New tool helps communities use data to create better policy

November 1, 2017

USC Price Center for Social Innovation launches Neighborhood Data for Social Change platform

Contact: Megan Goulding at (213) 821-1761 or mgouldin@usc.edu or (213) 740-2215 or uscnews@usc.edu.

The Neighborhood Data for Social Change platform launched today by the USC Price Center for Social Innovation will provide residents with the numbers they need to advocate for a better quality-of-life within their communities.

The dynamic, user-friendly online tool was created by the USC Price Center for Social Innovation to empower residents to tell the stories of Los Angeles neighborhoods through maps, charts, data analysis and storytelling, helping stakeholders track, change, and improve local policies and programs. The platform is the result of a five-year community engagement process.

The platform illuminates trends, challenges and opportunities facing LA County neighborhoods across 10 different policy areas down to the neighborhood level, census tract by census tract.

“This platform is a new tool for supporting neighborhood-level change in Los Angeles,” said Gary Painter, Director of the USC Price Center for Social Innovation. “Residents will be able to better understand timely issues, trends and challenges in their communities and advocate for policies and programs to effect change.”

This free, publicly available online resource enables users to explore neighborhood trends through data visualizations such as charts and graphs. The platform provides information on housing and real estate, income and employment, health, public safety, environment, transportation, education, food insecurity, demography, and social connectedness. Data is compiled from the American Community Survey, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the California Department of Education, among other administrative datasets.

This tool was created to help fulfill the mission of the USC Price Center for Social Innovation, which is to develop ideas and illuminate strategies to improve the quality of life for people in low-income urban communities.

The platform will also generate an ongoing series of data stories that provide insight into a wide range of policy matters within LA County neighborhoods. Pairing precise data with rich narrative, photos, and interactive maps and visualizations, data stories reveal the trends, challenges and opportunities facing Los Angeles communities, giving readers an opportunity to learn more about the issues confronting our region. KCETLink, the official media partner for Neighborhood Data for Social Change, will publish data stories under City Rising, a TV and web-based program that examines the cause and effect of social issues affecting communities across California.

Neighborhood Data for Social Change is supported by Seattle-based data-as-a-service platform provider Socrata, a global provider of open data and government performance management solutions.