- Geared for the Public Affairs branch of a member office
- Program email updates for virtually all features
- Real-time bill tracking features
- No predictive analytics
- Manageable Learning curve
- High pricing
Quorum was first developed in a Harvard dorm room with one mission: identify who members of Congress frequently work with. Billed as a strategic tool for legislative tracking, social media monitoring, and stakeholder communication by the account executive that demonstrated the platform’s abilities, Quorum is a leader in the space.
Bringing public and government relations to a Congressional office
Quorum is known for its browser-based platform’s proprietary visualized relationship and network tracking technology. Users can navigate through a recorded history of office and stakeholder contact histories while getting the best of a social listening tool. Additionally, Quorum tracks all documents, publicly-available communication, and social networking interactions for a congressman, individual, bill, issue, or initiative.
These mentions can be tracked via Google-style search capabilities and in a variety of visualizations that update in real time. For example, you can track the social chatter, public email communique, and accompanying documents for a major bill all in one dashboard. These tracking feeds represent a far-more advanced RSS feed set up while offering exporting services for individuals who want to view such information in a PDF file or CSV spreadsheet.
Congressional member profiles are also chalk full of useful background information, voting records, social media activity, relationship and member-network matrix, and constituency information (e.g., demographics, issue interests, economic statistics). These views can be customized and updated to track office-office interaction, issue stances, sponsorship history, and so much more.
Advanced bill tracking and comparison
Legislationtracking in Quorum is fairly advanced. Aside from the typical progress updates during the bill process, additional documents (i.e., committee reports and markups, CBO reports, etc.) are appended to any bill analysis or in-platform view. Users can compare past iterations of the bill, amendments, similar legislation, and historical proposals (both federal and state) side by side while also searching entire bills for specific provisional language.
These capabilities in bill tracking highlight Quorum’s differentiation from other platforms. That, and the unified search features for data and information.
CRM functionality, Email & mobile experiences
Quorum, though a very intuitive and multi-functional tool, has additional highlights that make it a valuable digital asset. First, the platform has several CRM functions that create an internal affairs-focused database of contacts (particular lobbyists, stakeholders, influencers, other members, and Congressional staff). This capability is sourced from an accurately updated email list server and an in-platform text and drag-drop editor for email blasts or limited external advocacy programs. All emails sent can be tracked for open rates, click rates, and other metrics.
Both iPhone and Android users can download the Quorum mobile app. It is free to download and features the most important features of the desktop iteration of the platform for pocket-sized, on-the-go functionality.
A polished, but jam-packed user interface
The user interface is certainly polished and navigable for experienced users. Color schemes and the built-in dashboards aren’t confusing to grasp either; however, our only concern is how “jam-packed” it felt.
GovPredict versus Quorum
GovPredict, a competitor to Quorum, has grown in popularity in recent years due to their surprisingly accurate proprietary predictive algorithms. These algorithms and AI provide legislative staffers with generated analytics on potential sponsorships, voting results, among others. During our demo with Quorum, the account executive working with us indicated that the company believes that human intelligence and expertise are much better than predictions made by a machine.
“A key reason we don’t offer predictive analytics is due to feedback from users in our market,” says the company’s communications lead Kevin King, adding: “Put simply, predictive analytics doesn’t work.”
We were overwhelmed
When you consider the capabilities of Quorum and what you can do, it turns out to be a great tool and technological achievement. However, given this large scope of capability, Quorum could also be problematic. During our demo, we were thoroughly overwhelmed, which leads us to wonder how an office that has used a competing “legacy tool” with siloed analytics and tracking would cope.
Naturally, any new tool will have a learning curve. Quorum addresses this with a dedicated customer success team and a series of customer support communication outlets (e.g., in-platform live chat).
In a January 2018 report published in Bloomberg Businessweek, Alex Wirth, the co-founder of Quorum, said that his company’s platform ranges from “tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars” for use. Our demo session determined that pricing is built around team pricing while offering full platform access.
Congressional offices must do business with Leidos Digital Solutions. Leidos is the company that develops and sells the similarly named CMS system Intranet Quorum (IQ). As of January 2017, Quorum Analytics and Leidos announced an “exclusive reseller agreement” where “Leidos will now sell Quorum Analytics to elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels,” according to a press release. A Leidos account executive informed us that they sell a one year subscription for $6,500 and a two year subscription for $10,000.
This certainly convolutes the selling structure from the outside looking in. Other than that, the pricing from within Congress is straightforward as its sold by one vendor.
What we think
Quorum is an exceptional tool for a variety of reasons. From the platform’s multi-platform mobile experience to its in-depth Congressional correlation and relationship tracking tools, Quorum’s implementation would provide an office with a slew of ability and opportunity–especially for office environments that are still “lagging” behind the technical power curve.
New users, however, will be presented with a series of challenges upon deployment and/or first-time use. This can be resolved with the company’s dedicated customer success teams; however, overwhelming elements of the platform could persist. You’ll have to decide if the product is worth the investment both in terms of time and cost.