Data and Analytics

Analytics. Metrics. Big Data. Stats. Call it what you will, the data we use to understand how people relate to us and our work is increasingly important. These articles seek to uncover how data can be used to empower people.

Measure your Mission: Beyond vanity metrics

Beyond Vanity Metrics

This guest post by Jackie Mahendra, Director of Strategic Collaboration at Citizen Engagement Laboratory, first appeared on Medium. How do you know if your work is working? For those of us at mission-driven organizations, this is a critical question and one that is much harder to answer than it may appear. What we should measure […]

Pay attention and win: Lessons from Brasil

How Greenpeace Brasil is adapting Big Listening to its needs to become an opinion leader
March for forests in Brasil

In 2013, Greenpeace Brasil realised it was having trouble turning it’s fast-growing social media audience into the kind of active and vocal supporters needed to help influence public opinion on its issues. In mid-2013, they connected with MobLab’s Benjamin Simon and colleagues at Upwell, Rachel Weidinger and Matt Fitzgerald, to learn about using social media monitoring (or Big […]

Learn how 3 years of Big Listening (and testing) may change your campaigning

A MobLab interview with Upwell's Rachel Weidinger
Upwell conversation

The crew of innovative campaigners and online strategists at Upwell, led by a core team of Rachel Weidinger, Ray Dearborn and Matt Fitzgerald have done their best to change how campaigns listen to, use and test online campaigning since 2012. Their non-traditional mission was perhaps best exemplified by their client: the Ocean. Upwell intended to engage a […]

Kosovo youth set agenda (and gather data) for change

How replicable citizen science programs propel environmental policy
Kosovo youth assemble monitors

Kosovo is considered the most polluted country in Europe. UNICEF’s Kosovo Innovation Lab is organising local youth to collect pollution data and advocate for a cleaner Kosovo. The replicable citizen science project, Science for Change, is also using open data to engage more people in supporting, encouraging, and holding accountable Kosovo’s institutions when it comes to air quality monitoring and transparency.

The advocacy work in Kosovo is intended to build off of successful campaigns from around the world. The training took examples from an anti-fracking campaign in Pennsylvania, the Extreme Citizen Science Research Group in London, and the Greenpeace Palm oil campaign. The youth were also trained on open source technologies like ghost wipes and diffusion tubes from Smart Citizen. These technologies used democratize the data collection process by being low cost, easy to use, and come with a visualization API that makes the data accessible.

5 things we learned by analysing lots and lots (and lots) of Facebook data

Mythbusting for social media strategists and campaigners
Live shot from our data analysis center.

Last year, our friends at Crowdtangle offered to let MobLab dig through some of their aggregate data about the performance of individual posts on public pages to see if we could find anything interesting. We jumped at the chance, looking through every post in the month of April from 572 different pages — 107,657 total posts — […]

Street selfies driving up new supporter engagement

Amnesty International tests photo sharing in street canvassing
Amnesty International face to face fundraising

What if adding one extra step to your organization’s street canvassing routine had the potential to bring in an extra million or more in donations in just two years? Those are the potential gains Amnesty International is looking at after conducting a small experiment in Toronto in 2012. The idea was simple: After signing up a […]

Open map project breaks mold and brings new people to campaigning

Initiative from Climate Change Coders and Friends of the Earth has global potential
Bee Keepers UK Map

Large and long-established organisations are often hesitant to release control and actively support distributed organising projects. In one example that breaks the mold, Friends of the Earth (FoE) and Climate Change Coders (CCCoders) have partnered on a new data-driven, open-source mapping project. The goal is to get campaigners from the UK (and beyond) to use freely available mapping code to […]

Catching Kerry’s attention: Ocean campaigners elevate Twitter tactics

Strategic combination of online and on-the-ground efforts take issue to next level
help fish

The Greenpeace oceans campaign team embraced a unique opportunity to catch the attention of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and open up conversation around the country’s position on high seas protection. The main strategy? Mimicking and overtaking conversation on Twitter, where Kerry is an active user. The U.S. Department of State’s Our Ocean Conference […]

Internet trends for campaigners: More mobile. More data. More edges.

User interfaces (and human interaction) are being reimagined using big data and more community-oriented platforms. Illustration by John Maeda, KPCB.

Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report provides a comprehensive dive into global Internet use. This year’s report was recently released and here are our key takeaways for campaigners and advocacy leaders (along with a longer list of highlights): “Meet people where they are” has never been more true. Mobile Internet use continues its quick rise, particularly as […]