SAVI Coronavirus Data Hub
The global pandemic dominated our attention in 2020 since its arrival in the U.S. Polis responded with technology to address the problems it presented, including the racial, social, and economic inequalities. This work, although spurred by the pandemic, was not new to us. COVID-19 inspired Polis to use its information, analytical capabilities, and technology to new ends. We already were engaged in projects that dealt with a number of similarly complex problems, ranging from the addiction crisis, domestic violence, poverty, aging, and disaster mitigation.
We took the information we had about communities and vulnerable populations and put it one place using innovative technology, creating the SAVI Coronavirus Data Hub so people can access the info they need to make critical decisions quickly. This information hub was the first of its kind early on when little understanding of the crisis was available. Its interactive capabilities make it unique by allowing users to explore detailed, community-specific data to understand the challenges, inequities, and impact of the pandemic.
The hub presents a lot of data in a variety of ways. It features maps, data, dashboards, reports, and articles to help guide decision-making of practitioners and policy makers during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Hub dashboards track confirmed cases, testing, and deaths for each county in Indiana and trends for U.S. counties. Hub content addresses social isolation in older adults, locations of emergency food/meals and community center service areas, inequalities, disparities for hard-hit or at-risk neighborhoods and populations, neighborhood risk factors in Bloomington and South Bend, COVID-19 impact on Indiana businesses, and needs by neighborhood (2-1-1 calls, unemployment claims, predicted eviction rates, and rental assistance applicants).
The hub tells a story about the impact of the pandemic on our community by putting data into context to help people understand the implications it has on service delivery, showing vulnerable areas where funds should be directed, and how to be forward looking in planning.
We published 23 tools, research articles and reports. With over 418,000 views in 2020, the hub continues to serve the information needs of thousands of civic leaders, nonprofits, funders, media, and researchers from many sectors across the state. A few examples of use, often in collaboration with The Polis Center include:
- Indianapolis City-County Council uses the hub to support its racial equity committee work, inform equitable allocation of funding across districts, and help departments build equitable service delivery into budgets.
- Indiana Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) reuses the Indiana dashboard on its own website to inform researchers and Indiana practices, programs, and policies.
- City of Bloomington used the neighborhood risk factors for resource planning.
- United Way of Central Indiana used the hub to understand inequities and visualize food resource gaps.
- Marion County Health Dept used it for surge planning.
- Media have used the hub in their stories. We partnered with WFYI: Indianapolis’ Public Radio, TV & News Station in its coverage of how lack of Internet access impacts e-learning opportunities for children.
- Other known users: Hammond Sanitary District, Indiana Dept of Homeland Security, Indiana Academy of Physician Assistants, Brownsburg High School, Beacon Health System, Connection Nation, Corteva, Eskenazi Health, and more.
The Indiana Geographic Information Council (IGIC) awarded the Special Achievement in GIS for the hub demonstrating the power of using teamwork, collaboration, and GIS to address pressing community challenges. Watch overview video here.
For more information, contact Sharon Kandris.