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State of Delaware - Office of Governor John Carney and Delaware Division of Small Business


Jonathan Starkey, Deputy Chief of Staff - Communications


State of Delaware - Office of Governor John Carney and Delaware Division of Small Business



Business Challenge

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the necessary economic restrictions, had significant impacts across Delaware’s economy – especially for those businesses that rely on in-person interactions. As Governor Carney’s office and the Delaware Division of Small Business planned for a phased economic reopening, the offices needed direct input and ideas from Delaware small business owners and citizens statewide about how businesses could open safely and successfully. It was important that the process allow for open-ended comments so that business owners and Delaware residents could be clear about the specifics of their ideas.

Analytics Solution

In partnership with Wilmington, Delaware-based data analytics firm CompassRed, Governor Carney’s office created an online survey for Delawareans to share ideas on how to safely reopen Delaware’s economy. The Governor’s team turned to the CompassRed for help in analyzing the survey results in a timely manner, with particular attention given to the open-ended responses. The CompassRed team established a data pipeline directly from the online survey’s database to Orbis, the firm’s data analytics platform, which allowed the CompassRed team to automatically pull in survey responses daily. CompassRed applied a series of natural language processing techniques to uncover common topics identified by business owners and other Delawareans. These common themes were visually presented in an online, dynamic report.


CompassRed’s data presentation and analysis allowed the Governor’s team to monitor and understand survey insights on a daily basis. The survey informed messaging throughout the reopening process, and assisted Governor Carney’s office and the Division of Small Business in developing a detailed, safe reopening plan, based on real-time feedback from Delaware businesses and citizens.