Successful community change initiatives require effective decision-making that is not possible without access to quality data and information about the targeted communities. For this reason, City Connect Detroit maintains an ongoing commitment to increasing community access to data about the community and its people for the benefit of local decision makers.
City Connect Detroit first became involved in this work during 2002, when it was asked to help lead the Detroit Data Partnership. This collaboration of local data stakeholders was interested in developing a data warehouse and geographic information system capable of sharing information about the community – from demographics in every ZIP code and Census tract to information about the quality of playscapes in local parks. The agency helped develop these assets – known as the Detroit Community Data Connection – on behalf of the collaborative, with funding support from a federal earmark doggedly pursued by City Connect Detroit staff.
Gradually, as information technology systems evolved, the collaborative disbanded and the program was reborn anew, first as the Detroit Area Community Indicators System (D-ACIS) and later as Data Driven Detroit. The later of these programs is currently in operation today, operating statewide in affiliation with the Michigan Nonprofit Association.
In 2012 and beyond, City Connect Detroit will look to infuse data-sharing more completely throughout its portfolio of collaborations and community change initiatives. For more information about this work or to become involved in community data sharing in the Detroit area, contact Program Officer Kate Cherry today.