Executive Summary

Ongoing efforts to partner with our clients “in the seam,” through thought leadership activities not directly tied to specific project dissemination, contributed to improvements in most engagement metrics in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021. In addition, focusing our content on timely and topical issues, such as climate change and equity, helped raise awareness of Mathematica’s expertise in ecosystems that are relatively new to us. The quarter’s highlights include the following:

  • An almost 50 percent increase in new subscribers to our email list, compared with the third quarter (Q3)
  • An ongoing surge in new visitors to our website, surpassing returning visitors by more than 4:1
  • Almost 5,000 views of our climate action page, with visitors averaging 6 additional page views
  • 28 external guests featured on our podcast—the highest in any quarter to date—as we share our platforms to lift up diverse voices and perspectives
  • Expanded reach of our social media content, with 30 percent and 15 percent increases in impressions and followers, respectively

Website

In Q4 of 2021, there were 297,000 page views and 160,000 visits to mathematica.org, compared with 307,000 page views and 167,000 visits in Q4 2020. A year-long trend of attracting at least 50,000 visits and 95K page views per month continued through December 2021.

Career Opportunities and About Mathematica remained the site’s most popular content pages.

506 site visitors signed up to our email list during Q4, compared with 271 new subscribers in Q3.

Page Views

297,000

YoY Traffic Change

3%
 

Quarterly page views

Top 10 viewed pages

Mathematica | Progress Together 40,691
Career Opportunities at Mathematica 18,211
About Mathematica 9,486
Education in the Midst of a Pandemic: Four Key Takeaways 6,514
Mathematica Recognizes National Special Education Day with New Research 3,905
Contact Mathematica 3,398
Mathematica Email Signup 3,203
Focus Areas | Mathematica 2,356
Benefits offered by Mathematica 2,325
COVID-19 Curated Data, Modeling, and Policy Resources 2,080
Our People: Mathematica 2,080

New vs Returning Users

New
Returning

Quarterly Content Campaigns

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

In Q4, the content focus was Climate Action Guided by Data. We featured climate- and energy-related content on a centralized landing page and amplified this thought leadership and project content via email, social media, and search engine optimization. The campaign landing page earned 4,784 page views, exceeding views for any other campaign page to date. Visitors to the landing page viewed an average of six additional pages after they viewed the climate action campaign landing page, doubling the average subsequent page views earned in Q3.

Site visits generated by campaign efforts

Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4

Q3 Additional pages viewed after campaign page

2.9

Q4 Additional pages viewed after campaign page

5.9
 

During the Q4 content campaign on climate action, we showcased Mathematica’s interdisciplinary, multi-sectoral climate expertise using digital-first products, including the following:

  • Events - We hosted a webinar, "Evidence-Informed Climate Action," with leaders from the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), discussing climate change and strategies for using evidence to inform responses to the growing climate crisis. Additionally, we held an Ask Me Anything session on Twitter Spaces featuring Esteban Quinones and Anthony D’Agostino, discussing opportunities to apply data for climate action.
  • Blogs - We published four blogs on topics including workforce policies, the food and agriculture sector, and staff profiles, earning a total of more than 2,100 views. The staff profiles, featuring Esteban Quinones and Tulika Narayan, were two of the top five best performing blog posts in Q4.
  • Social media - We produced an animated social media video on taking Climate Action guided by data, earning ~250 views on Twitter alone.

In Q1 2022, our focus will pivot to our new content campaign, Lead Change with Evidence-Based Decision Making.

Blog

Mathematica’s blog attracted almost 42,000 page views during Q4 2021, up from about 29,500 in Q3 (42 percent increase) and the highest quarterly total of 2021. Visits to the blog accounted for more than 9.7 percent of all website traffic during the quarter. A total of 27 new posts were added during the fourth quarter, bringing the total number of posts for 2021 to 105, just behind 2020’s record pace of 111.

