New Website Near Launch for King County's Communities Count Partnership

Communities Count   (Seattle)

August 2012

The Communities Count partnership launches its new website in September, completing a major phase in the transition to a dynamic electronic resource for the many organizations that rely on Communities Count in their work to improve the lives of King County residents.  As we enhance our interactive potential with new tools for data visualization, we have also strengthened our interpretive capacity, providing the governments, funders, agencies, and community-based organizations that use our data with an integrated framework that goes beyond “just the facts.”

Our recent qualitative reports (on the enduring impacts of recession on economically vulnerable families raising young children) have been received so enthusiastically that we now integrate qualitative work with on-line data reports whenever possible.  Also, when the real story lies beyond simple demographic breakdowns of indicators, we deepen the analysis, leading to insights that can more effectively guide decisions about our communities.  For example, reports about how well parents coped with child rearing showed no relationship to standard demographic or geographic breakdowns.  Further analysis showed, however, that parents in all demographic groups were significantly better able to cope when they could rely on someone for emotional support.  Another cross-cutting analysis revealed that food hardship within demographic groups was magnified, sometimes more than three-fold, in households with children.

We are now able to update our data more frequently, and we are beginning a re-assessment of our indicators. New partnerships are helping in this effort, adding valuable perspectives and expertise.  Even as interactive tools help us to “democratize data,” we are acutely aware of the continuing need to spend time with policy makers and community stakeholders, explaining the implications and potential applications of our work.