Ask D3

Ask D3 is the most direct way to connect our data to community. Whether you need a quick data pull or are just looking to connect with a staff member — Ask D3 is the way to go!

If possible we will try to fulfill your Ask D3 request free of charge. Please make a request by clicking on the button below. Your questions (and our results) often are shared in the F.A.Q. column on the right (so please take a look there first!).

Make a Request

Frequently Asked Questions

About our Data

At what level does D3 collect data?

We collect data at many levels: national, state, county, city, census tract, census block, and parcel (for the Detroit area).  We also have ever expanding datasets and assets for resources such as schools, grocery stores, parks, police stations & fire stations. More are being added all the time. Please explore D3’s Open Data Portal!

How can I find business data?

We’re working towards assembling a comprehensive and up to date inventory of individual businesses in our area. We don’t currently have a full set of information by business location.  Some data on commercial property location, occupancy, and condition are available for Detroit through our work on the Motor City Mapping project. There are also many resources available on local and national levels that could be helpful.


  1. D: Hive:
  2. Green Garage Detroit:
  3. TechTown Detroit:
  4. Detroit Economic Growth Corporation:
  5. Midtown Detroit, Inc.:
  6. Detroit Regional Chamber:
  7. Wayne State University, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Detroit Commercial Land Inventory City Survey (CLICS) 2012:


  1. Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) Origin-Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) data provided through the OnTheMap explorer tool:
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

How can I find Census data?

You can find Census data in our Census Comparison interactive tool. Since small Census geographies (such as tracts and block groups) can change over time, it’s sometimes difficult to compare these changes at these levels.  With D3’s Census Comparison tool, the heavy lifting has been done for you! We’ve aggregated the information in a way that allows you to make ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison — even in Census tracts that changed between 2000 and 2010!

The Census Bureau also releases data from several other sources that are not fully integrated into our online toolbox.  These include the American Community Survey (see below), American Fact Finder, and the bi-annual Planning Database.

If you’re seeking historical data (from 1990 or earlier), please refer to the historical counts data from the Census Bureau, the Bureau’s FTP site, or your local library.  A partner organization in Minnesota, the Minnesota Population Center, also maintains the National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS), which assembles census data and boundary files for the entire country from 1790 to 2013.

How can I find population, household, and job forecasts for Southeast Michigan or Detroit?

In general, D3 does not create forecasts for Southeast Michigan or Detroit.  For this information, we recommend visiting the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG’s) Regional Forecast page.

How can I share my data with D3?

We’re always happy to take delivery of a new dataset!  If you have a file that you’d like to share with us, reach out with an Ask D3 request. We’ll put you in touch with the most appropriate staff member for that dataset.

How is ACS data different from Census data?

Both datasets are produced by the U.S. Census Bureau.  The ACS is a sample survey that occurs on an ongoing basis, while the Census is a count of every individual in the United States that occurs every ten years.  Since the ACS is based on a sample of the population, the Census Bureau provides a margin of error for every estimate representing the range of values in which an estimate likely falls.  As the Census is a count of the entire population, Census data does not include margins of error.

I’m looking for a specific topic of data on D3’s website … how can I find it?

Thank you for using our D3 as a source for your data concerns. We suggest that you start at our Portfolio page. Select or narrow your subject matter by using the accordion keyword boxes to the left. This will dynamically produce the most relevant instances for your query — “subject”, “maps”, “projects”, etc ….  Depending on your query, your results will show subject matter that displays a refined response in some (or each) of the six boxes to the right. If you are unable to find the relevant subject and products for your specific search please fill out an AskD3 request. A Data Analyst will get back to you to assist you with your search.


Is there a cost for your services?

We fulfill many short data and mapping requests through our AskD3 system, and an AskD3 request is free of charge.  For larger and repeated requests, we do charge a fee for our services.  If you’re interested in getting in touch with one of our project managers about a specific project idea, please visit our Start a Project page. Otherwise, for more general requests, please fill out an Ask D3 Request by pressing the blue ‘Make A Request’ button to the left. Thank you!

