Your Zencity dashboard offers several filtering options, to let you explore your data from multiple angles and answer questions you might have about trends or conversations happening in your area. Right now, the three filters I use most with my clients are: time period, channels, and sources. Below, I’ll go into what I use each of these filters to find—and how you can use them to build more and more precise views of what’s happening in your community.
The time period filter: How is the conversation evolving over time?
By default, the dashboard is set to show data from the last 7 days. However, when I want to understand the conversation in context, I use the time period filter to expand the selected period to 30 days or more. The graph this produces helps me spot peaks in discourse and notice any trends.
I find this ability especially useful when writing a report for one of my clients; it lets me point out the exact moment when the conversation volume or sentiment shifted.These rises or falls in the discourse often indicate deeper analysis is necessary and can lead to interesting discoveries about what is driving those changes.
One week view
Four week view
The channel and source filters: Where is the conversation happening?
If I’m looking into the way the conversation around a particular topic is playing out across a community, or notice that a certain topic is trending and want to look into what’s going on, two filters I find useful are the channel and source filters.
Specifically, the Channel filter helps me gather important background information about the topic: Is the conversation primarily happening on channels managed by the local government (official channels)? Or is this conversation playing out on channels that are community-run (unofficial channels)? That distinction can shed a lot of light on the topic itself, its visibility within the community, and how to devise messaging responses if needed.
Then, I can use the source filter to drill down into how one station or account is covering the topic, aiding the development of a comprehensive communication strategy.
One last tip: If no data is appearing in your dashboard or project, it generally means the search has gotten too narrow. You can fix that by widening the time period filter.