Executive Summary

Outreach and dissemination activities in the third quarter of 2021 (Q3) and our special content campaign focus on data and technology contributed to several notable accomplishments in our efforts to reach and engage broader audiences within our ecosystems. For example, 76 percent of web traffic to our Data Science for Social Good campaign content was from new users.

Partnering with our colleagues in the business units and with experts and practitioners in the field, we hosted 210 events for external audiences, a 57 percent increase over Q2, with a 90 percent jump in attendees, from 10,000 in Q2 to 19,000 in Q3. Our social media engagement activities continue to build new relationships, with a 15.5 percent increase in followers compared with Q3 2020, to 53,000.

This quarter, we also sought to expand the types of engagement opportunities we facilitated, as well as the communities with which we shared these public platforms. For example, we convened a Twitter Chat with the Data Foundation on implementation of the Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, we discussed data and the future of health care during an Ask Mathematica Anything session on Twitter Spaces, and we hosted a two-day mini hackathon as part of Data Week on using data to inform investment decisions in the philanthropic sector.

And, through efforts to engage directly with policymakers, we are influencing approaches to policies and programs. Several of our suggestions made in response to an OMB request for information on integrating equity into the work of federal agencies were referenced in this blog post by OMB deputy director Shalanda Young. On the Hill, we coordinated 10 briefings and placed an op-ed sharing evidence of effectiveness of the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF), which led to new PAF funding included with the $3.5 trillion spending package currently under consideration.

Website

In Q3 of 2021, there were 330,000 page views and 120,000 visits to mathematica.org, compared with 365,000 page views and 151,000 visits in Q3 2020. However, traffic to recruiting and general company information grew. Compared with last year, Careers page traffic grew 16 percent and About Mathematica page traffic grew 39 percent.

271 site visitors signed up to our email list. The size of the list remained steady, with about 39,000 total subscribers.

In thought leadership and project dissemination content, COVID related topics remained most popular, including the following posts:

On September 19, we launched a new business development section for Solutions, a strategic reframing of the former Services and Products section on the site. Since its Q3 launch, Solutions has averaged 200 page views per day, compared with Services and Products’ average of 64 page views per day between July 1 and September 18.

Page Views

330,000

YoY Traffic Change

8%
 

Quarterly page views

Top 10 viewed pages

Mathematica | Progress Together 44,900
Career Opportunities at Mathematica 21,110
About Mathematica 11,872
Education in the Midst of a Pandemic: Four Key Takeaways 5,251
19 and Me: A COVID-19 Risk Calculator 4,051
Contact Mathematica 4,004
COVID-19 Curated Data, Modeling, and Policy Resources 3,650
Search Results for Mathematica 3,419
Benefits Offered by Mathematica 2,823
Our People: Mathematica 2,475
Focus Areas | Mathematica 2,280

New vs Returning Users

New
Returning

Campaigns

To advance our mission and vision and support the objectives of Mathematica’s 2021 – 2024 strategy, Communications is expanding our presence and engagement in key ecosystems. This year, we are executing quarterly thematic campaigns that focus on cross-cutting, timely, and strategic topics. These campaigns position Mathematica as a leader on critical and emerging issues and engage evidence communities.

In Q3, we created a centralized campaign web page with the theme Data Science for Social Good. It brought together related content that we promoted through email, social media, and search engine optimization efforts. The campaign generated 76 percent of its web traffic from new visitors, the highest engagement from new visitors to date. Q3 campaign efforts generated 1,548 site visits, which is down from 2,367 visits generated by our DEI campaign in Q2.

Site visits generated by campaign efforts: Q2 vs Q3

Q2
Q3

One factor that may have contributed to this difference is the promotion of content via email during Q2 and the success of the feature page Transgender Inclusive Communication in particular. The Transgender Inclusive Communication feature generated 1,567 page views in Q2 alone.

Q2 visitor acquisition

Q3 visitor acquisition

New visitors as a % of total visitors

76%
 

This quarter, we began tracking the performance of our featured campaign page separately from metrics on overall campaign engagement.

Total campaign page views

1,634

Additional pages viewed after campaign page

2.9
 

Campaign Content

During the campaign, we raised awareness about Mathematica’s expertise in digital transformation through a wide range of communications activities, including the following:

  • Blogs: We published five blogs on topics including algorithms, data science, and data quality.
  • Events: We hosted a Data Week DC event on using data to advance equity in the time of COVID-19, and an Ask Me Anything session on Twitter Spaces about electronic health records.
  • Podcasts: We published episodes on data analytics, the Howard-Mathematica Summer Institute in Computational Social Sciences, and inappropriate use of non-emergency services in Medicaid.
  • Social media: We produced an animated social media video on digital trust.
  • Videos: Our Virtually Speaking videos for social media were timed to coincide with the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference and the Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference (MESC). They raised awareness of Imersis, the cloud-based data quality tool, and Mathematica’s partnership with Google Cloud on its Healthcare Data Engine.
  • Media coverage: We placed an article in Government Technology about the COVID-19 School Testing Impact Estimator. We also placed an op-ed in The Hechinger Report about the Howard-Mathematica Summer Institute on Computational Social Sciences.
  • Mailings: We sent two email newsletters promoting the Data Science for Social Good campaign: one focused on thought leadership and the other on data solutions.

