With the April 19 meeting behind us, it's important to take stock of what we accomplished together. Before we get into it, we should point out that the gathering in Brampton was productive for three reasons. First, we got the chance to meet one another in person. For those who knew each other it was a welcome opportunity to catch up. For the new kids on the block (like me!) it was reassuring to put faces to so many names. Second, we got the chance to see what others were up to, and to show off what we had done. Third, it gave us (the CDP team) the opportunity to (1) explain and refine our plans for the program, and (2) address feedback that you (the Leads) gave us.
Read on for a quick recap of the meeting. By no means does this blog post include everything we talked about, but it should provide a basic overview.
Data acquisition for 2013-2014
Schedule B We signed off on Schedule B (the data order plan for 2013-2014).
Custom geographies In order to speed up the custom geography process, we've decided let Leads identify boundaries that are immediate priorities and those that are less time-sensitive. Leads will receive communications about this shortly.
Taxfiler update We will soon have 2010 Taxfiler data at the Census Tract level. We'll work on ordering other geographies thereafter.
Brown bag presentations
City of Toronto
Note that the Community Development Halton presentation has been abridged in order to fit in our website's /sites folder. If you wish to see the "Community Initiatives" section of the presentation, please contact us.
Consortium quick profiles We took note of some basic analytics and projects underway (where available) for each consortium during the 2012-2013 program year.
Making it easier to use community data
Ease of use Leads agree that making data easier to find and use is a priority of the program.
On-demand data services In order to help users take better advantage of the data, we will be formally offering on-demand data services. This will include things like finding datasets, extracting geographic subsets of data, and basic advice. We will unveil a protocol for providing these services (e.g. < 30 minutes of labour, organisations with no GIS capacity, etc.) in the May, 2013 Making it Count newsletter.
Website improvement plan We will implement a 12-month website improvement plan aimed at upgrading to Drupal 7 from Drupal 6, making it easier to find data, and reducing costs associated with maintaining the website. We will begin to introduce additional functionality (select-by-geography, custom data visualisation, "social" functions) over the subsequent 24 months.
Communication The CDP team found that usage of communitydata.ca increased dramatically when we send email newsletters. We will therefore communicate with users more frequently via email.
Reporting CCSD and the CDP team will continue to seek partners for research, including the "Strength in Numbers" report series.