Problem

Before the development of the SAVI Community Information System for Central Indiana, United Way and other nonprofit organizations individually researched, gathered, and analyzed information from a variety of sources to help make informed decisions. The process was time-consuming and often relied on incomplete, out-of-date, or misleading data. The result too often was a set of mind-numbing charts and graphs that users found difficult to interpret.

Solution

The Polis Center at IUPUI developed SAVI, a dynamic and scalable mapping environment, to manage and display the data that so often overwhelmed the participants during strategic planning processes.  SAVI serves the 11-county Indianapolis Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) through a unique partnership between United Way of Central Indiana and IUPUI’s Polis Center.

One of the  Nation’s First Comprehensive Online Community Information Systems

Since 1994, SAVI has been building the capacity of Central Indiana organizations, researchers, and citizens to use data effectively for decision-making and strategic planning. It is a free resource in an innovative web-based mapping system that pulls and integrates data from the US Census, an array of Indiana state agencies, the City of Indianapolis, local law enforcement, juvenile justice agencies, county health departments, schools, clinics, human service agencies, and faith-based organizations. Most importantly, SAVI transforms those data into meaningful community- level metrics to make otherwise confidential data available to the public.

SAVI combines multiple data sets within a set of common geographies and visualizes them on a map. Users can see their city and its parts as a common space. Users can compare neighborhoods or ZIP codes (or any of eleven other geographies) and spot with ease the patterns of social problems and the availability of community assets to address their concerns. Not only does SAVI gather and analyze the data necessary for program planning, identification of target audiences, needs assessments, co- location of services, and evaluation, but the information is the most recent available and updated regularly.

A wide variety of tools and reporting templates allow users to customize the data to their needs and to develop reports that fit their requirements.  We support and train organizations to use data. Our education program equips organizations and citizens with the skills needed to use data effectively.

For more information, contact Sharon Kandris.