Facts Matter, Cincinnati’s Comprehensive Data Portal, Is Launched

Mark Carrozza, health informatics developer at HealthLandscape, demonstrates the Facts Matter comprehensive data portal at its June 1 launch. Facts Matter is deployed on the HealthLandscape mapping platform.

On Friday, June 1, the Greater Cincinnati nonprofit community gathered at the United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Convening Center for the launch of Facts Matter, the region’s new online gateway to information about income, education, and health.

Facts Matter will be the go-to place for Greater Cincinnati regional data. Prior to its launch, community leaders had to gather income, education, health, and other data from a variety of sources. And much of that data was not region-specific. Facts Matter aims to change that.

Facts Matter:

  • Contains local indicators, indicators that the Greater Cincinnati community has agreed are important
  • Collects the data into one location and provides quick access to it
  • Uses data at a collective level, which increases the opportunity to make collective impact and offers a means for collective measurement
  • Makes data more tangible through a variety of visualizations
  • Fosters partnerships
  • Stays up-to-date, as opposed to state of the community reports which are snapshots in time, published every few years

Why do facts matter? Nonprofits have accountability issues. They must demonstrate to their funders, boards, program participants, and the community-at-large that their programs are necessary, effective, and worthy of continued support. And there is greater emphasis these days on data-driven decision making. “Access to strategic data guides decisions, helps in planning, and helps leaders evaluate success,” said Stephanie Byrd, executive director of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s Success By 6 initiative, who presented ways that Facts Matter can help agencies in program planning and accountability.

Jim Votruba, chair of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati’s Research Council and soon-to-be-retired president of Northern Kentucky University, reinforced the importance of this tool. “To make progress, we need to confront the facts about ourselves and then act on them. This is a remarkable new civic resource. It will make our partnership work for community transformation just that much easier.”

Facts Matter is a collaborative effort. Funding partners include the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, and The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. Data partners include Agenda 360, HealthLandscape, Northern Kentucky University, Strive Partnership, University of Cincinnati, and Vision 2015.

The portal currently contains 81 indicators. “All the data that we want in the portal is not in the portal,” said Eric Rademacher, Co-Director of the University of Cincinnati Institute for Policy Research and Director of the Community Research Collaborative. “We will be inviting people to become data partners.”

Visit Facts Matter at www.crc.uc.edu. Training opportunities are available through webinars and video tutorials. We will post links in a separate blog, for easy reference.

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