Thoughtwell embarks on its first neighborhood benchmarking report. What did we learn?
Our company is well-versed in benchmarking across a variety of indicators at the metropolitan area level, having produced the “Benchmarking Central Ohio” report for Columbus area stakeholders since 2005. And while we frequently work with neighborhood data, often at the Zip code and Census Tract level, it is often on a project-by-project basis focusing on a handful of areas. That changes this month with the release of our first “Benchmarking Columbus Neighborhoods” report, which looks at demographic variation in different parts of the City of Columbus in a relevant, accessible format.
What did we learn:
- There is a demand for local data.
- Opportunities exist to bring data typically analyzed at a County or Metro level to a local geography and still be impactful.
- Zip codes/ZCTAs are an imperfect unit of analysis, but come with undeniable strengths.
o Enriched secondary analysis with data from HandsOn Central Ohio.
o Best option for making data relatable to a wide audience- people know their zip code, not their Census tract.