Through the Indiana Data Partnership (IDP), The Polis Center expanded data and grew capacity to address important community issues, including the state’s opioid use epidemic, adding the power of the SAVI community information system to the state’s data resources. Polis worked collaboratively with the State of Indiana’s Management Performance Hub (MPH), the IU Public Policy Institute (PPI), and the IU Business Research Center (IBRC). The project aims to increase the availability and usefulness of data-sharing among state agencies and between the state and various local government and nonprofit organizations.

We completed Phase 1 of the two-year project for which we researched, analyzed, and developed visualizations of connections between service providers involved with the opioid epidemic. Using social network analysis and cluster mapping, we showed networks of connected organizations and the continuum of services, as well determined the strength of those connections. It is important to understand which organizations serve as relationship brokers and identify potential new partners for coalitions to combat the opioid epidemic.

The effort included conducting more than 170 interviews and gathered survey responses from participating organizations, parsed dozens of administrative datasets, and mined state-level organization data and IRS Form 990 data. We expanded the pilot program from Marion County to include Howard, Allen, Cass, Fayette, St. Joseph, Marshall, and Montgomery Counties. We engaged with organizations and leadership of opioid-related collaborations to create network maps visualizing the landscape of service providers and actors involved in providing treatment, education, funding, advocacy, and policy around this issue. We supported organizations in their use of the data for strategic planning, grant writing, program creation, communication strategies, and identification of resources to address the opioid crisis.

The IDP was formed with Indiana University (IU) as an enhancement to MPH’s mission by creating a replicable, sustainable framework that helps additional local and non-governmental organizations successfully partner to maximize holistic solutions and minimize duplication of efforts through sharing and viewing common data. (The MPH provides data analytics solutions tailored to address management and policy questions enabling improved outcomes for Hoosiers.) Funded through the Lilly Endowment, the project initially focused on education and workforce initiatives and combating the opioid epidemic. Additional partners and focus areas will be added as the initiative progresses.