Call Center Data Collection Political Voter Contact • Political campaigns rely upon voter contact to help find, ID, motivate, and turnout individuals to the polls on Election Day. • Campaigns have always relied on person-to-person contact to be able to ‘connect’ with a voter. • Ronald Reagan’s campaign for governor in 1966 helped start to ‘modernize’ campaign voter contact efforts. • The natural progression and cost improvements led campaigns to start more phone and door-to-door campaign voter contact efforts. Evolution of Voter Contact 1990s - 2000: • The 90s and early 2000 campaign cycle saw many states without a centralized data collection effort for voter data or voter contact information. Information would be handled locally on a county/town level with some states having a statewide, central effort. Most data kept in unsophisticated databases 2001-2002: • This mid-term election cycle, the Republican National Committee (RNC) developed a centralized, web-based, system called Voter Vault to help state organizations, candidates, and local volunteers manage voter data and contact information. 16 states participated in the use of this system. Voter contact information had to be kept off-line still. 2003: • The RNC developed a sophisticated survey program for creating, keeping, and storing voter contact/survey information. This information was brought back into Voter Vault via Excel and Access database programmatic ingestions from local computers. Streamlining Data Captures 2004: • Nearly all 50 states signed aboard in the use of the Voter Vault application suite and it was the first presidential election cycle for its use. Over five million voter contact points were able to be collected through the survey program, which was solely dependent on Excel/Access data entry methods. 2005: • The RNC developed tools to allow for easier data capturing efforts through a bubble scan/OCR technology software/hardware component. 2006: • The RNC relied heavily on the bubble scanning effort, deploying hundreds of scanners across the country to alleviate the data entry needs, making it easier for more data collection. • RNC also started exploring in the use of VoIP in call centers as a potential cost-savings measure in five states. RNC VoIP Survey Program 2007: • RNC and it’s service providers, Grandstream Networks & SmarTech Corp, met to discuss the idea of putting a data collection component on an XML capable device. • The RNC found there was no commercially viable component to be able to accomplish this, so it was decided that it would be a good, long-term investment to have it developed. • The VoIP system that was constructed, allowed for offices installed with T1 circuits capable of supporting 40-45 outbound phones through SIP Trunking. • We were able to develop an XML application that resided on an application server that the phones were able to access remotely. The Old Call Centers… Survey Application 9 Years Progression over The RNC Survey program runs through the phone Progression over 9 Years The survey program then shows which record they are going to call. They press ‘Dial’ to call the voters, and then ‘START’ to begin the survey program The surveys also allow for dynamic question branching logic. The survey can jump to another question or to the end of the survey depending on which answer choice is selected. Real-Time Data Capturing • The phone based survey application allowed us to capture each calls information in a real-time environment. • The data, immediately after the call, was pushed back to the RNC central database for immediate use inside the Voter Vault application. • This type of environment allowed for constant and up-to-date analysis of survey efforts that were happening in the field around the country. • Each call captured at least one and as many as 11 pieces of information. • Little or no training was required to get volunteers, of all backgrounds and technical proficiency, up and running on using the phones. Real-Time Monitoring Systemwide Benefits • There were over 6,000 phones deployed over 229 locations nationwide. • Our system allowed us to make over 20 million survey data collection calls over the course of five months. • The system-designed allowed for thousands of dollars in operational savings on a monthly basis • The system allowed callers to leave over 13 million pre-recorded VoiceMail messages for voters not home. • In one 24 hour period, centers made over 1.7 million calls. •Resulting in over 26 million data points captured all through a low-cost VoIP phone device.