Understanding what people really need is the key to understanding how to advocate for them. Digital tools and processes can help you reach a large group of people very quickly, and assist in quickly analyzing data. Even after a useful sample of data has been gathered, the information can be used in multiple ways. Digital technology is a great way to amplify an organization's efforts to create impact. Just like any other tool.
The results of any kind of survey involving big data will change shape depending on what question is being asked. This is the real challenge. Ask the wrong question or make an erroneous assumption, and the impacts will be amplified when you try to convert data into action. However, get the question right with data to support your assumptions and you are now in the position to provide feedback and support to your constituents in a way that hasn't been done before in human history.
The quick rate of return on the information that you provided an organization can now be turned back around as a service that can be provided to a person or group of people. In doing so, a leader and the organization become relevant and useful to an individual because they will feel that they are simply being heard.
Advocating for citizens and creating change in government can happen from the bottom up or the top down. However, engaged citizens and enlightened leaders working together to co-create the future is the secret to effecting lasting change. Digital tools can serve as the medium to help bring both groups together to create that path forward.