Data is a powerful tool for community improvement and advocacy, but like any tool it should be used with care. Some people distrust all data due to the cynical or dishonest manipulation of data by those with an "ax to grind."
But good data has power - the power to define community conditions and document trends objectively (See DataHaven Data Stories for small and large examples of the power of data). While every presenter or reviewer of data-based analyses must be ever watchful, there is no question about the importance and transformative power of good data in our efforts to improve our communities.
How do I access Census Data?
The U.S. Census provides a rich array of demographic and economic data. Only a small number of these indicators have been included here as these are readily available at several national sites. Click here for a guide to accessing Census data.
DataHaven endeavors to present the best available original data with clear definitions for everyone to evaluate for themselves. We also provide information on the implications of the data (accessed by clicking on the Indicator Name) and many useful links to other web sites to get you started in your research.
We seek to build a growing constituency of empowered, informed data users who understand and can present accurate data persuasively in support of their work or cause. If you want to get involved in helping to expand the scope and content of DataHaven, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I learn more about using data?
There are several sites which provide excellent background information on terms and definitions related to the collection, analysis, and use of data.
- One of the better sites for help in using data is the New York State Kids' Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse (KWIC).
- Another very informative site is the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center
- The DataHaven Links page provides extensive links to data sources on the web
- The DataHaven Grants and Needs Assessment page provides guidance and extensive links to technical assistance sources on the web