Paul Steeves is the Senior Manager of Evaluation and Analytics at United Way Ottawa, a local charity helping Ottawa by bringing people and resources together to build a strong, healthy, safe community for all. Paul’s research helps United Way Ottawa to better understand the issues in our community, advocate for marginalized populations and assist local organizations to create real opportunities and measure the results.
Here's what Paul says about United Way Ottawa’s use of Ottawa Insights and the vital role of data in the social impact sector:
As the Senior Manager of Evaluation and Analytics here at United Way Ottawa, what I particularly like about Ottawa Insights – and we do use it quite extensively across our organization – is that it helps to bring donors, stakeholders, and the general public closer to social issues and to unpack sometimes very complicated themes in a really user friendly way.”
In working with our agency partners, it's important to understand the context in which we operate and the impact we have in a community. Whenever we achieve outcomes for specific target populations, we need to know for whom and in what context we're making that difference. Ottawa Insights provides that context.
Ottawa Insights is also helpful for my colleagues outside of granting who may be interested in a broader view of the strengths and challenges across the city, whether the issue is children and poverty, employment or unemployment rates or housing. Often I can just go to Ottawa Insights to quickly pull that data, download the infographics and then share it. So it is a very convenient tool to help talk about our work.
Storytelling is also a big component of our donor engagement work, and good data tells a story. What I often do is use the data from Ottawa Insights and build it into presentations that we use in workplaces and out in the community to help describe our priorities. It helps us to demonstrate how our investments align to particular challenges in the community.
Ottawa Insights has the most up to date and reliable data and it’s great that it is available online and through this one portal. I don't have to worry about where the data is from, or if it is outdated or if it applies to our local situation. It’s all good data.