Using Operational Data to Inform Policymaking at the National Domestic Violence Hotline

With the move to evidence-based policymaking, data inform all the policy decisions made across all levels of government and advocacy organizations. Many organizations that do field work with clients have a wealth of data that can help inform policymaking. However, to use those data, we need to train field staff to understand data quality, have the right tools to analyze the data, and most critically, we need to protect the confidentiality of the people we serve.

This session is about helping organizations use the data they already have to inform key policy discussions, by describing how the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) is using their call and chat data to inform the national conversation around intimate partner violence. The NDVH provides resources to “empower victims through human connection and practical help.”

About a year ago, NDVH began exploring how it could better leverage its call data in order to shed light on a number of questions the hotline is in a unique position to ask and answer. To leverage the data this way, NDVH conducted extensive training with advocates to ensure data quality, and then ported call data to a cloud-based analysis platform provided by Civis Analytics, which allows the development of a wide variety of analytics and reporting products that can inform the hotline’s advocacy and policy work, and provide real-time data to stakeholders and policymakers. This is allowing NDVH to provide insights to policy makers throughout the intimate violence community, and provide them a better understanding of where resources are needed most.