The Measurement Mavens of the Month: Cindy Villafranca and the Team at Southwest Airlines


It’s no secret to regular readers of The Measurement Advisor that Southwest Airlines has always been on the forefront of measurement. Linda Rutherford, now their VP for Communication and Outreach, called me in to talk metrics back when their communications department was in a tiny office in a very old building behind Love Field in Dallas. We talked about measurement and how to do it right, and we completed our first project together in 2004.

Southwest Airlines (with SEO-PR) won the coveted Jack Felton Golden Ruler in 2005 for being the first organization that I know of to show a direct revenue impact from news releases. They were also among the first to join the Conclave on Social Media Measurement Standards and to pledge to support the Barcelona Principles. As if that weren’t enough to qualify them as Super Mavens, Southwest has also been using dashboards to track their communications impact for the past three years, and were the first organization that I’ve seen to integrate external and internal communications results into a single dashboard.

But Southwest isn’t the sort of company to sit on their laurels. Last year they started the process of upgrading and automating their dashboard to incorporate new priorities and new data. Heading their measurement effort is Cindy Villafranca, who, since their latest dashboard initiative began, has wrangled a ton of data, corralled numerous cats, learned Tableau, and given birth to a baby daughter. For that, and all of her measurement efforts over the years, Cindy and the rest of her team are this month’s Measurement Mavens. Congrats!

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