Site users continued to spend more than twice as much time on individual blog posts (3:18) as the page average for the full website (1:14). In addition, the blog continues to be a primary entry point for users, with 12.4 percent of users entering the site through a blog post. While both Q4 and 2021 metrics are down from the historic highs of 2020, Q4 2021 traffic was 73.5 percent higher than the same quarter of 2019, with total blog page views in 2021 nearly doubling the 2019 benchmark.

Posts from our My Mathematica series, which offer readers a look at the people behind our work and the passions that drive it, continue to lead the way in terms of our most popular posts for the quarter (3,334 page views) and the year (6,363 page views). We look forward to building on this momentum with monthly My Mathematica features in 2022.

In addition, a number of equity-focused posts performed well this quarter, including Dawnavan Davis’ look at how we’re working to center equity, the write-up of our November podcast on how and why foundations are pushing to advance equity through evidence, and a project-funded post authored by our partners at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on the importance of equity-centered strategic learning.

Unlike last quarter, 8 of the top 10 most viewed posts in Q4 2021 were posted during the quarter, with popular posts from 2020 about learning during the pandemic and the 19 and Me Risk Calculator as the only outliers.

Total Views

42,000

Average Time on Post

3:18
 

Podcast

On the Evidence

In Q4 2021, Mathematica’s podcast garnered the second-most listens in any quarter since the podcast began in February 2019. The strong showing is owed in part to a more consistent output of episodes, with six episodes publishing in Q4 compared to four in Q2 and Q3 and five in Q1. But it's not simply that we published more episodes—individual episodes also appear to be generating more listens. The average number of listens per episode within the first two weeks of publication was up 17 percent from 2020 to 2021. The final quarter reflected trends that are likely to continue into 2022: an increase in the number of guests per episode, the inclusion of project-funded episodes, and more episodes that amplify messages and themes in the 2021–2024 enterprise strategy and 2035 vision.

More guests: We had featured 28 guests in Q4 (the most of any quarter to date), which reflects ongoing efforts to share our platforms and deepen our collaboration with a diverse range of external partners whose expertise and lived experiences supplement our perspectives.

Project-funded episodes: The podcast is demonstrating value as a client-centric approach to dissemination and thought leadership. One episode focused on removing child care barriers for parents participating in job training through the Strengthening Working Families Initiative. A second project-funded episode focused on advancing racial equity in fatherhood programs.

Amplifying strategic messages and themes: We continue to strengthen the alignment of podcast episode topics with the messages and themes of our mission, vision, and strategy. For example, in Q4, one episode focused on the theme of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and digital transformation through the lens of the Summer Institute for Computational Social Scientists, co-sponsored by Mathematica and Howard University. Another episode focused on promoting DEI in policy research by hosting a discussion of philanthropy’s role in promoting culturally responsive and equitable research.

Total Listens

6,798

YoY Listens Change

36%
 

Top 3 Podcasts

1.
2.
3.

Social Media

In Q4 of 2021, our social media accounts earned 863,940 impressions (instances of content distribution) and ended the year with more than 56,000 followers across platforms. As we continued to share Mathematica news, events, partnerships, and our mission-driven commitment to data and evidence, we were gratified to see clients and influencers sharing our social media content. Tweets, posts, videos, and other multimedia pieces originated by our accounts were shared by, among others, AcademyHealth, the American Board of Family Medicine, AmeriCorps, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, the California Health Care Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Milbank Memorial Foundation, the National Academy for State Health Policy, the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Results for America, the Rockefeller Foundation, and USAID Policy. Other examples of our social media work in Q4 include the following:

  • We presented a year-end edition of the #PrimaryCareCovidChat, for which Communications and the Health unit partnered to conclude the popular Twitter chat that we launched in the spring of 2020 and which has earned more than 3 million impressions. In 2022, this regular gathering of primary care thought leaders will become the #PrimaryCarePolicyChat.
  • We were invited to be a judge of the 2022 International Association of Business Communicators Gold Quill Awards, based on our record of having twice won the award for our social media content.
  • With partners from our International unit, we hosted the second in our series of Ask Mathematica Anything events via Twitter Spaces, a new audio-only platform that allows us to share our expertise in an open, conversational forum. In doing so, we’ve positioned ourselves to take full advantage of this new thought leadership opportunity as it continues to grow in popularity.

