By focusing on translating data into easy-to-grasp answers, then communicating these findings through stories, Hillcrest Advisory enables organizations to put their issues on the public agenda; educate key constituents; inspire audiences to take a stand (e.g. join a cause or donate); and strengthen community collaboration. 

Tools of the Trade: It’s Not Just About Technology & Design

We collectively have the capacity to create visualizations that make your head spin with smart and colorful interactivity. Seemingly every week, a major news outlet publishes a data visualization of jaw-dropping beauty. But you’ll need to draw from a broader set of tools to achieve community-level impact through data, In particular, you’ll want to:

  • Define the actions you want specific audiences to take and understand what motivates them.
  • Craft crisp, clear and compelling messages that audiences can relate to.
  • Paint data on a broader canvas through photos, poignant quotes, stories of individuals, and other elements.
  • Build out useful ways of packaging findings. A highly interactive digital display has its place, but so do printed fact sheets for one-on-one meetings and presentations to community groups.
  • Forge partnerships with others who can be your information ambassadors and implement outreach and communication plans to ensure your audiences receive a steady drumbeat of useful information from you.

Deep Experience in the Social Sector

Hillcrest Advisory is led by Andy Krackov, who, over the last 15 years, has fine-tuned an understanding of what works to achieve impact with data, thanks to his background in journalism, philanthropy, and the startup data sector. His interest in understanding audience needs began when he was in graduate school at Stanford, studying how people process media. See a summary of Andy’s professional experience.

Highlights of Andy’s work includes:

  • Partnering with the State of California to build a nation-leading open data program to publish and encourage statewide use of the valuable health data the state provides. Andy worked closely with the state in this realm through his position guiding $8.5 million in open data funding for the California Health Care Foundation.
  • Improving local government’s capacity to communicate to policymakers and the public by using data. Andy managed an initiative at the California Health Care Foundation that funded new methods for county health departments to effectively communicate their data.
  • Helping leading California philanthropies promulgate data on important social topics. At the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, Andy launched and directed a pioneering website, kidsdata.org, that introduced a number of data-related innovations, all in service of the goal of raising awareness of children’s issues. At the California Health Care Foundation, he guided an initiative to put health care quality data about hospitals and nursing homes in the hands of consumers.

Andy has served on national and state boards related to public data, speaks at and moderates sessions at leading conferences about effective use of data, and has written for multiple publications on the topic. Across his career, he has developed an understanding for how best to harness communication and technology to better deliver valuable information. Most importantly, Andy has learned to deeply understand audiences and walk in their shoes in order to build information products that can activate an organization’s agenda.