Civis Analytics

Data, Truth, Action

  • Leading with Data: Civis and the National Technical Information Service

    Leading with Data: Civis and the National Technical Information Service

    For the past two years and up until a few months ago I was part of a unique White House initiative that paired the country’s top technologists with its brightest civil servants, on a joint effort...

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  • Tips and Lessons Learned from Upgrading Ruby on Rails

    Tips and Lessons Learned from Upgrading Ruby on Rails

    In a recent post, I shared a how-to guide on upgrading Ruby on Rails based on my team’s experience in doing so for the Civis Platform. In this post, I’ll share some of the tips and lessons learned...

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  • How We Upgraded Ruby on Rails and Lived to Tell the Tale

    How We Upgraded Ruby on Rails and Lived to Tell the Tale

    We built the Civis Platform with Ruby on Rails. In the Ruby ecosystem, there are few dependencies that are more involved than this one. And while it may not be exciting to keep it updated, it is...

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  • Want to be a Better Engineer? Be a Better Researcher

    Want to be a Better Engineer? Be a Better Researcher

    I used to think the best engineers are the ones that write the cleanest code. When I started out developing software, I thought it was all about writing the cleanest and fastest. And of course,...

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  • ‘Uninsured:’ How One Word Can Bias Your Survey Results

    ‘Uninsured:’ How One Word Can Bias Your Survey Results

    Words matter—especially words in survey questions. They can make the difference between getting good data, bad data, and mystery data. Exhibit A: the word “uninsured.” The Affordable Care Act...

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  • Who Do Consumers Really Think Should Win Best Picture at the Oscars? Data Science Has the Answer

    Who Do Consumers Really Think Should Win Best Picture at the Oscars? Data Science Has the Answer

    With Oscar night fast approaching on Sunday, the question on the minds of movies fans is which of the nine nominated movies will walk away with the Best Picture award. As data scientists, we...

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  • A Deeper Dive into our Super Bowl Analysis: Did the Messages Score with the Viewers?

    A Deeper Dive into our Super Bowl Analysis: Did the Messages Score with the Viewers?

    Last week, we released our Super Bowl advertisement findings on brand impact and awareness, using Civis Research, for three brands: Buick, TurboTax and Wix. Our research showed that established...

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  • Most Americans Support Paid Family & Medical Leave

    Most Americans Support Paid Family & Medical Leave

    Here’s a hypothetical no-win situation to consider before you read any further: Choosing between your job and your family. You can go to work and keep your paycheck, or stay home to take care of a...

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  • The Science Behind our Super Bowl Advertising Analysis, Powered by Civis Research

    The Science Behind our Super Bowl Advertising Analysis, Powered by Civis Research

    Have you ever made a decision based on gut? What about a $5 million decision? Many brands buy an ad during the Super Bowl because they think it might increase their brand awareness, but many...

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  • An Open Letter to Young Engineers on Writing Code in the Real World

    An Open Letter to Young Engineers on Writing Code in the Real World

    Schools teach you how to write code—how to take an idea and turn it into software that does exactly what you want. This is great. It’s fundamental. What school doesn’t prepare you for, however,...

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  • Super-Fast, Hyper-Accurate Market Research Made Easy

    Super-Fast, Hyper-Accurate Market Research Made Easy

    Six months ago I sat down with Dan Wagner, our CEO, and had a heart-to-heart on the state of survey science. We talked about the challenges of it—in exclamation points, asterisks, and other...

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  • How the Robin Hood Foundation Uses Data Science to Fight Poverty

    How the Robin Hood Foundation Uses Data Science to Fight Poverty

    Two of the most effective federal anti-poverty programs in the United States are the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The EITC, a tax...

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  • How We Fine Tuned Lyric Opera’s Marketing Efforts

    How We Fine Tuned Lyric Opera’s Marketing Efforts

    Like many nonprofits in the arts, Lyric Opera of Chicago faces the familiar challenges of aging audiences, technological disruptions, and changes in cultural consumption. In response, Lyric Opera,...

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  • Open Sourcing the Civis API Client for Python

    Open Sourcing the Civis API Client for Python

    We’ve written before about the Civis API and how we’re using it to do some serious data science. With the Civis API, we no longer have to worry about whether we have enough RAM on our laptop to...

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  • Supercharge Your Customer List (for Free)

    Supercharge Your Customer List (for Free)

    One of the most common requests we get from clients is to help them understand the people they already “know” – the customers who have bought what they’re selling, from retail goods to health...

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  • From a Mattress to a Standing Desk: Announcing our $22M Series A led by Drive Capital

    From a Mattress to a Standing Desk: Announcing our $22M Series A led by Drive Capital

    This week, Civis Analytics is announcing the close of our Series A investment. All in we raised $22M, led by Drive Capital — a Midwestern-focused venture capital firm — with participation from...

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  • Hey, Nonprofits: Win a Chance to Ask America Anything

    Hey, Nonprofits: Win a Chance to Ask America Anything

    Here at Civis Analytics, we have so much to be thankful for. In particular, I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with nonprofits — that’s why I’m excited to announce that starting this Giving...

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  • Civis joins Young & Rubicam in supporting the 2020 US Census

    Civis joins Young & Rubicam in supporting the 2020 US Census

    At Civis, we are big fans of the US Census Bureau – the data they collect on the US population underlie many of the analyses we do for our clients every day. So we are incredibly excited to be...

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  • Putting the Power of Campaign Targeting in Your Hands: VoteWithMe

    Putting the Power of Campaign Targeting in Your Hands: VoteWithMe

    A few weeks ago, I was canvassing in New Hampshire to knock on the doors of strangers and ask them to make a plan to vote. See – I’m a data scientist, and I don’t know what you know about data...

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  • Assessing Data with Item Response Theory

    Assessing Data with Item Response Theory

    It’s a truism bordering on a cliche to say that every day, there’s more and more data being collected. As a data scientist, this is a great situation in which to find myself: so much data for...

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