Located at the bottom of your dashboard, the Channel Breakdown and Source Breakdown widgets help you discover where the conversation is happening in your area within the time period you’ve selected.

In this article, we’ll review what each widget displays and how you can use each one to better understand your organic discourse.

Source breakdown

As you know, conversations and feedback can pop up in many different locations online: in response to posts from an official city or department social media page, on resident or neighborhood social media groups, 211 or 311 ticket submissions, in the comments on news stories posted by local media outlets, among many others.

Once you know the recurring themes in what residents are saying (from widgets like Popular Words and Trending Topics) and how they’re feeling (from the Sentiment Analysis), understanding where these conversations are originating can lend important context for interpreting the discourse and also inform a communication strategy.

The Source Breakdown widget shows you the sources that are responsible for the total number of interactions collected in the given time period, in descending order of interactions. For each one, you’ll see:

  • The total number of interactions that are originating from that source

  • A blue bar, illustrating the size of the conversation for easy visual comparison

  • The percentage change in interactions between the time period selected and the past time period (e.g. if you are viewing data from the past 7 days, it will show the percentage change from the previous 7 days before that)

  • A green percentage, representing the number of those interactions that are positive

  • A red percentage, representing the number of those interactions that are negative

Hover on each source for more detailed numbers for each of the metrics above. Clicking on any of the sources will automatically filter all the dashboard widgets to display data drawn just from that source.

To exit the filtered dashboard view, click the “X” on the “All Sources” filter button, located on the sticky menu header at the top of your screen. This will reset your dashboard to show data from all sources.

Channel breakdown

Another valuable way of slicing the data you see is understanding whether it originates from unofficial or official sources. By unofficial, we mean sources that are not run by the local government, such as a resident association Facebook group or local news outlet’s Twitter. Official sources are those managed by the local government, such as the Facebook page of the Parks and Recreation department or the Mayor, or a 311 hotline.

This division can help you:

  • Spot trends in where certain conversations happen. Do residents tend to take to resident forums for certain issues, instead of the city or county hotline? Are there pages that residents tend to take to first when they want to share a concern or an opinion? Noticing patterns here can suggest opportunities for educational campaigns, increased communication, and proactive responses to resident input.

  • Validate that you have the whole conversation in hand. One of Zencity’s primary purposes is to connect you to the conversation happening throughout your community, giving visibility to conversations happening in groups or pages you might not have otherwise seen. While other dashboard widgets, like Popular Words and Sentiment Analysis, will show the sentiment and topics from the overall conversation, seeing how the conversation splits between unofficial and official sources tangibly demonstrates just how much feedback residents are sharing in their own spaces, letting you confidently make policy and messaging decisions based on a fuller picture.

Below the graph, you’ll see the percentage of total interactions each source is responsible for, as well as the percentage change since the previous comparable time period. For example, in the image above, 25% of interactions came from official sources for whatever the selected time period was, representing a 17% increase as compared with the previous comparable time period.

Clicking on either “Official” or “Unofficial” in the legend area below the graph will automatically filter all the dashboard widgets to display data drawn just from that source type.

To exit the filtered dashboard view, click the “X” on the highlighted “Channels” filter button, located on the sticky menu header at the top of your screen. This will reset your dashboard to show data from all sources.

Adding a new source

If a new unofficial source has come to your attention since you first set up your dashboard, or if you have created a new official source that you’d like to connect to your dashboard, please contact your Customer Success Manager by email or send us a message in the chat below and we’ll be happy to assist.

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