Last week I way too much time trying to find 2010 census tract level data for population, income, and age for 15 municipalities in NJ. It was a complete disaster. The data I needed was contained within a data set that was not coded for use in Microsoft Excel (the only statistical analysis software I have access to at work). So, I know how difficult it can be to access data and analyze it for practical application.
“The lack of interoperability between [data] systems leads to wasted time and frustration. Even those who are motivated to use data end up spending more time and effort on gathering, combining, and analyzing data, and less time on applying it to ongoing learning, performance improvement, and smarter decision-making.”
But, all hope is not lost. The 2013 Data Interoperability Grantmaking Challenge is charged with looking for groundbreaking ideas to help improve data in the social sector. As a recent GMN Blog post summarizes, “data and information are critical tools for making change in our world, but they are tools that are currently difficult to access and use.” If those in the social sector cannot use data in relevant ways to do their work, what is the value of the data existing?
Applications will be accepted online from March 4 through May 7, 2013, 11:30 AM PST. Each challenge winner will receive a grant of $100,000.
More information can be found at: http://www.marketsforgood.org/challenge/