growing, guided by the organizers themselves.

What didn’t you do the last two years? Tell us in the comments below.

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