Data Management Issues in Indicator Development
NNIP’s Baltimore partner is in its 14th year of community indicator development. The majority of this work has focused on the City of Baltimore and culminates in an annual publication, Vital Signs. Evolving technology is helping to improve the efficiency of data processing and is making it feasible to develop indicators for jurisdictions outside of the City. Meanwhile, data users continue to expect simple to use and easy to understand web-based output. BNIA now employs a postGIS-enabled PostgreSQL database with hosting and maintenance support from the University of Baltimore (UB). Data visualizations are provided on a UB-hosted Wordpress platform. The caveat to this seemingly simple data management system is the administrative data provided to BNIA by more than 50 sources annually. Though the providers remain constant, staff turnover and internal data processing at these sources yield constant variation in quality and content of data. As a result, BNIA faces challenges in its efforts to develop a database-driven longitudinal indicator tracking method.