The Roanoke Council of Community Services was set up in 1960 to aid the planning of community services in Roanoke Valley. Its vision is to establish a community where organizations are able to work collaboratively to increase social wealth, provide greater access to resources, reduce redundancy and focus on human potential as the drivers for economic development and individual well-being. The Council has three areas of activity. First it acts as the central hub for identifying community needs and developing solutions to address these needs. Second it serves as a central clearinghouse, or gateway, connecting individuals in the community to programmes that are best suited to address their needs and third the Council serves as a launching pad for developing new programmes to meet community needs.
We spoke to Dan Meranda, Vice President of Planning & Consultation at the Council about data visualization and how it is being used to provide community organizations with timely insight about the local community. Dan explains that the Council put a lot of effort into establishing which indicators could be used to develop a picture of trends over time.