For-profit

Civis Analytics

Website:

www.civisanalytics.com/

Location:

Chicago, IL

Formation:

2013

Type:

LLC

CEO:

Dan Wagner

Civis Analytics is a for-profit data analytics firm that supports Democratic candidates and PACs. Founded in 2013 by a former campaign staffer for President Barack Obama, Civis has become a crucial asset in Democratic campaigning and was employed by most major Democratic presidential candidates in 2020, including President Joe Biden.

History

Civis Analytics was founded in 2013 by Dan Wagner, the chief analytics officer of President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. Wagner had combined data from the Obama campaign with data from TV rating firms to optimize voter targeting and to increase the return on investment of the campaign’s ads. After the victory, Wagner met with then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt and received strategic guidance and funding for Civis. Many of its first employees were veterans of the 2012 Obama campaign. [1] [2]

In 2016, Civis raised $22 million Series A funding from Schmidt, Drive Capital, Verizon Ventures, and WPP. [3]

In 2021, Civis raised $30.7 million Series B funding, including new investments from Silicon Valley Bank. [4]

Services

Platform is a data analytics tool which centrally compiles data across numerous campaigns for improved analytics and reliable future use. Platform grew out of a tool developed during President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign. Platform was greatly expanded and streamlined during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary and then general election. [5]

As of 2018, Platform had over 220 million Americans in its database. [6]

Clients

In 2017, Civis Analytics helped the McDonald’s marketing team develop targeting advertising strategies. [7]

Also in 2017, Civis worked for Demos to develop a program to evaluate the “voter suppression” impact of voter ID laws. [8]

Civis has worked with Mind the Gap, a pro-Democratic super PAC founded and run by a trio of Stanford University professors. [9]

2020

Civis worked for the state of Illinois to develop advertising messages to encourage the use of masks during the Covid-19 pandemic. Civis claimed that mask-wearing increased 21 percent after its campaign. [10]

Civis worked for numerous Democratic presidential primary campaigns, including Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), and Joe Biden (D). [11] It has been attributed to the early surprise success of Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s (D-South Bend) campaign. [12]

Civis worked for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign to evaluate the effectiveness of its ads. [13]

Other clients of Civis in 2020 included the Senate Majority PAC, the House Majority PAC, Priorities USA Action, DNC Services Corp, the NextGen Climate Action Committee, and Planned Parenthood Votes. [14]

2021

In 2021, Civis was working to get FedRAMP authorization, a security clearance which would give the company more opportunities to work as a federal contractor. [15]

Leadership

Civis Analytics was founded by Dan Wagner, the chief analytics officer of President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. He was previously the targeting and analytics director of the Democratic National Committee, and the Great Lakes targeting lead for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Wagner is a member of the Aspen Institute and a team member of the Council on Foreign Relations. [16]

Civis had received substantial funding from Eric Schmidt, the former executive chairman of Google and its parent company, Alphabet. Since leaving Google in 2017, Schmidt has become a “powerful political player” who has become influential in Joe Biden’s administration despite pushback from insiders concerned about his ties to big tech. [17]

General counsel Laura Belmont was the regional voter protection director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and the Pennsylvania Coordinated Biden-Harris Campaign. [18]

Chief financial officer Alan Fu formerly worked at the U.S. Treasury Department on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). [19]

Vice president of business development Ben Fuller was the national data manager on President Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign. He was also previously as assistant director at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and worked on one of former U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson’s (D-OH) campaigns. [20]

Vice president of research Maeve Ward was the deputy director of public engagement and insights at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. [21]

