"Mobile technology is changing the way we live our lives. Democrats are committed to talking to voters where they are- at home, online or through their friends and family. We’ve spent the last decade pioneering technologies to do just that, and MiniVAN is the latest tool to achieve that goal. MiniVAN allows Democrats to seamlessly connect with voters in their community face-to-face with the touch of a button using any internet connection, spending less time on data entry and more time talking to voters.” - Andrew Brown, Director of Technology for the DNC
It’s here. It’s free for download. And it’s pretty awesome. MiniVAN 7, the latest version of NGP VAN’s canvasing application for iOS, is ready and waiting for you at the iTunes App Store. A little preview below.
NGP VAN's mission is to provide Democrats and progressives with an edge.
Our commitment to crafting the next generation of integrated campaign technology means we’re constantly listening to the evolving needs of our clients and investing in the innovations that make their day-to-day work successful.
The skinny on MiniVAN 7? It's a free app that allows users to export canvassing lists from the VAN onto any iOS phone or tablet. Canvassers can enter data into their device as they talk to people on their list, and then upload their data back to the VAN with the touch of a button. Canvassing with MiniVAN allows NGP VAN clients to spend more time and resources on actually contacting people instead of on data entry, and improves the quality of the data. There were about 19 million contact attempts made on MiniVAN over the 2012 cycle. That’s about 4.5% of all contact attempts logged into VAN over the same period. Around 440 million.
It’s a powerful tool. The proof’s in the pudding. Take this case study, for example. In 2011, one of our clients switched from paper canvassing and paid data entry to MiniVAN iOS. The result?
- Bad address error rates dropped from 5.7% to 2.5%. A decreased recontact effort saved big on dollars spent.
- 70,000 contacts were delivered January through March of 2012. Not attempts. Contacts.
- Our client also got rid of their data entry firm. Always good to eliminate million dollar yearly contracts where you can.
The updated app includes a complete rewrite of the backend of MiniVAN, using more modern memory management systems and contains several new interface elements from iOS 7, resulting in a more efficient workflow and a sleeker interface.
For those interested in geeking out on MiniVAN 7’s upgrades:
- A new sidebar menu allows users to more easily navigate through the app.
- In VAN databases with an Event Calendar, Events with Scripts can now be used to sign up volunteers directly in the app.
- Updated map functionality clusters nearby addresses together and makes the map interface easier to read.
- Users can now apply multiple filters on canvass statuses so they can quickly view dispositions if they re-canvass an area.
- The syncing process is far more intuitive. Now, users can sync from any page within the app. When syncing, the app automatically keeps a canvasser's old data, though the option to clear those responses to work on a fresh version of a downloaded list still exists. Users can refresh the list after a sync with anyone who has voted and they are marked with a voted sticker icon.
Again, MiniVAN 7 is free for download in the iTunes store, so you really should check it out yourself.
And there’s more to look forward to in the future. Advanced accountability tools for canvass directors are in the works. The development of new administrative tools will provide more efficient management of folks on the ground. This includes real-time tracking and reporting.