Case Study: The Dupont Group
The Dupont Group is a Concord, NH based government affairs consulting firm. (see: http://www.dupontgroup.com) Their focus is on legislation, administrative rules, government procurement and public relations. They provide advocacy and strategic planning, executive and legislative branch representation, public relations and communications services to businesses and nonprofits.
The Dupont Group needed to get daily updates on all of the bills so that they could stay on top of events and serve the needs of their clients more efficiently. The only problem was that the New Hampshire legislature website had no means of exporting data.
Keene Systems architected a solution to extract the data directly from thousands of government webpages using a technique called “Screen Scraping”. This involved building a pattern recognition rules engine to crawl the state website. It made sense of all the data on the website, parsed it and saved only the relevant information to a structured database which is used to track issues for The Dupont Group’s clients.
Results & Benefits
- Information on bills and hearings was updated on a daily basis.
- Prompt service: When the State of New Hampshire changes their website, Keene Systems promptly updates the program to reflect the new patterns.
- Email Notifications: A subsequent notification system was added to allow The Dupont Group to assign employees to keep watch on various bills. When the software detects a new event scheduled on a bill, it sends an appointment notice to the designated employee’s Outlook Calendar. This was so successful that it was further extended to some of The Dupont Group’s clients to update their calendars too.
- The Dupont Group can now provide their clients with accurate, timely reporting and calendar events on the government issues that are important to them.
The solution was developed using .Net Framework and Microsoft Access on the back end. Access was used instead of SQL Server because The Dupont Group already had a reporting application in Access and the new system was built to integrate with their pre-existing system.
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Keene Systems has been effective in helping our firm stay on top of the many, many events that occur on a daily basis during the NH legislative session. Before Keene Systems created this system, we were cutting and pasting information into reports for clients and reviewing pages and pages of information before putting literally hundreds of events into our calendars per week.