References

  1. “Campaign-born, Data-driven.” Civis. Accessed May 24, 2022. https://www.civisanalytics.com/history/. ^
  2. “From a Presidential Campaign to a Data Analytics Start-Up – Civis Analytics.” Digital Initiative. February 1, 2018. Accessed May 25, 2022. https://digital.hbs.edu/platform-digit/submission/from-a-presidential-campaign-to-a-data-analytics-start-up-civis-analytics/. ^
  3. “Campaign-born, Data-driven.” Civis. Accessed May 24, 2022. https://www.civisanalytics.com/history/. ^
  4. Primack, Dan. “Democratic campaign analytics startup raises $30 million.” Axios. September 27, 2021. Accessed May 24, 2022. https://www.axios.com/2021/09/27/civis-analytics-democrats-fundraising. ^
  5.  Bland, Scott. “The back-stage tech tools that knit together all of Democrats’ data.” Politico. December 15, 2020. Accessed May 24, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/15/back-stage-tech-tool-democrats-data-445485. ^
  6. [1] “From a Presidential Campaign to a Data Analytics Start-Up – Civis Analytics.” Digital Initiative. February 1, 2018. Accessed May 25, 2022. https://digital.hbs.edu/platform-digit/submission/from-a-presidential-campaign-to-a-data-analytics-start-up-civis-analytics/. ^
  7. “Bringing Big Data to Big Macs: Lessons from McDonald’s Successful Adoption of Data Science for Personalized Marketing.” Civis. December 5, 2019. Accessed May 24, 2022. https://www.civisanalytics.com/blog/bringing-big-data-to-big-macs-lessons-from-mcdonalds-successful-adoption-of-data-science-for-personalized-marketing/. ^
  8. “Voter Suppression Analysis by Civis Analytics.” Demos. May 9, 2017. Accessed May 25, 2022. https://www.demos.org/research/voter-suppression-analysis-civis-analytics. ^
  9. Schleifer, Theodore. “Inside the secretive Silicon Valley group that has funneled over $20 million to Democrats.” Recode. January 6, 2020. Accessed May 24, 2022. https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/1/6/21046631/mind-the-gap-silicon-valley-democratic-donors-stanford. ^
  10. “How Illinois Persuaded Residents to Wear Masks.” Civis. Accessed May 24, 2022. https://www.civisanalytics.com/case-studies/persuading-illinois-residents-to-wear-masks-to-halt-covid-19s-spread/ ^
  11. Schwartz, Brian. “Joe Biden’s campaign taps data analytics company backed by former Google Chairman Erich Schmidt.” CNBC. April 29, 2019. Accessed May 24, 2022. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/29/biden-taps-data-analytics-company-backed-by-eric-schmidt-for-digital-resources.html. ^
  12. Bland, Scott. “The back-stage tech tools that knit together all of Democrats’ data.” Politico. December 15, 2020. Accessed May 24, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/15/back-stage-tech-tool-democrats-data-445485. ^
  13. “Campaign-born, Data-driven.” Civis. Accessed May 24, 2022. https://www.civisanalytics.com/history/. ^
  14. Schwartz, Brian. “Joe Biden’s campaign taps data analytics company backed by former Google Chairman Erich Schmidt.” CNBC. April 29, 2019. Accessed May 24, 2022. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/29/biden-taps-data-analytics-company-backed-by-eric-schmidt-for-digital-resources.html. ^
  15. [1] Primack, Dan. “Democratic campaign analytics startup raises $30 million.” Axios. September 27, 2021. Accessed May 24, 2022. https://www.axios.com/2021/09/27/civis-analytics-democrats-fundraising. ^
  16. “Dan Wagner.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 25, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danrwagner/. ^
  17. Pierce, David. “How Eric Schmidt Plays Politics.” Protocol. November 19, 2020. Accessed May 25, 2022. https://www.protocol.com/newsletters/sourcecode/how-eric-schmidt-plays-politics?rebelltitem=2#rebelltitem2. ^
  18. “Laura Belmont.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 25, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-belmont/. ^
  19. “Alan Fu.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 25, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alan-fu-2a39886b/. ^
  20. “Ben Fuller.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 25, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-fuller-a421924a/. ^
  21. “Maeve (Herbert) Ward.” LinkedIn. Accessed May 25, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/maeveward/. ^
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Civis Analytics


Chicago, IL