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Western PA Regional Data Center Launched!

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On Thursday, October 15, at the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Summit, our allies at the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County and University of Pittsburgh unveiled the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center–an open data website that currently contains 133 local datasets that will support key community initiatives by making public information easier to find and use. 

regional data center-logo

Our President, Presley Gillespie, was invited to serve on the Inaugural Board of this initiative, to provide guidance and assistance to the Data Center and to refine the big-picture vision for the project and influence major Data Center decisions, events, programs, and initiatives.

“It’s great to see this resource become available for us and our allies to help guide, support and measure the impact that our collective work and investments are having.”

-Presley Gillespie

There has been a pressing and urgent need to create information systems and data-driven interventions that more fully understand the complexities and spatial dynamics of compiling, tracking and disseminating a wide range of relevant data in Pittsburgh for years. The Big Rethink highlighted this need as a system-wide challenge in the community development sector in Pittsburgh. An excerpt from the report notes:

“…there is no system in place to track outcomes. There are no overarching goals that link the strategies and activities of its various constituent organizations to clearly defined outcomes.”

When Neighborhood Allies re-launched in 2014, we committed to helping our partners do their best work; to drive opportunity in our neighborhoods by assisting organizations to identify priorities for analysis, develop data collection plans, identify sources of data, collect existing and new data, and effectively use metrics and dashboards to understand and communicate trends and to guide decision making. The Data Center will help us achieve these goals, as well as provide additional public access to data – one of the four most pressing data needs identified by community and social service organizations in our Data Survey.

For more information on the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center visit: http://www.wprdc.org/ and check out this article in the Pittsburgh Business Times.

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