What is Data

What is data?

Data helps to provide insight into our world: as it existed in the past, exists now, and how it might be shaped in the future. Here at D3, we specialize in working with pieces of information that are measurable or verifiable, like numeric and spatial data. Numeric data conveys information about amounts and frequencies. Spatial data provides us with an awareness of relationships across space. Combined, these can provide valuable insights.

What does data mean to me?

You may wonder how much demolition activity has occurred near your community garden or whether there’s a food pantry in your neighborhood. Your neighbor may be interested in knowing how a city block has been zoned or which Head Start locations are near their work. Data can help you learn more about your neighborhood and reveal some of the larger patterns and numbers generated by your lived experience.

What does D3 do with data?

At D3, we bring together hundreds of different data sources, then examine what they can tell us about the questions being asked in and about our region. For example, we can merge information from the fire department with geographic data to illustrate which residential city blocks have the greatest frequency of fire alarm calls. Data alone cannot solve problems, but it can help frame our understanding of problems and be leveraged as a tool to help shape our world and improve quality of life.

Data Literacy

To learn about how to analyze and use data yourself, we’ve collected resources you can reference and learn from on our Data Literacy page.

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