We saw deep engagement around campaign-related content, particularly the following:

Here’s another engaging piece of content that held visitors’ attention much longer than the sitewide average of 1 minute 32 seconds per visit:

In Q4, our focus will pivot to climate change, with our new campaign, Climate Action Guided by Data.

Blog

Mathematica’s blog attracted almost 29,500 pageviews during Q3 2021, accounting for more than 8.6 percent of all website traffic. Site users continued the trend of spending more than twice as much time on individual posts (3:46) as the page average (1:39), indicating that our audience is reading posts and engaging with blog content at a higher rate than other parts of the site. In addition, the blog continues to be a primary entry point for users, with one out of every eight users entering the site through a blog post. While Q3 metrics are down from the historic highs of 2020, Q3 2021 traffic was 36 percent higher than the same quarter of 2019.

Our strategic focus on offering readers a look at the diverse people and perspectives that make up Mathematica’s employee-owners continues to pay off (see top three posts below). In addition, project deliverables on COVID-19 testing in schools and the role that informal child care can play in advancing equity were among the most read pieces. The narratives that accompany our podcast episodes also draw heavy traffic. Of note, 6 of the top 10 most-read posts during the quarter were published before July, including posts from 2020 about learning during the pandemic and the 19 and Me Risk Calculator.

Total Views

29,500

Average Time on Post

3:46
 

Podcast

On the Evidence had 5,106 listens in the third quarter of 2021, with August and September garnering more plays per month than 10 of the previous 11 months. Because the quarter began in July without a new episode, plays overall were down about 32 percent compared with the same quarter in 2020. We continue to earn ~1,000 listens, on average, per episode, but with fewer episodes this quarter (four instead of the usual six) and Q3 of 2020 being our best quarter on record, we saw a year-over-year decrease in listens.

As part of an ongoing effort to feature a wider range of voices and perspectives on the show, On the Evidence included 10 outside guests, including a former member of Mathematica’s Board of Directors, thought partners from philanthropy and government, as well as program participants and staff at local community-based organizations. In this quarter, we published the following episodes:

Total Listens

5,106

YoY Listens Change

31%
 

Top 3 Podcasts

1.
2.
3.

Social Media

Mathematica’s social media content reached about 915,000 individuals and organizations in Q3 2021, which is nearly identical to our performance in Q3 of 2020 (917,000 reached). We now have 53,000 followers on social media, a year-over-year growth of 15.5%.

As part of our ongoing strategy to promote Mathematica’s thought leadership and disseminate the company’s news, research, events, and job opportunities through social media, in Q3 we used social platforms to create opportunities for engagement and collaboration that included the following:

  • In partnership with the Data Foundation, we hosted a Twitter chat that discussed the federal Evidence-Based Policymaking Act. Widely attended, its crowd-sourced content reached nearly 70,000 unique accounts, with tweets that were displayed more than 375,000 times.
  • We produced a series of videos optimized for social media to highlight our thought leadership on culturally responsive education (~800 views) and building digital trust (~700 views).
  • We produced two videos for our Virtually Speaking series to help promote our presentations at MESC (~700 views) and the HIMSS conferences (~200 views).
  • We collaborated with the Health team to leverage Twitter Spaces, a new audio-only Twitter feature, as the forum for an Ask Mathematica Anything event featuring Llew Brown and Genna Cohen. The topic was “Data and the Future of Health Care.”
  • We spotlighted work from our International team on International Literacy Day through a blog post and contributed social content to the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) #ReadingInspires campaign to enter the day’s conversations on social media. USAID Education retweeted our content.
  • We collaborated throughout the quarter with clients and partners that regularly shared Mathematica’s social media content with their own social media networks, including OPRE, IES, Rockefeller Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, and the Shultz Family Foundation.
  • Our social media content was engaged with and shared in Q3 by a wide range of influential accounts, including the American Board of Family Medicine, American Evaluation Association, Arnold Ventures, Babson College, California Health Care Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Department of Labor ePolicy Works, Department of Labor Office of Disability Statistics, Education Next, Google Cloud Health Care, Kresge Foundation, National Head Start, School Superintendent Association, OPRE, The 74, USAID Education, UNICEF Africa, the Wallace Foundation, and the Walton Foundation.

