Measure4Change session on accessing and using external data
This session was conducted by NeighborhoodInfo DC for a group of local area nonprofits who are partipating in the Measure4Change learning community. The purpose of the session was to show groups how accessing data outside of their organization could be valuable to help them assess the needs of the populations and communities they are serving and to report on their results. The first part of the session focused on accessing confidential, individual-level data (eg, student records), discussing issues such as what data are confidential, how to request confidential data, and what should go into a data use agreement.
The second part of the session showed how groups could access and use small area data to help inform their work. After describing several local and national sources of small area data, we conducted a live demonstration of how to geocode and map client addresses over a thematic map showing neighborhood poverty rates or other indicators, using freely available data and mapping tools. Following the demonstration, participants were given the opportunity to try the process themselves, with NeighborhoodInfo DC staff available to help them. Participants were given a list of GIS and data resources, as well as an instruction sheet that walked through the entire geocoding and mapping process.