Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

OECD Regional Statistics

I've been poking around on a fun site from the good folks at OECD, and liking what I'm finding. The site is called OECD Regional Statistics, and it's off to a pretty good start.

The site opens with maps of the world, focused down to a country/state level. The focus is not on nations, however, but on smaller geographies -- I could scale down to my metro region fairly rapidly. (see tabs for "Large Regions" and "Small Regions.") And I could then compare my metro with other similarly-sized geographies on a global basis.

There's some interesting information there, mostly demographic and labor market information. What's really interesting is that it's organized by "stories," which they describe as "Stories load some indicators into the graphs to the left and explain what you see." They also provide opportunities to load in other stories and/or indicators, either from their data sets or you can load your own.

I was stumbling around looking for some information about the data when I finally figured out to mouseover the "i" icons for information. This gave me the description of the indicator and the year measured. More information is presumably available at OECD Stat.Extracts, but I found it a little intimidating to try to match the data I was looking at to the data in their collection. It ought to be easier to discover the source of the data!

All in all, though, it's an exciting beginning to use GapMinder-style displays to examine intersections of data in 2 or 3 dimensions across sub-national regions. I highly recommend trying out the site and seeing the insights it might give you about your community and its relative place among similar communities in the world.

I'd enjoy hearing from you about your experiences with this site.

(Also check out this nice article from information aesthetics about the site.)

1 comment:

  1. It is great to see that this service is appreciated! Keep on exploring, and I hope to hear more about experiences.
    Lars Thygesen, OECD