After struggling to prove value-add to NYC’s already extensive efforts to accurately represent its constituents in data (NYC opendata) and its use of that data to preserve & develop low income housing (NYC HPD), we’ve shifted a layer above data-collection into data-analysis and generalized our problem from low income housing to any problem that the data reveals as pressing.
Poor communities remain in such dire conditions because they’re afflicted not by one or two clearly definable problems, but a tangled web of delicate issues that compound in ways that makes themselves visible (sometimes) only in big data.
Our solution: an online platform that provides a comprehensive framework and toolset for community leaders to collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data so that they may figure out their community’s most pressing needs in order for it to be presented to decision makers in a convincing and professional way.
We’ve taken much inspiration from the Citizen’s Committee for Children’s approach to uncovering the underlying issues that plagues Brownsville. Their document “From Strengths to Solutions: An Asset-Based Approach to Meeting Community Needs in Brownsville” has guided us in creating a constructive approach to identifying problems with a neighborhood.
We spent the day brainstorming how the problem-uncovering process would work, step-by-step, and then created accompanying (very) rough prototypes:
I/we our platform being a combination of two things: an IDEO how-to manual on design research and TurboTax (!).
The platform will have informative guidance on how to approach need/problem finding, and then the platform will have guided input forms that will visualize the data inputed in real time in a way that simplifies a very complex and convoluted process.