Skip to Content

Creativity for Good: How D&AD is Using Einstein Analytics to Identify Trends, Drive Growth and Increase their Impact

By Oliver Shiel November 2, 2017

D&AD Story

Interview with Graham Hopgood, Salesforce Administrator and Technical Manager at D&AD

For 56 years D&AD has stimulated, celebrated and enabled creative excellence in design and advertising, in the firm belief that great work always creates better outcomes.

The D&AD Awards are recognised globally as the ultimate creative accolade, entered and attended by the industry’s best from around the world. As a nonprofit organisation, D&AD puts all its surpluses back into the creative community, helping new talent prosper and campaigning for a fairer, more diverse, more sustainable industry through programs like the New Blood Awards,  New Blood Shift and the D&AD Impact Awards. 

Creativity for good

Since launching the D&AD Student Awards in the 1970’s, promoting young talent and helping them access the creative industries has been a core part of the D&AD mission. Almost 30 years later, and the D&AD New Blood Awards are part of the D&AD Foundation’s work to promote talent and challenge the creative and advertising industries to become more diverse and reflective of the communities they serve.

The D&AD Foundation also delivers the New Blood Academy (an intensive two-weeks of training for New Blood Award winners), New Blood Shift (a night school for aspiring young creatives that have not attended university) and the New Blood Festival (one of the UK’s largest graduate exhibitions for advertising and design courses). The D&AD Festival is the biggest festival for creativity and design in the UK, and through the Foundation hundreds of students can obtain heavily subsidised tickets.

The D&AD Impact Awards were launched in 2016 to recognise creative ideas and campaigns that have had real impact and contribute towards a better and more sustainable world.  The 2017 winning campaigns and initiatives include State Street’s “Fearless Girl” campaign, the School for Justice by Free a Girl India, and the Immunity Charm initiative in Afghanistan by McCann.

“D&AD Impact is a really exciting new venture for us. We get to showcase and acknowledge not only the most creative but the most impactful, work from across the world. It shows that beautiful ideas and brilliant execution not only sells products but can also drive real change in society and solve some the world’s biggest problems – the nonprofit sector is really as innovative as any other.

Marketing campaigns, innovative products, charitable programs with creativity are at the core of what D&AD Impact is all about – showcasing how creativity can deliver social good.”

A unique approach to fundraising

As a nonprofit association and registered charity, all D&AD’s surpluses are reinvested back into the D&AD Foundation’s Education and Talent programmes. Entry fees for Awards, membership fees, the D&AD Festival and other products are all vital to expanding the Foundation’s capabilities and impact, and so maintaining and growing each revenue stream is a key focus for D&AD.

Almost all activity and engagement at D&AD is recorded in Salesforce, from award entries to online sales to fundraising and sponsorship opportunities, alongside membership management and business development. This allows both management and staff to monitor performance, identify opportunities and deploy resources in effective ways.

Salesforce has been embedded at D&AD since 2012. We have high adoption rates and it underpins a lot of what we do – from sales to finance, planning to reporting – it’s all centered on Salesforce. Most of our activities are based in the Sales and Service Cloud and since 2016 we have used Einstein Analytics to improve and expand our reporting.”

Taking reporting to next level

For years, D&AD was using a handful of dashboards to report on everything at the organisation – they believed that anything more complex would be difficult to implement and take up too much time and money. Two years ago, however, they decided to invest in Einstein Analytics to see if they could get more value from their data. Now, the technology is not only enabling them to get real-time insights into financial performance but it also helps them predict trends they would not have seen otherwise.

“Einstein has opened up a lot of really insightful information for us. Firstly, the reports look really great – instead of having something that is quite flat and static, we’ve now got something we can use during senior management or trustee meetings. It really helps to get people excited about the data being presented.

It’s given everyday users the opportunity to get more hands-on with the data themselves. It can be difficult for users not familiar with working with Salesforce to build their own reports and dashboards, but with Einstein Analytics we can design responsive reports that allow people to change different variables and filters within the report so they can access the data they need.”

Data that is beautifully interactive and informative

Now it’s a pleasure for senior executives at D&AD to present their data as they can showcase results in such a visual way – this holds a lot of value for them as an organisation working in the creative sector.

We’re an organisation that is centred around beautiful design, so presentation is obviously important to us. We have some really big names in the creative industry on our trustee and advisory boards, so it gives us confidence when presenting results that they will be both visually attractive and informative.

Our Einstein Analytics dashboards give us almost instant access to insights that previously would have taken hours to report on. And because we can design our dashboards to be intuitive to use even for non-technical colleagues, they are often using them to complete their own data dives during meetings on the fly – providing data-based insights there and then.

D&AD einstein analytics screenshotPictured: One of D&AD’s new Einstein Analytics dashboards

Planning for the future

D&AD is using the insights gained from Einstein Analytics to plan for the future – identifying new and emerging markets is key to their global growth.

“We can spot a rise or fall in applications from previous years based on location, industry, category or any combination thereof, which is especially useful for our marketing and partnerships teams. These insights allow us to predict and target areas that might need more attention in order to continue growing our awards program globally. For our Operations Team, who are processing more than 26,000 pieces of creative work for our awards each year, the relative performance of each category is vital to planning and deploying resources effectively.

While we have always had the data, before Einstein Analytics it took so long to produce analyses and insight that our reporting was often out of date before it hit our Manager’s desks. Now we are ahead of the curve in our planning and have a better ability to monitor our performance throughout the fast-paced awards cycle.”

Graham has a lot planned for Salesforce within D&AD – the organisation is set to go live on Lightning before the year is out and he is hoping to integrate third-party data like Google Analytics and D&AD Festival activations with Einstein Analytics to get a 360-degree view of the organisation’s performance all in the one place.

The Power of Us

Graham admits that technology plays a key role in the success of D&AD, but the Power of Us community holds substantial value for him as a Salesforce Trailblazer working in the nonprofit sector.

“I’ve been working in the charity sector for a long time now and in most nonprofits, there isn’t a huge amount of budget for technology or training, if any. So it’s exciting and incredibly useful to be working with and the Power of Us community. Whenever I have a question about something or I’m learning a new aspect of Salesforce, it’s great to be able to tap into the minds of developers and other admins who are working in the same sector and hear about the way they are using Salesforce to innovate and grow.”

Want to learn more about Einstein Analytics? Watch our on-demand webinar to see how nonprofits can use AI to unlock new opportunities in their data.

watch webinar