#Ready4OE2: Make Sure You Have an Effective Data Plan

By Matthew Saniie

As we count down to the start of the second open enrollment period (OE2) on November 15, Enroll America’s #Ready4OE2 blog series will feature a new entry every weekday in October sharing lessons learned from OE1 and strategies for OE2. For more tips and tools, check out the #Ready4OE2 webinar series!

Strategy for OE2: Develop a data plan that will allow you record key information and enhance your outreach efforts.

Where and when it was used: Across the country by Enroll America and our partners.

Notable metrics from OE1: Thanks to our efforts to track and record data, we know that we saw a 10 percent increase in enrollment when following up with consumers during the last two weeks of OE1.

How it worked: Enroll America implemented a robust follow-up program during OE1 to help connect more uninsured consumers to coverage. But what really made these efforts work best was how we leveraged our interactions with consumers to record rich and meaningful data that ended up enhancing our outreach.

We developed our data plan to help us more efficiently follow up with everyone our Get Covered America campaign touched. Properly storing and updating contact information allowed us not only to connect with consumers we met offline at outreach events and communicate with them online, but also to call consumers that we first interacted with in the digital sphere.

So how do you get started crafting a data plan?

  • First, decide what information is important for you to collect. Basic information such as name, phone, address, and email (don’t forget email!) should be the minimum. But there are other data points that could also be helpful (and mission-critical) depending on the type of work you are doing. For example:
    1. Do you need to know the consumer’s current insurance status?
    2. What about where they fall on the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) scale based on income and family size?
    3. How about whether or not they have tried to enroll previously?
  • Second, figure out what tool you should use to track that information. If your organization happens to be a single person doing outreach, an Excel spreadsheet may be sufficient. If you are a few people collaborating, Google spreadsheet could work. In the double digits, you may want to find a more robust solution. Enroll America actually provides a tool called Get Covered Data that groups doing outreach and enrollment are able to use. Please email PartnerData [at] enrollamerica.org if you are interested in learning more.

Best practices to replicate for OE2:

  • Start small to achieve more success. Recording good data is a cultural shift that takes diligence and dedication. Starting small and not overwhelming yourself can lead to more success. You can always increase the complexity down the road.
  • Hold yourself and others accountable. It is natural for there to be resistance as your organization focuses on monitoring data for the first time. Using something like a daily report or other similar tools can help keep everyone accountable and get people to stay on top of their data entry.
  • Focus on the numbers! Simple quantitative data tends to be better that qualitative data. It’s hard to classify and report long summaries of experiences that can’t easily be sorted statistically. Straightforward quantitative data can be very powerful and is a lot easier to use and analyze.

If you’re interested in learning more about best practices when creating a data plan, you can listen to the recording of yesterday’s webinar!

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