What are Community Information Systems?
Community Information Systems are web-based solutions, often implemented and supported by a local partnership, that provide a range of end-user functionality from simple reports to more sophisticated analytical and data visualization tools. They are generally aimed at both internal staff within a partnership (managers, policy-makers, analysts and researchers) and external users (citizens, civic groups, non-profits and businesses). They provide direct access to an evidence-base to improve their decision-making and ultimately support improvement in quality of life in local areas.
Community Information Systems (CIS) bring together a wide range of social, economic and environmental data and information around objectives like:-
- Monitoring the health, social well-being and sustainability of communities through the management of Quality of Life indicators;
- Bringing together government performance indicators and community targeted indicators into a single solution;
- Widening the use of data by citizens and public officials to support decision-making, improve policy and target resources;
- Providing a wider local intelligence context to key performance indicators for government officials; and
- Communicating outcome measures to citizens, stimulating public debate and building confidence in progress towards societal goals.
“Community Information System” is not a universal term for solutions of this nature. Others include Neighborhood Information Systems, City Information and Monitoring Systems, Data Observatories, Local Information Systems, Area Profiling tools and Crime Mapping solutions. There is also overlap with the more mainstream technology areas of Business Intelligence (BI), Performance Management (PM) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Common to almost all these types of solutions is the capability to manage and report on local statistics and community indicators to a range of different audiences, making local intelligence more easily accessible and usable.
At Geowise we have provided some recent examples of our work with community indicators on our website. They use a number of different InstantAtlas Dynamic Report Templates. Click on the screenshot images to load the examples. They require the free Adobe Flash Player. If you have any problems viewing these examples please contact our Support Team for assistance.