Wisconsin company acquires Boulder polling firm

BOULDER — National Research Center Inc., a Boulder-based polling and research firm, has been acquired by Polco, a Madison, Wis.-based company that provides a digital engagement platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The two companies promote civic engagement using resident surveys and communication technology for local governments, nonprofits and other public-sector entities.

“Community leaders need good data, both to make immediate decisions and to measure performance over time. We are bringing together two companies, under one roof, that have each defined public engagement,” Polco CEO Nick Mastronardi said in a prepared statement.

“It’s time to expand the ways organizations communicate with their stakeholders and serve their needs.”

NRC produces a National Community Survey of 500 cities, allowing communities to determine resident needs and perspectives, and to benchmark themselves among peer communities.

Polco produces organized data, dashboards and maps in real-time for city officials. The platform is used by clients with immediate decision-making needs, including local and state governments, special districts, schools and universities, and nonprofit organizations.

The NRC/Polco combination comes as local government officials seek better data in order to meet the needs of constituents, the companies said.

“Now, more than ever, local government officials must understand residents’ needs,” said Tom Miller, current Polco board director and founder of NRC. “City staff have become more tech savvy and reliant on data. They need better and more accessible information to succeed in creating the livable communities that residents deserve and expect.

“Both companies saw clearly the synergies of merging,” he added, “as the world of survey research and resident engagement are melding. Rapid policy sounding and long-term performance trends are equally essential to the success of our public-sector clients.”

Polco and NRC plan for new and expanded services to make surveys and polls easier to administer, promote faster feedback and produce deeper analytics, according to the company statement. Cities, towns, and counties may also be able to host two-way communications more frequently.

Mastronardi, in a telephone interview with BizWest, said that National Research Center will retain its office in Boulder, where it employs 12 people.

“They just have a great brand and reputation in the local government industry,” Mastronardi said of the reasons for retaining the company in Boulder. “You don’t want to mess with something that works. All of their offerings and all of their operations will continue to be as they’ve had them.”

Mastronardi described National Research Center as providing the “gold-standard” survey for communities, allowing cities to gauge the performance of their community and their internal team.

Polco, he said, provides a robust communication platform for local government operations.

In addition to Miller joining the Polco board, NRC managing director Sonya Wyzinck will serve as chief operating officer for the combined operation. Polco employs 12 people in Madison.

 

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include comments from the Polco CEO.

BOULDER — National Research Center Inc., a Boulder-based polling and research firm, has been acquired by Polco, a Madison, Wis.-based company that provides a digital engagement platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The two companies promote civic engagement using resident surveys and communication technology for local governments, nonprofits and other public-sector entities.

“Community leaders need good data, both to make immediate decisions and to measure performance over time. We are bringing together two companies, under one roof, that have each defined public engagement,” Polco CEO Nick Mastronardi said in a prepared statement.

“It’s time to expand the ways organizations communicate with their stakeholders and serve their needs.”

NRC produces a National Community Survey of 500 cities, allowing communities to determine resident needs and perspectives, and to benchmark themselves among peer communities.

Polco produces organized data, dashboards and maps in real-time for city officials. The platform is used by clients with immediate decision-making needs, including local and state governments, special districts, schools and universities, and nonprofit organizations.

The NRC/Polco combination comes as local government officials seek better data in order to meet the needs of constituents, the companies said.

“Now, more than ever, local government officials must understand residents’ needs,” said Tom Miller, current Polco board director and founder of NRC. “City staff have become more tech savvy and reliant on data. They need better and more accessible information to succeed in creating the livable communities that residents deserve and expect.

“Both companies saw clearly the synergies of merging,” he added, “as the world of survey research…