Ottawa Insights (OI) is a web-based community knowledge centre. It brings together and helps connect key information and intelligence on status, trends, and conditions across a broad range of issues affecting quality of life in Ottawa.
OI is a project of the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF), in collaboration with a broad community of organizations that work on the issues and/or that provide data. Early in its development, great input on the concept, organization and possible indicators was provided during a series of consultations with organizations involved in the different themes. As revealed in the “About the Data” drop-downs beside each indicator, we have benefited from many sources of data and analysis. We are particularly grateful for the access to data and the analytic capabilities we receive via our membership in the Ottawa Region Data Consortium, and for analysis and assistance from the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study. We also benefited greatly from input on approach and content from representatives of a range of organizations at early prototyping sessions, and from data and advice from City of Ottawa staff. Thanks also to the knowledgeable reviewers who took a final pass through the content and made valuable suggestions.
The eight OI theme pages each give a brief picture of the key issues relevant to the theme. Each issue then has its own page that provides a set of three to five graphics illustrating how Ottawa is doing in relation to the issue. Drop down menus provide more detail on the data behind the graphics. Below the graphics are links to organizations in Ottawa working on the issue. The information on the issues pages is intended to support and empower evidence-based decisions and actions.
The final core element of OI is an evolutionary piece titled What We’re Seeing. The first WWS focused on food systems and food security. Over time, for other key issues that OI indicators reveal as particularly critical and intractable, we will continue to bring together front line staff, not-for-profit leaders, beneficiaries of programs, business leaders, funders, other institutions, and civic leaders to share and learn within a structured conversation that explores the “ecosystem” of the issue. These conversations are intended to enable deeper layers of understanding to emerge, beyond the statistics and trends, in relation to current context, current actions, and where we might go next in addressing the issue at hand. We will leverage this collective intelligence to boost public understanding of the issues and the often complex contexts that influence outcomes, and will do what we can to support emergent opportunities.
As a user, you can engage with OI in a variety of ways depending on your interests. You can focus on a particular issue of interest, or browse widely to get a sense of where we are making progress and where are stuck or regressing. You can also use the tags beside each indicator to pull up related information, or use the Build-A-Theme function to pull together different sets of graphics from across the site in response to your own way of defining an issue.
We hope you find your way to new understanding and insights that support your contributions to an environmentally balanced, socially just, culturally vibrant, and economically resilient City.