Lots of the time, voter files come in the form of an Excel file and while this is standard, it doesn't make it easy to use.
We want to make the uploading of your voter file into Ecanvasser as seamless as possible and our Excel experts here in the office have provided us with a few simple tips and tricks.
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Voter File Management Prior to Import:
Make sure to have homogeneous columns. This means that where possible make sure there is only one data point per each column.
Example: Unit Number, Unit Name, Street Number, Street Name etc.
You can use the Text to Column function in Excel to separate data from one cell into two.
You can also use the Concatenate Formula in excel to merge data together from separate cells into one.
The Concatenate Function is one of Excel's text functions. It is used to join two or more words or text strings together. For example, sometimes data distributed over multiple columns in an excel spreadsheet is more efficient to use when combined into one column.
Adding a Voter ID acts as a voter specific identifier, which could help with data management throughout your campaign.
NB Before importing your Voter File, take a look through the data and try to gauge what data points you really need to include during import. Depending on the size and context of your campaign you may decide to keep all of the data points but in some instances, you may find it is not necessary to import them all.
If your voter file doesn’t contain all the information you would like, you can use Custom Fields to add certain data points, which you may wish to track or help with segmenting your data.
Custom Field Suggestions: Voter Preference, Election History, Party Member, Residency Type, Yard Sign, Volunteer.
You can track the data through custom fields whilst canvassing or you can pre-populate your voter file with this data before import.
Insert a column to your file before import, then pre-populate with any default data you may wish to use.
Example: The user may want to segment data based on residency type. If they already have this data to hand, they can create a new column in their file and populate it with the necessary data. Once they come to upload their file, this data will be available to import.
These are only the basics when organizing your voter file but if you want to get down to the real nitty gritty, pop a message in the intercom box in the bottom right corner or take our free campaign audit below.