Making a Mad Libs-esque tool

So, the idea is to make an interactive tool that uses the basic syntax of something like, say, outcome measures to build your own customized version(s). Not so much to create a perfect set of measures for your program/organization, but to get the idea of how it works so you can write some better, more useful ones on your own.

This is something that might complement an article about the topic to give better context.

Embedding an editable Google Sheet with data validation drop-downs seems like a simple option.

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Repurposing a ’90s hot-or-not app to prioritize community needs

I’ve spent a lot of time in communities interviewing people, a lot of time looking at 990 tax forms, a lot of time scrolling through Census records, and even more time searching on Google. The goal has always been to identify critical community needs, assets, and the gulf between them. While there are universal themes, each community is different.

Recently, I’ve been trying to come up with a way to more accurately prioritize local issues by engaging more people but without adding a significant amount of time. There’s got to be a way to quantitatively and systematically get more and better input. (Without losing or replacing the subjective humanity of conversations, of course.)

About a month ago, I read an entirely unrelated FiveThirtyEight article ranking the historic Oscar winners for best original song. The methodology struck me. The author, Walt Hickey, solicited his readers to use a simple head-to-head random matchup generator. Songs were ranked by their win-rates; the overall winner being that which won the most head-to-head matchups. Pretty simple.

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