Data can be a potent communication tool to help organizations achieve their outcomes, and Hillcrest Advisory can help you: 

  • Put issues of importance on the public agenda.

  • Educate key constituents who may need guidance to see your vantage point.

  • Inspire your audiences to take a stand or an action. They could join a cause; make a contribution; vote for a policy; draft a bill; improve a regulation; or change an unhealthy behavior.

  • Nurture collaboration in communities, connecting disparate organizations and enabling them to identify problems of common concern and forge solutions together.

  • Illuminate how well public programs are functioning and where adjustments may need to be made.

  • More broadly, improve public discourse and decrease partisanship

Data is fuel to accomplish all of this. You may have the internal capacity to find and manipulate the data. You even may know what the conclusions are – that is, what the data say, based on your analysis. But to see impact, you also need to connect with constituents via a persuasive, cogent narrative, with messaging and presentation formats that are rooted in the needs of audiences whom you need to reach and persuade. That’s where Hillcrest Advisory comes in.

Here are some examples of how Andy Krackov, Hillcrest Advisory’s founder, has helped organizations throughout his extensive career in the public sector: 

  • California’s Open Data Program: Through Andy’s four-year stewardship of California Health Care Foundation’s (CHCF) open data initiative, he partnered with the State of California’s health agency to launch a highly regarded open data program. The foundation’s goal was broader than just encouraging the state to publish its treasure trove of data. CHCF also wanted to encourage statewide use of these data and build a bridge between state staff and local individuals that would help the health agency look outward and seek community input when improving its data products and offerings. The results of this partnership between the state and the foundation were detailed in this blog post, co-written by Andy and Michael Wilkening, currently the Secretary for the California Health and Human Service’s Agency.

  • Andy helped established, and, for roughly ten years, manage this program of the Lucile Packard Foundation, which is aimed at using data to raise awareness of children’s issues across California. The program, which began as an initiative for two Bay Area counties, was twice expanded by the foundation’s board, first to seven additional Bay Area counties and then to all cities, school districts, and 58 counties in California. Beyond managing web operations, Andy launched and oversaw an array of editorial and outreach products to encourage use of these local data. Outreach involved social media, community meetings across the state, forging partnerships at a local and state level, e-mail newsletters, surveys of parents, and crucial website enhancements, such as simple fact sheets, and data alerts tailored to each individual’s needs.

  • California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative: Andy recently began a project, funded by the California Endowment, to provide data storytelling coaching to 12 local accountable communities for health in California. These communities need to leverage data as a tool to persuade local businesses, policymakers, and others to focus on efforts to improve a particular health condition, such as opioid misuse, asthma, or cardiovascular disease. Andy’s role is help them create compelling data stories and, simultaneously, build up their capacity to carry forward this data communication work.

  • Shiftworkers, by the Numbers: This Velir-created data story was built in partnership with the communication firm, Purpose, through a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The aim was to use a combination of poignant quotes, first-person videos, and other story elements, along with data, to explain the challenges affecting those in the United States who don’t know from week to week what their work schedule will be. As Velir’s Vice President for Data Strategy, Andy’s roles in this project included developing top-level messaging based on data findings; managing the storyboard process and relationship with the client; and drafting and editing the written content that supports the illustrations and visualizations.

  • CalHospitalCompare: When he was at the California Health Care Foundation, Andy managed the foundation’s program to provide health care consumers in California with easy-to-digest ratings and data on hospital (and nursing home) quality. Beyond funding and providing program leadership for these two websites, Andy also guided efforts to create other vehicles for summarizing data, including this simple infographic on disparities in the quality of maternity care in California.

  • Primary Health Care Performance Initiative: This initiative, a partnership of the World Bank, the Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, Ariadne Labs, and Results for Development, contracted with Velir on the launch of a revamped website that features country-level data on primary health care. Velir took responsibility for the build and design of the site, and Andy’s main role was to offer strategic input that helped assemble the a foundation for this website redesign. He interviewed end-users across the globe, as well as program leadership, in order to develop a roadmap for website enhancements and data-related outreach. 
  • The Commonwealth Fund’s Quality-Spending Interactive: Also build by Velir, Andy’s role in this project was to help ensure visualization features were assembled in a way to be both useful and used by key audiences nationwide and that the complex health care-related messaging was clear and concise. Andy worked with the team at Velir to iterate on functionality for the visualizations and wrote and edited content.
  • American Heart Association Story Map: Velir partnered with the American Heart Association to pilot a story map tool that can both share Census tract-level data findings for five cities in the Northeast, and provide photos and other on-the-ground information on local programs to prevent heart disease. I managed the relationship with the client; presented draft versions of the tool to key American Heart Association constituents to get input; obtained and analyzed data and developed related messaging; and edited content provided by the AHA.

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