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You are here: HOME > Project Development
The Central Mass DataCommon is a multi-phase project comprised of the following objectives:
1. Establish the website;
2. Create a community of stakeholders and users;
3. Identify, collect, and provide data needed by our community;
4. Develop a series of community indicators; and
5. Hold annual Data Day events to bring users together to learn and grow the tool.
PHASE 1: Site Development (complete)
Phase 1 comprised development of the DataCommon website and an organized community of stakeholders to help us shape and develop the site to meet various needs. The project timeline for Phase 1 of the project was as follows:
Outreach to Potential Partners/Establish Committee (March to December 2014)
The establishment of an oversight committee-of-the-whole and a smaller executive committee as part of an outreach effort.
Develop Datasets (May to August 2014)
Determined the type of data that we as an agency and our stakeholders want to include as part of the Central Mass DataCommon and developing those datasets. Those included data on health and wellness, population and demographics, economic and business conditions and trends, education, arts and culture, environment and energy, governance and civics, housing, land use, public safety, transportation, technology, and others.
Training and Capacity Building (May to October 2014)
RPA staffs were trained to use and administer the DataCommon and the WEAVE visualization software. Staffs were trained as trainers that allow them to offer training to the public.
Website Development (May to September 2014)
The project team conceptualized and MAPC developed the DataCommon website, loaded data and visualizations, and composed the narrative and explanatory information for users of the website.
Creation of Visualizations and Community Snapshots (May to October 2014)
CMRPC staff, in collaboration with MRPC, determined which data to be included in visualizations, create the visualizations, and load the visualizations.
Beta Testing (November 2014)
Provided a beta version of the site for limited use to test and troubleshoot.
Hosting, Data Maintenance, and User Support (November 2014 and Ongoing)
Website is hosted on the MAPC server. MAPC will conduct routine maintenance and updating. Regional data will be provided, maintained, and updated by CMRPC or other users. MAPC and CMRPC will both provide basic user support.
PHASE 2: Data Collection and Site Enhancement (in progress)
With Phase 1 now complete, the project team is initiating Phase 2 of the work program based on availability of funding. Phase 2 will accomplish five (5) important tasks including:
1. Enhancing the DataCommon site with new extensions and user features;
2. Identifying additional data sets needed and wanted by community stakeholders;
3. Developing a robust transportation data and visualization capacity;
4. Conducting a Data Day conference where users can hear about the site and engage in capacity building exercises (Data Day was held on
May 21, 2015 and was a great success with over 150 attendees from over 100 different organizations); and most importantly
5. Initiating a project to develop an indicators tool for the Region that will allow even more powerful data trends analysis for users.
PHASE 3: Development of the Central Massachusetts Indicators Project (planned)
Phase 3, commenced in October 2015, will focus on the development of the composite community indicators tool by which to track complex data trends over time. This will allow users to determine if programs and policies are effective or may need adjustment or replacement. CMRPC will be working with a student project team (Interactive Qualifying Project or IQP) from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute to develop the Central Mass Indicators Project. It is anticipated that a dedicated IQP team may be available to DataCommon going forward. This phase is projected to take 12-15 months to complete.
See the Boston Indicators Project at www.bostonindicators.org to view a model for this initiative.