What can I do if I find a discrepancy in D3’s data?

Thank you for your careful attention to the details of data! In keeping with our mission, we welcome your feedback.  We strive to have complete accuracy in all of our data, still a margin for error can exist for the numbers we work with and our process.  If you spot an inconsistency in any of our products, please notify us through an AskD3 request.  We’ll have a staff member look into the issue and follow up with you promptly!


What is D3’s Open Data Portal and how do I use it?

D3’s Open Data Portal is a raw data gateway for exploration and downloading.  With topics ranging from property to poverty, the portal has over 200 datasets, covering Detroit, Windsor, and Michigan.  Many of these datasets include links to detailed descriptions of meta-data to help you make the best use of your information request.

To search the Open Data Portal for data, simply type a term into the search bar at the top of the page. Once you’ve clicked on a dataset, you can create charts, scroll or read through the data table at your leisure. Quick Hint: To download the dataset just click the “Download Dataset” button to the right of the title.  

Don’t see what you’re looking for?  Send us an AskD3 request – it may be something we just haven’t gotten around to putting up yet!

What is the American Community Survey? When are the data annually released?

The American Community Survey (ACS) is an extensive survey administered by the Census Bureau.  It contains estimates for a broad range of data, including income, health, poverty, education, and employment.  The ACS releases data estimates for 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year time periods (the 1- and 3-year estimates are restricted to geographies with more than 65,000 and 20,000 people, respectively).  The Census Bureau discourages direct comparisons between overlapping 3- and 5-year periods.

ACS data are generally released in the last third of the calendar year.  For the most up-to-date information on data releases, visit the ACS Data Release Information Page.

What kind of interactive data tools does D3 provide?

One D scorecard

Compare the status of our region to 50 other areas across the country using key data indicators. Explore Southeast Michigan through the Regional Opportunity Index mapping initiative from the Kirwan Institute.

Community Data

Explore the following interactive tools combining demographic, socioeconomic, housing, workforce, and other date in Michigan. Geographies include counties, cities and townships, census tracts, and more.

MAPAS – Create a map and customize it with data. Save it for later, and print/export maps. Created by our partner organization, the Community Research Institute in Grand Rapids, MAPAS is an interactive statewide map of neighborhood indicators.

Community Profiles – Select your community of interest to begin. Choose from different data categories and build custom reports with D3 data.

Census Comparison – Retrieve pre-packaged geographic reports comparing comprehensive 2000 and 2010 Census data.

Detroit Parcel Resources

D3 created the following interactive maps to combine multiple public data sources and primary data collected in the field, greatly reducing the time needed to research parcel-level information.

Motor City Mapping – Interact with the latest parcel data for Detroit

Education Resources

Find out how far Detroit students are traveling for school in 2013-14 school year with the Student Dispersion Tool 2013-14.

Election Resources

Data Driven Detroit’s work has included analyses of apportionment, redistricting, voter engagement, and more.  View Detroit Council Districts, demographic analyses, and more.

Residential Typology Analysis

Explore our analysis of block-level conditions comprised of housing and population indicators as they relate to CDAD’s residential typologies.

What rules do you have when using data in my research project, article, or personal media?

All data on our website are available for use at no charge.  Each dataset is licensed under a Creative Commons ShareAlike license.  You can use our data for any purpose – even commercial uses – as long as you follow the terms for attribution and data sharing.

When citing D3 data in your work, we recommend that you include “Data Driven Detroit” after the primary source (for example, “U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census; Data Driven Detroit.”)

What types of data does D3 work with?

