Chad Barth is the Deputy Strategy Director for Political Technologies for the Republican National Committee. He is in charge of finding and/or developing easier ways to do data collection and management for political purposes. In the months prior to an election, volunteers make phone calls and go door to door to collect information. This information is housed in Excel spreadsheets. As you can imagine, getting that data into those spreadsheets is difficult and time consuming. In 2005, Chad started using Remark Office OMR to collect the data. The software automates the data entry in Excel, allowing Chad’s group to get the data in more quickly and efficiently. Chad’s use of the software prompted Gravic to develop a new file format called the Database Update Format. This format allows the RNC to save data to an existing Excel file by updating the data that is already there. They use a mapping process to map the Remark regions to the existing Excel columns. Existing data is updated and new data is added to the file. All of the data that is collected over the phone and via in person surveys is added to the Excel file. Presidential campaigns comprise the largest efforts that use Remark Office OMR, where hundreds of thousands of contacts’ data is on bubble sheets.
When asked about what Chad likes most about Remark Office OMR, he says the “quick turnaround” and “ability to design their own forms” makes it work for them. Of course, the Database Update Format is what really makes their workflow tick. Being able to use common image scanners is also key since they have so much data to collect. We are quite thankful to Chad for his input into the software and for spreading the word about Remark Office OMR.