Community Profile Websites – Keeping People Informed, Supporting Actionable Decisions
When the time came for CGR to produce web-based Community Indicator Projects, the long-established research organization partnered with Bob Wright Creative to help develop and continuously enhance these powerful web-based tools.
Some Background on CGR
The Center for Governmental Research (CGR) is a municipal research organization founded by George Eastman in 1915 to serve as an independent, non-partisan agency for keeping citizens informed. CGR serves government, nonprofits and business leaders by providing data-driven research and analysis that affects the quality of life in communities both inside and outside New York State.
What is a Community Profile?
A Community Indicator Project, or Community Profile, assesses a range of community issues over time. Comparative performance data is generated on a number of topics, such as economics, education, and health. This data empowers leaders and residents to assess indicators in comparison to other communities, as well as the state and the nation.
Web-based community profiles (link takes you to CGR website) have become essential tools for starting strategic discussion about strengths, challenges and opportunities that affect an entire population. CGR has been in partnership with Bob Wright Creative since 2009 to help develop web-based Community Profiles, and to also help enhance the product at each iteration.
A Web-Based Community Profile for Cayuga and Seneca Counties
To produce the second-generation Cayuga and Seneca Counties Community Profile (click link to open site in new window), CGR specified a website to provide analysis, data and interactive charting capabilities for 70 indicators of community vitality. Comparative data for 4 similar counties, along with the state and the nation, cover topics such as demographics, economy and education.
The website, along with its lead sponsors the United Ways of Cayuga and Seneca Counties, provides leaders with a powerful means for assessing and understanding their communities.
A Solution that Benefits Users of Information and Providers of Information Alike
Bob Wright Creative was again brought in to support the creation of this resource. User interface design and website programming enhancements were provided to maintain alignment with the evolving nature of the data, as well as the evolving needs of the user.
The website’s user interface design delivers improvements to usability and searchability based on user feedback. As for the back-end, developing a Drupal-based content management system delivered a number of benefits to CGR and its sponsors. These benefits include:
- Enhanced content management capability, administrative control and site security
- Greater flexibility of data presentation through the design and development of dynamic charting capabilities
- Easier inclusion of social media functionality
- Modular code resulting in cost-effective same-site scalability, as well as cost-effective replication for future Community Profile websites
- More efficient and cost-effective enhancements of product features and functionality going forward
With essential information that is always up to date and easily accessed from one central location, service organizations can more easily decide which areas need the most attention. These decisions become actionable by developing approaches to solving issues in a data-driven, quantitative way.
A Platform for Growth
CGR and its sponsors provide community profiles to the benefit of the organizations and populations they serve. Bob Wright Creative’s ongoing role involves user experience enhancement and provision of technology platforms that deliver efficient scalability, ongoing improvement and cost-effective replication. We’re happy to be part of an ongoing website initiative that is helping many, and that is a viable platform for future growth.