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Developing infrastructure and conducting analysis that makes information transparent and action-oriented. 

Given how often governments and nonprofits emphasize being “data-driven” or “data-informed,” it’s surprising just how hard it is to define what we mean by data — and how it can best support community efforts. CIAC defines data as component parts of information that can be reorganized and processed to produce analysis, facilitate action, and guide decision-making. When data is combined with a focus on community goals, context, and outcomes, it can be a powerful tool for collaboration and shared progress.

We live in a data-rich world, but these data are often stuck in different (and incompatible) data systems across institutions and communities. CIAC’s efforts often start by focusing on the data infrastructure needed to understand and combine relevant data across organizations to accomplish shared goals — in efforts like the St. Louis Community Information Exchange (which combines health and social service referral data), the development of common data practices for community health workers, or linking City data together to tackle vacancy.

These infrastructure efforts provide a foundation for deeper data analysis, either through data visualizations and dashboards that provide ongoing updates on community activities or through evaluation and research efforts that answer more specific community-defined questions. CIAC projects may start with a focus on quantitative data (the numbers), particularly at an administrative level, but seek to include available qualitative or experiential data (personal and community context) to promote a deeper and more accurate understanding of an issue.

CIAC can support your Data needs through:
  • Developing Strategies for How Data Can Best Be Used for Community Impact
  • Expanding Data Infrastructure to Support Data Sharing and Collaboration
  • Building Data Analysis and Visualization Tools for Community Use
Past and current data projects at CIAC include:
  • St. Louis Community Information Exchange Data Infrastructure and Analysis (2020+)
  • Children’s Funding Project National Youth Funding Maps (2021 to Present)
  • Missouri Institute for Mental Health State Opioid Response Dashboard (2023 to Present)
  • St. Louis Regional Health Commission Data Infrastructure and Strategy (2023-Present)
  • St. Louis Regional Response Team Data Support (2020 to Present)
  • Rise Community Development Data Support (2021 to Present)
  • Community Health Worker Data Standards and Practices (2023 to Present)
  • St. Louis County Covid-19 Hospital Data Integration (2020-2021)
  • St. Louis Regional Data Exchange Development (2019 to Present)

Interested in working with CIAC on Data projects? Contact our leadership team at ciac@umsl.edu for more information. 

Interested in working with CIAC on Data projects?
Contact our leadership team at ciac@umsl.edu for more information.