Total Impressions

915,000

YoY Impressions Change

0.2%
 

Total Followers

53,091

YoY Followers Change

15.5%
 

Social Platforms

 

Policymaker Engagement

Working closely with Mathematica human services policy experts, Susan Zief and Jessica Harding, we hosted a series of meetings on Capitol Hill focused on reauthorizing the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF). Zief and Harding also co-authored an op-ed posted in The Hill’s Congress blog, with the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, which led to potential new PAF funding being included in the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better spending package (still pending votes on Capitol Hill at press time). In addition, the government affairs team also coordinated meetings with Mathematica disability policy experts, David Wittenburg, Denise Hoffman, and David Mann on post-COVID job creation for people with disabilities. We also organized several opportunities for Duncan Chaplin to brief the Washington, DC, State Board of Education about the impact of DC school reforms on student achievement.

Q3 engagements 2021: 8

Q3 engagements 2020: 14

Total Engagements

8
 

Webinars/Forums

Externally, we hosted and produced 210 events, with 19,751 live attendees and 489 on-demand attendees.

Thought leadership forums included the following:

  • The Vital Role of Health Care Payers in Addressing Social Determinants of Health to Advance Equity, with 355 live attendees and 82 on-demand attendees.
  • Implementing High-Quality Primary Care in California: A Policy Roundtable, with 147 live attendees and 35 on-demand attendees.
  • Centering Equity in the Development of Federal Policies and Evaluations with 472 live attendees.

Total Events

210
 

Live Attendees

19,751

On-Demand Attendees

489
 

Videos

We're hitting the road again for onsite visits to interview program staff and clients for future digital reports, as we did for PACT. Current work involves SIMR (Strengthening the Implementation of Marriage and Relationship Programs) and STREAMS (Strengthening Relationship Education and Marriage Services) evaluation. In early 2022, we’ll work with the FCL (Fathers and Continuous Learning in Child Welfare) project for onsite interviews.

We’re flexing our animation muscles with two animated explainer videos for the Pathways to Work Clearinghouse:

We have also produced social media videos for the Regional Educational Laboratory.

Q3 year-over-year views increased from 8,300 to 9,018, with the following top three consistently leading the list:

Accountable Care Organizations (1,896 views)
Mathematica - Progress Together (1,214 views)
Why is Literacy so Important? (725 views)

Total Video Views

9,018

YoY Views Change

8.7%
 

Media Mentions

During Q3, our work was covered 90 times in a variety of national, local, and trade media as well as in high-profile blogs. Coverage skewed toward health topics and was augmented by high-profile coverage in the Washington Post about our evaluation of DC school reforms, a PBS Newshour story on job training, a TIME magazine article about maternal health, a Federal News Network story about implementation of the Evidence Act, and a Government Technology Magazine story about COVID testing in schools. We also placed guest columns in The Hechinger Report about diversifying the STEM pipeline and in The Hill about the effectiveness of the Pregnancy Assistance Fund. Some articles ran in multiple outlets, boosting the total number of mentions to 221 for the quarter.

Health: 42
Human Services: 30
Cross Cutting: 17
 
 
-
COVID Related: 25
General: 9
Measures: 8
 
-
General: 22
COVID Related: 8
 
-
Technology: 10
DEI: 7
-
General: 1

Journal Publications

Our staff published 17 articles in peer-reviewed journals during the quarter, 5 on human services and 12 on health topics. An article written by Kate A. Stewart, Laura Blue, Keith Kranker, Sandi Nelson, Nancy McCall, Patricia Markovich, and Gregory Peterson and published in JAMA Cardiology earned coverage in Cardiology Today, Reuters Health, and Medscape. The authors found that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Medicare beneficiaries presented less frequently to hospitals for acute myocardial infarction and stroke, compared with 2018 and 2019.

Total Publications

17
 

By Unit

Health: 8
Human Services: 5

Conference Presentations

In Q3 2021, Mathematica participated in nine conferences, including APHSA, ISM, TAND Administrators, MESC, HIMSS, National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), National Association of Health Data Organizations (NAHDO), and National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect conferences. During MESC, held in person, our team presented on diverse Medicaid data quality topics and Imersis, our data quality application for Medicaid, created in collaboration with NewWave.

Total Conferences

9

Top 3 Presentations

  1. Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference (MESC): Panelists from Mathematica and NewWave discussed “A Data-First Approach to Modularizing the Medicaid Management Information System.”
  2. National Association of Health Data Organizations (NAHDO): Killing fee-for-service to save rural health, Moderator and Organizer: ┼×ule Gerovich, Senior Fellow.
  3. American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) and National Association of Welfare Research and Statistics (NAWRS) Economic Well-Being and Economic Mobility Conference: Employment Coaching with Kristen Joyce.
 

Operational Updates

We have created on-demand dashboards in ServiceNow for editorial, production, design, digital, and library services. These reports compare trends from the current and previous quarter, as well as the current and previous year. They are still being refined, and we welcome your input on additional data that would be of interest.

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