The Central Massachusetts Indicators Project will establish community indicators to track longitudinal trends and policy outcomes.
By linking indicators to historical events, such as policy changes and social interventions, the Indicators Project will support fact-based decision making and outcome analysis. The DataCommon’s visualization functions will support interpretation of identified trends, making it easier for policymakers and the public alike to understand the implications of policies. The ability to measure progress and outcomes offers benefit to the entire Region, as service providers, constituents, journalists, and policy makers will have a tool to assess the success of programs, policies, and iniatives.
With improved data access and analysis, Central Massachusetts can:
- Better target resources;
- Identify correlations and causes;
- Narrow in on vulnerabilities and needs;
- Track trends longitudinally; and
- Address complex issues in healthcare, education, economic development and other key sectors.
Beginning in October 2015, CMRPC will be working with a student project team (Interactive Qualifying Project or IQP) from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to develop a pilot community indicators program. The initial framework for the Indicators Project will largely focus on two sectors: healthcare and education and CMRPC will continue to connect to key stakeholders in these areas. Students will also work with the community to establish an Indicators Committee that will determine an initial indicator to begin the development of. 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.
(click to view Community Snapshots)
This collaboration between CMRPC and WPI will allow students to:
- Accomplish immersion learning by having an opportunity to engage in all phases of the development of an indicators project
- Work to build community in education and health sectors, identify data sets, and collect data that is needed by the stakeholders there
- Gain insight and experience with community partnership through outreach and coalition building
- Be able to discuss the value of indicators and open data, and its benefit to the Region
See the Boston Indicators Project at www.bostonindicators.org to view a model for this initiative.