Data Driven Detroit has a vast library of datasets at the state, region, county, city, and local level. It is our mission to provide this for data-driven decision making. D3 houses a comprehensive data system that includes current and historic demographic, socioeconomic, educational, environmental, health, transportation, and other indicators.  This data system allows analysts to illustrate complex relationships by combining different datasets to reveal information about regions, cities, and neighborhoods.

We work with data in the following areas:

  • Amenities – cultural, entertainment, religious, health, and social service organizations.
  • Business & Workforce – location of jobs and private enterprises, information about workers or people who could work, and details about commercial structures.
  • Civic engagement – volunteerism, charitable giving, voting.
  • Demographic & Socioeconomic – typically data from the Census Bureau, including total population, population change, population density, race and ethnicity, age, income, educational attainment, household data, migration, vital statistics, family composition, resident employment, and more.
  • Education – schools and student data, including locations of schools and higher education facilities, test scores, grades served, attendance, student enrollment, graduation rates, college readiness, school population, instability, free and reduced lunch counts, and school safety.
  • Environment – quality of land, air, and water with respect to contamination, pollution, and landcover.
  • Health – births, outcomes and disease-specific data for people.
  • Property, Land Use & Housing – characteristics of residential structures, including market and transactional details, condition, vacancy, and ownership; zoning and land use, permits, locations of green spaces, parking, etc.
  • Public Safety – crime, EMS, and fire incident locations and characteristics.
  • Transportation – traffic, public transportation routes and stops, roads, and commuting data.

Where can I find and download maps created by D3?

We’ve created a selection of PDF maps that are available to download or print.  To gain further insight and context for the map, just type the full title of the map into the search pane on the upper left of the Portfolio page. The results will appear in the Maps and Inforgraphics section

Where can I find D3’s Presentation & Reports?

We work with partners to produce reports on a variety of topics and statistics. Recent reports are posted in our dynamically rendered Presentations & Reports box on the bottom left of our Portfolio section page.

Our staff plays an active role in the community. We regularly present at community events and forums about using data to inform every level of the decision-making process. Please peruse our most recent presentations shared and see if you’d like us to do something similar for you.

About our organization

Does D3 offer internship or volunteer opportunities?

D3, with the generous help of the Max M. and Margorie S. Fisher Foundation, created a 2015 pilot program for internships this summer. While the details of next year’s internship program have not yet been released, we always are looking for help from volunteers! Please feel free to send us your resume and/or cover letter so that we can keep it on file.

How can I find out what D3 is doing?

How Do I Contact D3?

All staff emails and phone numbers are found here. Not sure who to contact? Send an email to and we will be happy to determine which staff person can best assist you.

For media and press requests, please contact Scott Dillon, D3’s Communications Manager.

You can also connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

How do I request a D3 presentation for my organization?

Please use our AskD3 form to share presentation or event opportunities and we’ll connect your request to the most appropriate staff person.

Is D3 hiring?

Whenever an opportunity arises, we post open positions on the D3 website under Contact Us, as well as on our Facebook and Twitter pages. If you’re interested in working in Detroit, we also recommend visiting the Detroit Experience Factory’s Resources Page to find open positions that may be of interest.

What is D3’s area of expertise?

Our Masters and Doctoral level staff possesses over 100 years of combined experience in urban planning, research, and data analysis.  While many of us share a planning-related background, our individual interests and areas of expertise range from geographic information systems to transportation, crime, community, non-profit and voter engagement.

What is Data Driven Detroit?

Data Driven Detroit (D3) provides accessible, high-quality information and analysis to drive informed decision-making. We assist our community partners, the public sector and private sector by specializing in data collection, mapping and visualization, data analysis, and information accessibility to promote data-driven outcomes.

As an Open Data organization, we make much of our data available for everyone through online tools, including D3’s Open Data Portal.

Interested in learning more about our mission and history?  Read more here!

Where is D3 Located?

Our office is in TechTown, a Detroit-based business incubator and accelerator located in the Woodward Technology Corridor Smart Zone. For directions and parking information, see Contact Us.