Total Impressions

863,940

YoY Impressions Change

30%
 

Total Followers

56,000

YoY Followers Change

15%
 

Social Platforms

 

Policymaker Engagement

Two federal policy initiatives impacting our policymaker engagement strategy during this quarter included debate of the Build Back Better Act and reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Mathematica experts provided insight on employment-related provisions of both legislative initiatives. Additionally, we coordinated engagements about new work on military caregiving families; two of Mathematica’s experts, Cleo Jacobs Johnson and Steven Malick, were invited to a briefing at the White House where First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Senator Elizabeth Dole promoted the work.

Total Engagements

15

YoY change

26%
 

Webinars/Forums

Thought leadership forums included the following:

Total Events

87
 

Live Attendees

11,088

On-Demand Attendees

61
 

Videos

The top performing videos were consistent throughout 2021, thanks in large part to strategic efforts to maximize visibility through placement, amplification, and search engine optimization. Our accountable care organization (ACO) video is on the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services main page for ACOs, our Progress Together video is the lead introductory video for Mathematica, and our literacy video is in a YouTube “Recommended Videos” loop.

Multi-part client videos

  • For the NextGen project, we produced 17 videos promoting participation in an employment study for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated persons.
  • For the National Science Foundation, we produced seven videos, including an introduction to their newly designed website for grant awards, as well as tutorial videos on how to best use the site.
  • For the State of Arizona, we produced three videos promoting our data services.
  • For the Pathways to Work Clearinghouse, we produced two fully animated explainer videos.

Our Top Videos

Accountable Care Organizations (2,042 views)
Mathematica - Progress Together (892 views)
Why is Literacy so Important? (598 views)

Total Video Views

9,018

YoY Views Change

8.7%
 

Media Mentions

During Q4, our work was covered 51 times in a variety of national, local, and trade media as well as in high-profile blogs. Some articles ran in multiple outlets, boosting the total number of mentions to 79 for the quarter. Media mentions in Q4 highlighted Mathematica’s work with partners and clients.

  • CNN and other outlets covered our work with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation on “Hidden Helpers.”
  • The Washington Post published an editorial based on our findings of student achievement gains following DC school reform.
  • The New York Times covered findings from Tim Kautz’s study showing that receiving a tiny monetary reward at the right moment could motivate people to exercise.
  • Our work for Results for America in developing a dashboard highlighting how states are spending their American Rescue Plan funding was featured in The Hill, Route Fifty, Governing, and Cities Today.
  • Modern Healthcare and other outlets covered So O’Neil’s work with The Commonwealth Fund, highlighting more than $32 billion in annual costs due to childbirth-related health complications.
Health: 36
Human Services: 9
Cross Cutting: 6
 
-
General: 28
COVID Related: 7
Measures: 1
 
-
General: 5
COVID Related: 4
 
-
Technology: 4
DEI: 2
-
General: 1

Journal Publications

Total Publications

18
 

By Unit

Health: 13
Human Services: 3
Int: 2

Conference Presentations

Mathematica experts took part in several in-person and virtual conferences during Q4. At the in-person National Association of Medicaid Directors (NAMD) conference, held November 14–16, Mathematica experts convened meet and greet sessions to discuss opportunities and barriers facing state Medicaid programs as they transform care delivery and quality, modernize analytics and programs, and improve COVID-19 monitoring and after-action planning.

Total Conferences

3

Health and Human Services:

  • NAMD
  • ADvancing States HCBS Conference
  • Amazon Web Services re:Invent 2021

Top 3 Presentations

  1. Andrea Wysocki and Jenna Libersky, ADvancing States HCBS conference. “Using NCI-AD Data to Understand the Impact of MLTSS: Lessons from National and State Evaluations.”
  2. Erin Weir Lakhmani, ADvancing States HCBS Conference. “Context is Key: Factors Influencing State Decisions for Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan Contracts.”
  3. Alex Bohl, AWS re:Invent 2021. “Data Exchange for the Amazon Redshift Team.”
 

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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