Why did the Ottawa Community Foundation develop Ottawa Insights?
Building from data to information to knowledge and bringing it all together will facilitate evidence-based decision making for OCF’s own grant-making and for its donors, as well as for other granting organizations. More broadly, our goal is to support shared understanding and strategic collaboration by donors, funders, policy makers, delivery agencies, and citizens working towards a vibrant, caring, and equitable city.
Is Ottawa Insights an open data site?
OI is not a source of open data or even a data portal. The site is issue-comprehensive but data/information selective. Information on each issue is presented graphically in ways that are easy to understand and interpret. We also apply cross-cutting analyses as relevant – e.g., by neighbourhood and/or by demographic characteristics (e.g., socio-economics, age, gender and ethnicity).
How is Ottawa Insights working with Ottawa Neighbourhood Study and others?
Ottawa Insights and the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study share goals of evidence based decision making in our city. There is great complementarity between our two sites. Ottawa Insights focuses primarily on City-wide indicators and intelligence, and the ONS provides a rich resource at the neighbourhood level.
To build alignment and cross-functionality between the sites, OI and ONS now use the same eight themes as an organizational backbone. We have also built links between the two sites. On Ottawa Insights, for specific indicators where data exists at the neighbourhood level, a “Data Connection” button links to a related map on the ONS website. We are also exploring the potential for OI “Data Connection” buttons to relevant indicators presented by other data providers. These steps are part of a broader initiative that the Ottawa Community Foundation, ONS, the Social Planning Council and others are engaged in, to strengthen the data ecosystem for shared knowledge and analysis in our city.
How were the themes and issues used in Ottawa Insights selected and defined?
The themes and issues used by OI draw on categorizations used in influential national quality of life assessment initiatives, including Vital Signs and the Canadian Index of Well Being. The themes also align well with the way the OCF and other foundations report to Canada Revenue Agency on their funding activities. This will facilitate an intended future feature of Ottawa Insights – reporting on funding. Issue definition also reflects input provided during a series of five community workshops in June 2015.
How does Ottawa Insights relate to Vital Signs?
The Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF) produced five Vital Signs reports, beginning in 2006. OI will leverage the OCF’s past experience with Vital Signs to deliver an enriched and adaptable vehicle for knowledge, engagement and collaboration. The themes and issues that OI uses to structure information align very well with those used for Vital Signs, and OCF and the Community Foundation of Canada are committed to mutual support between the two initiatives.