Our mission –– to connect data and people to inform, empower, and inspire innovative decision making –– is a bold undertaking that can only be achieved through strong and durable partnerships that are based on cooperation, trust, and transparency.
DataSpark was founded to connect data and people, with the goal to inform, empower and inspire innovative decision-making. For nearly 30 years, we have been assisting policymakers in state and local governments, community leaders in nonprofits, and academic researchers across the country with their analytical needs. DataSpark, which began as part of a non-profit organization became a program unit of the University of Rhode Island (URI) Libraries in 2017. We aim to connect people to data – residents, community organizations, state agencies and researchers.
We also connect people through data. DataSpark maintains one of the largest data warehouses in RI, develops tools that help people understand and use the collection of information, and operates an integrated statewide longitudinal data system (SLDS). In addition to maintaining an SLDS, DataSpark conducts analysis, produces maps and other visualizations, and provides technical assistance for partners and clients.
DataSpark has a rich and broad portfolio of cross-sector, equity driven work. Whether through the development of datasets for researchers or through the creation of interactive visualizations, DataSpark continuously strives to democratize data while maintaining the highest standards of data privacy and protection.
With a team from varying disciplines, DataSpark leverages new technologies to make data more accessible and actionable to all stakeholders. We are particularly interested in working on projects that guide public policy and/or community action to promote the economic and social well-being of all Rhode Islanders. We also seek to support our URI community of students, researchers and other partners.
DataSpark connects data and people to inform, empower and inspire innovative decision making.
To be a leader in promoting the use of data for decision making and community action in Rhode Island and beyond.
We exist to foster the use of integrated data for research, evaluation and cross-sector problem solving.
We don’t consider our projects a success unless they are used by our clients to inform a decision or tell their story. We collaborate throughout the project from initial concept to final publication.
We are flexible in our approach because we know the high demands and fast-pace of working in a government setting.
We leverage emerging technologies to make data accessible and engaging to our audiences. In addition to traditional long-form reports, we create dashboards, data stories, and maps.
As a program unit of URI Libraries, we belong to a community joined in a common quest for knowledge. We work together for the common good, transforming data into knowledge and learning into action.
Impact is only as strong as the data that drives it. We believe that having accurate data is essential to our mission, credibility and the success of our clients and partnerships.
We continuously strive to democratize data while maintaining the highest standards of data privacy. The ethical, responsible, and secure use of data is core to all that we do.
We examine data to discover trends and findings that are useful to decision makers and the general public. Our services include processing large datasets, linking different sources of data together and transforming data into descriptive statistics and information products.
We make data easy to understand through the creation of visualizations. These products are designed to communicate information visually, to make complex datasets coherent at a glance and to reveal details and/or comparisons that provide insight into key issues. These products are designed to improve knowledge and promote evidence-based action.
Whether they are static or interactive, maps can tell a story that goes beyond the presentation of traditional graphs and charts. Mapping allows for the display and overlay of numerous variables and provides a geographic context that is essential to formulating strategy within a population or target area.
We collaborate with researchers, leveraging the RI SLDS and our analytic capacity, to develop knowledge about what works and to improve outcomes for individuals and communities. Researchers can conduct secondary analysis of existing data as well as collect new data that leverages our existing holdings.
We publish a variety of products (data stories, issue briefs, infographics, and reports) that shine a light on critical policy issues. Our process includes a rigorous examination of historical data as well as focused engagement of key stakeholders about what steps are needed to improve future decision-making.
We operate web-based tools that democratize data and increase access to information. Online applications improve data access for decision makers, stakeholders and the general public.
DataSpark is a program unit within the University of Rhode Island Libraries. DataSpark operates as a Service Center per the University of Rhode Island Office of the Controller policy 97-03.