The two proprietary systems, CommLis and RecStor, developed by Management Learning Laboratories monitors the pulse and tells the story of a community during the entire life cycle of a plan development and implementation. For the planning staff, the systems offer the opportunity to respond to the voice of the community, bring transparency to the planning process and tweak the plan to respond to the community.
CommLis begins with the release of a Website that is dedicated to the project where community members would find a set of questions about their impression of the project. The multiple choice and open-ended questions are developed in consultation with the client. The URL of the Website is widely promoted and respondents are able to complete the answers to the questions all through the life of the project. As a part of CommLis, MLL will also monitor information from social media using dedicated hashtags and existing social media presence. Comments extracted from relevant social media sites will serve as data.
All of the data collected using CommLis is analyzed in real time, as the data comes in, by RecStor. Through the analysis, MLL provides a story about the feelings, needs and opinions of the community. This story is extracted by statistical analysis of all the numeric data (e.g., age, income, levels of satisfaction, etc.) and the narrative analysis of all the open-ended responses and comments from social media. Using Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing tools, the open ended responses are analyzed to see the patterns in the voice of the respondents. The data is then mapped into a narrative map.
The combination of the CommLis and RecStor processes produces:
- RecStor story maps
- Statistical analysis of numeric data
- Real time and longitudinal analysis with reports generated at regular intervals
Starting at $600 per data set CommLis and RecStor the systems can be set in place in 48 hours and can be used starting with public meetings and community sessions. The URL is provided as a QRC and respondents can use any digital device (e.g., the smartphone) to respond to CommLis. The responses can be analyzed immediately with RecStor for displaying the results as soon as sufficient responses are received.
CommLis also works as an ideal complement of the random-sample needs assessment process provided by MLL. In combining the needs assessment with CommLis many more members of the community can participate in expressing their voices to tell the story of the community.
Here is an example of a typical narrative map showing strong positive connections between family and parks extracted from 300 open-ended responses