Transforming NCAE’s Data Landscape: Empowering Educator Advocacy

CASE STUDY: North Carolina Association of Educators

With members facing challenges like attacks on professionalism and book bans in classrooms and public libraries, the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) sought to enhance their tools and expand membership in an environment known for its hostility toward worker rights and professional collaboration.  

In 2023, NCAE enlisted TCW Strategies to address a fundamental element of this effort: managing and leveraging their data to build power for North Carolina educators. Collaborating closely with NCAE staff, the TCW Strategies team promptly assessed the data landscape, identifying past operational and technical challenges, along with significant opportunities to enhance membership and organizational efforts for the NCAE. 

The cornerstone of TCW Strategies’ tailored data solution is NCAE’s “source of truth,” a custom-built data warehouse where historically siloed data sets from across the organization are cleaned up, seamlessly brought together, and reliably up-to-date. The TCW Strategies team democratized that data, bringing it to life through secure, tailored self-service dashboards hosted at

TCW Strategies has significantly enhanced NCAE’s ability to gather, track, and analyze data, saving staff time and labor-intensive work . This has enabled NCAE to deepen engagement with members, drive membership growth, and strengthen its advocacy for educational professionals, public education, and students in North Carolina.

Overcoming Operational Roadblocks to Empower Educators

The future of high-quality public education in North Carolina depends on NCAE’s ability to strengthen and leverage the collective voice of North Carolina educators. NCAE is all-in on growing and activating its membership through consistent organizing. NCAE wanted to harness their data to accomplish this sustainably and at a faster pace.

Challenge #1: Tracking and steering a state-wide distributed field organizing campaign.

NCAE is constantly organizing. Professional staff and member-leaders across the state aim to grow their local associations and the NCAE through engaging in one-on-one transformational conversations with educators. While they have excelled in this work, NCAE leaders recognized the critical need for enhanced operational visibility in their statewide organizing campaign.

Wayne County Association of Educators members welcome a new colleague to their union.
Wayne County Association of Educators members welcome a new colleague to their union.

Leadership looked to answer pressing questions like “are we on pace to meet our goals?” and “where do we need more support?” in real-time. 

NCAE knew that a modern data solution would help them to meet this challenge by assisting them to:

  • Evaluate the efficacy of existing organizing efforts
  • Refine membership-building strategy & tactics
  • Integrate novel and timely strategies for building membership
Solution: Modernizing In-Person Campaign Tracking: Goal-Oriented and Real-Time

TCW Strategies collaborated closely with NCAE’s organizing department, implementing a dynamic, cost-effective solution. This integrated NCAE’s different data platforms, alongside new data sets collected through tools such as AirTable, consolidating data into one data warehouse. From that warehouse, TCW Strategies created dynamic, self-service dashboards.

This solution provides unparalleled insights, allowing NCAE to delve deeper into their organizing campaign data and make informed decisions promptly. Furthermore, this solution ensured that field-generated data matched individual records in the data warehouse daily, fulfilling NCAE’s goal of improving operational visibility and overall effectiveness.

Challenge #2: Tracking NCAE membership trends quickly, accurately, and efficiently.

Prior to partnering with TCW Strategies, NCAE’s Membership Department used disparate data platforms to manage, analyze, and report on NCAE’s membership. This led to:

  • Time-consuming manual reporting
  • Compromised data accuracy due to inconsistencies across different datasets
  • Limited power to explore data for informed decision-making and strategic planning

NCAE needed to be able to access, visualize, arrange, experiment, export, and ultimately analyze all the data in one uniform platform. Leadership wanted the ability to cross-reference records across different platforms, and to be able to enrich employer lists with contact information from various NCAE data sources.

Solution: NCAE’s Custom-Built Data Warehouse: Breaking Down Data Silos
  • TCW Strategies’ client success team partnered with key members of NCAE’s executive, membership, and data teams to understand and solve the organization’s most pressing data challenges.
  • The TCW Strategies team built pipelines for NCAE’s key data sources – overcoming long-standing obstacles. 
  • Now, NCAE staff have one source of truth – their tailored data warehouse. This provides a 360-degree look at their organizational data.
  • TCW Strategies partnered with NCAE staff to understand reporting needs. We then built tailored dashboards that give staff the ability to dive into their data, enhancing their strategic decision-making. It also cut way down on staff time dedicated to manual reporting!
  • Additionally, the TCW Strategies team dives deep into their data for enhanced reporting and testing.

TCW Strategies came on board and provided the muscle to make progress on the projects we needed to build long-term change. They are patient and active listeners; they got to know our systems and data in a thorough and methodical way—which led to all of us gaining an understanding of the quirks and working on solutions together. They brought expertise and managed details to deliver solutions quickly in the conditions that existed. This has been a truly helpful and collaborative partnership—we made progress where there was an opportunity, and when there’s been a barrier, we could engage and overcome it.

Valerie Warren, Chief Data Officer, NCAE

Harnessing Data’s Potential to Drive Advocacy

With TCW Strategies’ innovative dynamic data solutions, NCAE is experiencing a transformative shift. Up-to-date tracking of membership trends and enhanced operational efficiency are empowering NCAE to strengthen its connection with educators statewide. This amplifies their advocacy for public education and positions them as an increasingly formidable advocate for educator rights and professional collaboration.


  1. Up-to-date tracking of membership trends, records, and cancellation
  2. Advanced membership density tracking with the ability to filter and slice
  3. Visual representation of retention over time and ability to analyze trends
  4. Data democratization & enhanced operational efficiency with dynamic dashboards
  5. Improved strategic decision-making leading to accelerated membership growth

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