November Update: 5 Integrations We’re Thankful For

Community Tech Alliance
6 min readNov 30, 2023

In this season of gratitude, we wanted to take a moment to extend our deepest and warmest thanks to everyone in this community. For everyone who registers voters. For everyone who fights to protect our democracy, unions, health care, our environment. For everyone who works tirelessly to advocate for a better, more peaceful, more inclusive country — and fights to elect leaders who represent our values, thank you.

We are so grateful to you all, and so grateful to be in partnership with you.

5 Integrations We’re Thankful For

The number of platforms we’re able to integrate with has grown substantially in our last two years. As we look back on the year, we wanted to share the 5 integrations that we’re most thankful for:

1. Lyft Concierge: CTA set up an SFTP server to ingest reports generated on the platform. Lyft provides three versions of each file with different refresh cadences (daily, weekly, and monthly). CTA filters through thousands of files to only ingest the files refreshed daily to deliver the most up-to-date data.

How does this help our partners? Using Lyft data, our partners are able to see when their canvassers are using Lyft to reach their turf and can track the rides that are called for voters who need a Lyft to the polls!

2. BallotReady: CTA partnered closely with the BallotReady team to review, test, and migrate the files provided from CSV to Avro formats as Avro has a schema definition language, greatly improving the accuracy of importing the data types of fields. BallotReady provides CTA a bulk export of data through S3. Over time, CTA has added more BallotReady data streams as they’ve become available, now supporting the following in PAD: website clicks, candidates, referendums, and polling locations.

How does this help our partners? With BallotReady data, CTA partners gain access to comprehensive information on every officeholder, election, candidate, and polling place across the country. This empowers our partners to identify, focus on, recruit candidates, and mobilize for the elections that matter most to them.

3. ActBlue: CTA and ActBlue engineers started collaborating on the development of an ActBlue source connection on Airbyte during a hackathon in 2022. We’ve since finished the development of the connection to pass requirements for open source contribution to the Airbyte community. We’re able to integrate: paid contributions, refunded contributions, canceled transactions, and managed form contributions.

How does this help our partners? ActBlue data in PAD gives CTA partners access to a wealth of fundraising data and metrics. This empowers them to make informed decisions about their donors and secure the resources they need to support their crucial work.

4. Swayable: Swayable and CTA collaborated on configuring a S3 bulk export for PAD to ingest and deliver compound segments, content, survey questions, and responses. These survey responses are delivered as one table in PAD after CTA engineered a method to flatten and combine the various survey response files provided by Swayable.

How does this help our partners? With Swayable’s data, our partners can analyze survey responses and respondent demographics in greater detail. This allows them to improve their strategies and better understand the effectiveness of their programs.

5. ADP Payroll: We built two syncs for PAD from the ADP platform: Worker Management and Payroll. CTA set up the ADP Payroll sync with files transferred via SFTP and accounting for ADP’s retention rate — files are deleted automatically after an initial download due to the sensitive nature of the PII data.

How does this help our partners? By using ADP Payroll data, CTA partners can easily create reports and gain valuable insights into their employees and expense trends. This information can help them manage their budgets and plan for future programs more effectively.

Partner Spotlight: Kentucky State Tables

A huge congratulations to the Kentucky Civic Engagement Table, Commonwealth Alliance Voter Engagement, and our KY partners on their incredible 2023 wins!

KCET and CAVE coordinate and support grassroots movements in building organized people power and communities of care that lead to an equitable and thriving Commonwealth for all Kentuckians.

This past year, KCET and CAVE joined CTA, using our data warehouse, PAD, to serve as their centralized hub for data, syncing data from a variety of progressive tools at an affordable price point.

This cycle, KCET’s and CAVE’s programs helped to ensure Kentuckians were ready and registered to vote: providing resources to update and check their voter registration, informing them about voter identification laws, and helping folks find their polling place.

We’re so proud that KCET and CAVE were able to use PAD to create dashboards and coordinate data flows between their partner organizations, maximizing the impact of their work and fueling historic wins.

Notes from BenDesk*

*Ben is our resident ZenDesk captain and manager of all help@ inquiries. We’re bringing you interesting inquiries from his inbox each month to help share learnings across our community.

Question of the Month: Is there an easy way to securely access public or CTA-shared datasets directly within my PAD project?

Bendesk Answer: By using Google Analytics Hub, you can access public and semi-public datasets, including data shared by CTA, directly within PAD. You can also use this tool to share data with other PAD projects!

So, what is Google Analytics Hub? Simply put, it’s a data exchange platform within the Google Cloud ecosystem. It is a powerful tool that allows PAD users to access public and CTA-provided data. You can also upload and share datasets with others, including the public.

Please keep in mind that not all datasets on Analytics Hub are available to the public, and some data labeled as public may require you to send a request to the dataset’s owner via email before you can access them. We advise you to exercise caution with these types of datasets since you may be asked to pay a subscription fee, or the data may not be public after all.

Overall, accessing data from Analytics Hub is a seamless process. Once you find a dataset that catches your interest and follow the necessary steps to access it, it will be automatically linked in your project, making it easily accessible alongside your other data!

To learn more about how to use Analytics Hub and to access CTA-provided data, check out our help article here.

Team Spotlight: Kelsey Newman

Get to know the faces behind the data.

Meet Kelsey Newman, a Senior Software Engineer.

Kelsey, what brought you to CTA? I spent my first 5 years in tech bouncing between banks and startups, and couldn’t find anything that felt worth it. I worked hard to get where I am today, and I want to use my skills to do something that’s going to make a positive impact on the world — not build more wealth for the wealthy. I signed up for the Tech Jobs for Good newsletter, applied for CTA as soon as I saw their post, and I’ve never been happier at any job.

In 5 words or less, what do you do at CTA? Build workflows and move data.

What’s your proudest work accomplishment? Just being here feels pretty incredible. I was working two jobs back in 2016 when I decided to quit, move back home, and do a coding bootcamp. It still shocks me to this day when I look back and realize how much my life has changed since then.

What’s something on your desk that inspires you? I have a small, vaguely heart-shaped piece of quartz that my nephew handed me one day while we were walking around our family farm. It has made it through every move for 4 years, and is one of my favorite things on my very cluttered desk.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? I’ve always said the best ice cream flavor would be Buttered Pecan without the pecans (I realize that’s just butter ice cream, but does that not sound amazing??)

Any hidden talents? I can be pretty handy around the house. I love finding and restoring old furniture.

What We’re Reading and Listening To

  • Now and Then by The Beatles: NEW! BEATLES! MUSIC! IN THE YEAR 2023!! If you’ve fallen for the song, check out this episode of the podcast Switched On Pop that dives into why this song feels like a journey back in time.
  • Milk Teeth by Jessica Andrews: A love story, a story of self-discovery, self-love, and self-acceptance — and told across Europe (what could be better). This is for anyone who’s eagerly waiting another Sally Rooney book.
  • Severance by Ling Ma: The storyline of this novel follows survivors of a pandemic that decimates almost all of humanity. Written in 2018, it’s an eerie read to compare to our collective experience of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Community Tech Alliance

Empowering the progressive community through smart data management.