The Art Institute of Chicago
Located in Chicago, IL, the Art Institute of Chicago heads TripAdvisor’s 2014 list of Best Museums in the World as well as the travel consultancy’s list of 305 Chicago attractions. Established in 1879, the museum boasts one of the largest and highest quality collections of objects in the world. Its collections range from spare, pre-Greek Cycladic figurines to lush, Rococo oil paintings to minimalist, modern sculpture.
Museum Education, a critical department within the museum, encompasses guided tours, lectures and performances, workshops, internship programs, and broader community engagement. In order to facilitate implementation of the museum’s new Strategic Plan and enable more sophisticated cost-benefit analysis of program elements, the museum tasked EC to establish data collection processes and create success benchmarks.
EC developed a close familiarity with the client data drop and began to develop a cleaned database. After significant cleaning and restructuring of database architecture, the team coded dashboards to provide high level insights and key statistics regarding each program. These changes enabled the museum's senior leaders to quickly come up to speed on various programs and allowed the sharing of information beyond the initial working group.
Benchmarks represented a much deeper look into Museum Education’s operations. They tied each program's overall success and failure, according to client-defined criteria, to individual operational characteristics like room utilization and demographic reach. The team also drafted a plan to create an individual ID database to harmonize future program data collection. Finally, EC geospatially mapped several thousand data points to provide a snapshot of two years of community engagement and allow more efficient geographic targeting.

CME Group
As the world's leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, CME Group is where the world comes to manage risk. CME Group exchanges offer the widest range of global benchmark products across all major asset classes and brings buyers and sellers together through the CME Globex electronic trading platform and trading facilities in New York and Chicago. CME Group also operates CME Clearing, which provides clearing and settlement services for exchange-traded contracts and for over-the-counter derivatives transactions through CME ClearPort.
Eckhart Consulting helped CME Group research and develop new ways for the company to analyze social media data in order to improve marketing effectiveness. With a broad and active presence across a wide range of social media outlets, CME Group was focused on using Twitter as a listening tool to stay informed in real-time about trends among its customers and community of interactors. Specific goals included driving follower engagement and customer-user interaction.
Focusing on marketing via Twitter, EC identified two main issues facing CME Group: CME Group’s social media followers and its product users comprised of two different demographics and large, non-specific Twitter accounts reached a broad audience but engaged in less targeted ways with followers. Through a combination of qualitative industry outreach and Twitter data collection and engagement analysis, EC was able to recommend various strategies for increasing CME Group's Twitter engagement.
EC also developed insights related to using Twitter as a listening tool to inform other marketing strategies, rather than a marketing tool itself. EC developed and ran a process that identified high-engagement Twitter handles in CME Group’s key demographics, scraped for key data, and measured key metrics in order to locate high-engagement streams of activity among both large, broad-reaching accounts and smaller, targeted accounts. Through this process, EC presented to CME Group a scoring system for identified accounts and a framework for future collection in real-time in order to stay on top of key trends as they develop.

Minds Matter
Minds Matter is a national organization founded in 1991 that provides guidance in the college admission process for accomplished high school students from low-income backgrounds. High performing students are paired with mentors whom they work with for 3 years to gain access to college summer programs, prepare for standardized tests, navigate through financial aid, and apply for colleges and scholarships. The organization has placed 100% of its students in 4-year colleges, and worked with 1700 volunteers to serve 572 students in 2014.
Given the competitiveness for financial aid, the Chicago branch of Minds Matter came to Eckhart Consulting to determine strategies for improving student access to financial aid resources. Receiving financial aid was a large factor in successfully placing students into 4-year colleges, leading to the client’s emphasis on strengthening their financial aid programming.
EC performed preliminary research to determine trends in the financial aid landscape, primarily through a quantitative breakdown of historical data on the different types of aid granted to undergraduates. EC then interviewed relevant organizations such as college consultancies, financial aid offices, college counseling offices, and different chapters of Minds Matter in order to gauge best practices for securing financial aid resources. EC’s end deliverable consisted of a short term plan to improve the effectiveness of the client’s financial aid programming, as well as metrics and methods to reach long-term goals. Strategizing based off of Minds Matter’s natural strengths, EC provided concrete resources to find financial aid opportunities for students and tools to keep track of the organization’s long term performance.