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Pantheon’s newsletters help demystify the world of data. You’ll get our Jargon Decoders and Tools of the Trade — invaluable resources, we promise. Plus you’ll get our favorite links, news, and highlights from the Pantheon team. And gifs. We like gifs.

Check out our first newsletter below!

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Newsletter #1

Welcome to something new.

Hello, friends!

We can’t quite believe it, but Pantheon Analytics made its public debut two years ago. Since then, we’ve been hard at work.

From dashboards to database overhauls, from automating reports to analyzing voter files – we’ve served proudly as a boutique data analytics firm to our diverse, mission-driven clients.

To celebrate our anniversary, we’re launching this newsletter! We’ll give you some easily digestible content each month, starting with our “Jargon Decoder” explainers to demystify data-related terms. Plus, we’ll tell you about our favorite tools, resources, and stories from the worlds of data and politics. You’ll also get all the highlights of Pantheon’s latest projects and clients. We love our work, and can’t wait to show you more.


Evan Zasoski and Amelia Showalter
Co-Founders, Pantheon Analytics

Jargon Decoder: API Calls

API is one of those terms that usually appears in conjunction with retrieving some piece of data that’s not readily available in your CRM. But the actual “what” of an API is kind of a great big “Here There Be Dragons” for a lot of folks. So, what’s the deal?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. But nobody ever says that full phrase out loud, really. Typically when we talk about APIs, we’re talking about Web APIs, which are just a set of special web pages (usually password protected). These pages are not used by humans looking to read information, but rather by computer programs trying to download large amounts of information in predictable and controllable ways.

Let’s pretend you have a CRM with an event planning component to it. Somewhere, your CRM will enumerate all the different things its API can do (“requests” it can respond to). Here’s the guide for NGP-VAN’s API, for example. Suppose one of the API requests that your CRM allows is a big list of all events for your organization. As a data engineer, you might write a small computer program to access this list through the web page for this specific API request. When the page loads you might see something like this:

event_name=”Meet and Greet”
event_location=”Jack’s BBQ”
event_date_time=”2019-03-15 12:30:00″
event_name=”Dinner Meeting”
event_location=”Jill’s Diner”
Event_date_time=”2019-03-20 18:00:00″
(and so on)

This information might look messy to a human, but it’s a thing of beauty to a computer program. So you could dump all that information into your program and spit it back out again as a spreadsheet or dashboard, or have the program search through your events looking for specific ones. Maybe you only like to go to events at Jack’s BBQ. I don’t know. You do you.

APIs can do a lot more than just list events in your reservation system, but you get the idea. APIs let you interact with your data and your CRMs in ways that make sense to you without having to wait on your vendor to build things for you. Plus, you can set up API requests to happen on a regular basis, so that you’re always grabbing the latest data from your CRM. APIs open doors to how you can interact with your data, and that’s pretty great.

Tools of the Trade

This ABBA Is Gold: There are dozens of calculators out there on the internet that will tell you whether your A/B test results were statistically significant. Our favorite? Thumbtack ABBA. It’s easy to use, but also more customizable than most. Plus it reminds us to put more ABBA songs on our Spotify playlists.

A Secret Service: Security is important. When we need to transmit a bit of sensitive info (like a password or hidden URL), we’ll often make use of tools like OneTimeSecret. It’s like writing in disappearing ink, but on the internet!

Links We Love

Skill-Builder Webinar:

“The Quick and Dirty on A/B Testing, Statistical Significance, and Sample Sizes”

March 21st, 3pm ET
Fee: $75

Add some science to your digital program! Pantheon co-founder Amelia Showalter will lead this webinar in collaboration with the training site The Digital Plan. Brush up on the fundamentals of A/B tests or learn about them for the first time.

Click here to learn more and sign up

You Made It!
Well hello there. You made it all the way to the end! Let’s celebrate with one of those “oddly satisfying” gifs (of more cake).