Blog Archive

October 2016

On the D3 Website

By: Erica Raleigh

D3 launched our new website about a year ago. It was developed over the course of two years, squished into the spare moments between important project work with our partners, working through conversations about what the next evolution of D3 would be, and then actually executing the migration of D3 to a fully functional independent L3C.

(Sidebar: Do you have any idea how many pages a contract for a 401k program is?! I do, because I had to read every darn page, and that was just one tiny task in a long list.)

So in the midst of all that fun, our new site launched. We launched it after little user testing, almost no iteration on the feedback, and with a collective “phew!” as we checked one more box on the ever-growing list of things we needed to get done very quickly. Heck, at least it looked pretty.

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For those who have spent even two minutes on our website – I’m sorry. Really.

Let’s be honest… our website stinks. Yeah, we’re aware.

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What’s more of a bummer than launching a crappy website? More than being a data and information hub launching a crappy website where users can’t find the information they’re looking for? What’s worse is that people think we don’t know it’s terrible.

Here’s the thing: we have mountains of data, maps, profiles, presentations, analyses, and more. We have an incredible database cataloguing and tagging every single record, making it way easier to find what we’ve already created than ever before. We thought building that was the hard part and that’s probably where most of our energy went.

We’d like to do better, and we want people to be able to find what they need from us so no one has to spend time recreating any of the work we’ve already done.

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So to all of you out there who have ideas for how we make this public data utility better, please – reach out, let us know what would be better for you, how you would change things. We want to hear from you! And hey, if you create a solution that works, we might even hire you!

In the meantime, we will share some posts, maybe videos, about how to find the great stuff available on our website in its current form. Let us know if you’re looking for something in particular and we’ll be sure to highlight that content

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September 2016 Meeting of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, Cleveland

This year marks the 20th year of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP).  D3 has been a proud partner since 2009, and we are deeply grateful for all the network has done to help D3 build capacity over the years.  Those who know me have likely heard my exuberant ramblings on our partnership meetings that happen twice per year, when I get to let my geek flag fly even higher than normal.

Here’s my list of top takeaways from the latest meeting:

  1. Hats off to our former colleague Leon Wilson in his new role with the Cleveland Foundation!  We love knowing there’s a great advocate for impact organizations out there who brings with him the experience of working inside a nonprofit.
  2. I’m a sucker for a good index.  Check out the Twin Cities Housing Market Index and Cook County House Price Index.
  3. Data inventory contest – Cleveland and Detroit tie for the win!
  4. Favorite new-to-me interactive data tools – KnowPlace and Census Reporter.
  5. Best session (of many favorites!) – The Next Generation of Open Data.  Check out all the slide decks!
  6. From the partner who showed us the way on parcel data, we look to Cleveland’s Childhood Integrated Longitudinal Data System for more answers.
  7. Cool resources – Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy and Teaching with Data,
  8. When we grow up, we hope to be the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center.

If you are interested in learning more about starting a local data hub, check out this Next City article that includes a link to the startup guide published this year.