DataSpark’s Launch: Success!

October 14, 2015 10:00 am

After months of preparation, DataSpark—an initiative of The Providence Plan—was launched today! DataSpark encompasses the staff and resources formerly referred to as the Information Group. If you worked with ProvPlan in the past, particularly on data-related projects, you were likely working with InfoGroup.

Why have we changed our name? While ProvPlan’s other initiatives—Building Futures, Ready2Learn Providence, and YouthBuild Providence—had coherent identities and scopes of work, InfoGroup never developed a coherent communications strategy. We like to think we were too busy crunching numbers for Rhode Islanders!

With help from the fantastic Newport-based Worldways Social Marketing, we have slowly and deliberately considered our values and our mission. Our main assets—the data sharing relationships we have with Rhode Island government agencies and community organizations, the RI DataHUB where these datasets are linked and securely stored, and the analyst brainpower to make sense of these linkages—have not changed.

Our goals for the future have expanded, though! We want to continue to build partnerships around the state and the New England region. We want to make information maintained in the RI DataHUB more accessible to researchers. We want to expand our “Good Deeds” initiative so we can respond more rapidly to community members who need help visualizing data that’s important to them.

Stay tuned for more from DataSpark in the weeks to come. This fall we have a lot of exciting reports and findings to share, including data stories on Adult Education (created in partnership with RIDE), High-Intensity Volunteering (created with ServeRI), and Youth Voting (created with data from the RI Secretary of State).