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Matt Fessler
Matt Fessler | Product Manager Lead, Civis Analytics

Using data and visualizations to share the impact you are making has proven to be persuasive. In the past, there have been ways to do this outside of Civis Platform, but it required exporting, granting the right access, or additional licensing. 

Now, you can share your Platform data reports with anyone. We recently launched publicly-accessible service links — a new feature that will allow you to more easily share your findings within and outside of your organization. You can share your work so others can access the data needed to make decisions or see impact quickly, easily, and wherever they are.

Services, n.

Services in Civis Platform are a way to host web applications utilizing your data in a self-contained wrapper. Common examples of things to build as a service include Shiny apps, Flask apps, dashboards, and reports.

We understand that as part of your data journey, it is important to visualize your data. However, while some more technical practitioners can review result sets or query the data to find insights, stakeholders within (or even outside) your organization may need to see reports, but do not have a Platform user account.

This new feature allows your data science practitioners to create publicly accessible reports from the data they have within Platform via a service. These services are flexible tools that allow users who are technically inclined to perform many tasks including generating reports. With the  additional step of generating a link, users may now make their reports through a publicly available URL, greatly expanding where and with whom you can share your work.

Reporting, Expanded

While we still offer our traditional, Tableau-powered reporting, we wanted to provide an additional pathway for our users to present their findings to larger audiences. Especially for those organizations that have external stakeholders and where transparency is highly sought after.  

Civis Platform provides a way for users to create a service that can host a report. Users can then generate a publicly available URL for that specific report, which allows anyone with the URL to view it. This link can be shared directly or it can be embedded in a website to easily show your stakeholders the information. 

This will not be a separate feature set and will be included for all Platform users. However, please keep in mind, that making a service publicly available will increase your compute usage when the link is accessed. As more users access the report, more compute usage will be incurred because the service is getting utilized.

illustration of a web browser and a phone side by side, both showing data-rich reports

Examples of Services to Get You Thinking

We’ve talked to the nonprofits we work with and compiled a list of examples of different types of services that can serve as inspiration for your next publicly-available service.

Email Performance Dashboard

Let’s say you have a vendor running an email-heavy digital fundraising campaign for you. You can pull together a services dashboard that details deliverability, open rate, conversation rate, and A/B test results in one easily accessible link that the external vendor and internal team can review as it updates in real-time.

Direct-services Reporting

If you are a direct services provider and there is a high-need event that’s cropped up — a food bank working in an area experiencing an unprecedented drought, for example. You can share with your donors how many families you are helping on the ground each day. 

Door Knocking Frontend

If you are activating a group of supporters to go door-to-door to advocate for an upcoming ballot measure, you can use a service with a publicly-accessible link to help your street captains cut contact lists of addresses that have a likelihood of being swayable to your cause. 

illustration of a person holding a phone with data charts floating in the background along with a security badge icon

Security Implications

With this new feature, it’s important to keep in mind that all the data you choose to share will be publicly available. So when choosing which data to report on, proper due diligence should be taken on what you decide to share. To that end, most of these reports will likely be aggregates or tracking progress toward a goal. Make sure you are exercising the appropriate caution by not sharing any sensitive data such as personally identifiable information.

When setting up the service, you are required to set a duration of how long the URL will be live. That way, reports will not be accessible indefinitely. Also if something comes up, you can always revoke access to the URL directly in Platform, which will end that publicly available URL.

A person from behind works on a computer with data displayed in chart form

Get Started Today

If you’re excited about sharing more of the data that is driving your work with your stakeholders, we invite you to reach out to our team of experts. Let us guide you through the process, answer any questions you may have, and help you create and share your services.

Let’s Get to Work