Building a Culture of Data Use in Indianapolis: Innovations in Program Planning and Evaluation

October 11, 2017 -
2:15pm to 3:45pm
Sharon Kandris, Kelly Davila, David Bodenhamer, Denise Luster, James Taylor, Sue Ehinger, Brad Beaubien

NNIP’s Indianapolis partner is The Polis Center at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Through collaboration, engagement, research, and technology, The Polis Center builds capacity, creates actionable information, and develops knowledge platforms and place-based solutions that lead to healthier and resilient communities. From its beginnings in 1989, Polis embraced a mission of linking university and community expertise through partnerships and projects that would create and apply information for the common good. When acquiring GIS, the center recognized its potential to engage communities in participatory projects, and in 1995 Polis launched the Social Assets and Vulnerabilities Indicators system, or SAVI, as a signature project.
SAVI’s mission today is to help organizations make data-informed decisions by providing reliable data about communities, creating actionable information, developing tools for analysis, and building capacity to use data effectively. SAVI is created and managed by The Polis Center in partnership with the United Way of Central Indiana, as community trustee.
In the first part of this session, Sharon Kandris, associate director of Polis and director of SAVI, will introduce the Center and SAVI. Kelly Davila, senior research analyst at Polis, will describe innovations in using data to inform planning and evaluation in four major initiatives in which Polis is helping its partners build or expand a data informed culture.
In the second part of this session, David Bodenhamer, executive director of The Polis Center, will facilitate a discussion among the audience and a panel of partner
organizations that are embracing the move toward a data informed culture. Panelists will reflect on their experiences and challenges in this process, how their organizations are using data to inform their decisions, and the effects of democratizing data.


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