Sometimes government agencies want “the next big thing” to solve their public involvement challenges. It's understandable: leadership pushes hard to engage the public, and historically efforts have been disappointing. This may lead us into thinking that we need a shiny new piece of technology, an off-the-shelf solution that acts as a community engagement magic wand. However, this is a bit backwards…
Today, while much has changed, some hasn't. Democracy, at its best, conveys the voice of the people to the institutions built to serve the people. But the tools, channels, and means of conveying that voice have multiplied.
As those channels have multiplied, complexity has reared its ugly head, making the simple act of listening into something much more involved than once encountered.
To simplify data reporting and sharing, PublicInput.com partnered with Reach to develop the all-new Data Dashboard tool. The dashboard is a central toolkit to find and share insights from the data collected through text messaging, embedded news surveys, EdNC.org, paper surveys, and offline events. It also makes it easier for our reporters and researchers to access the data and stories.
The dashboard is designed to bring together the data collected through Reach along with related public datasets, such as US Census Data. The results are highly visual insights that can be shared on social media or embedded on the web.