Community Commons transitioned to version 3.0 in January 2019 and things just don’t look the same. Heck, the Commons won’t even look this way in August or December or April 2020. That’s because we’re on a journey, and right now is only an introduction to what the new Commons will be.
So, we’re glad you’re here and excited to show you what you can do — but remember — this is a dynamic place that will help you use data, tools, and stories to improve communities, but we need a little time and patience to make it just right.
What can you do now?
See our New Releases
On April 5, 2019 we released our first iteration of the Area Deprivation Index (ADI). The ADI can show you where areas of deprivation exist in your location. The ADI is calculated by combining 17 indicators of income, education, employment, and housing quality.
Other resources you might find useful:
- Here’s What You Can Do on Community Commons Now
- The Community Commons Map Room is where – with just a few clicks – you’re on your way to looking at visual data of your community.
- Our Member Gallery is a great place to see what other communities are doing with the data, stories, and collections available on the Commons.
Health Indicator reports are a fantastic way for communities to identify assets and potential disparities in their county or region related to community health and well-being.
Community Commons has four basic types of indicator reports:
- The Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) report tool was originally built to assist hospitals and organizations satisfy the IRS requirement outlined in the Affordable Care Act but can be used by anyone wanting to learn more about community health.
- Topic reports narrow down the data from a CHNA report into six specific areas of interest: economy, education, environment, equity, food, and health.
- Our Vulnerable Population Footprint tool allows you to locate areas of concern for vulnerable populations and health disparities in your community based on spatial visualization of two key indicators, poverty rate and educational attainment.
- Hub reports are specialized topic reports that have been created for a specific organization and are available publicly, such as the Women’s Foundation report, the Community Action Partnership’s Comprehensive Community Needs Assessment, and the Environments Supporting Healthy Eating (ESHE) Index.
Let’s explore the basic CHNA report tool to give you an overview of the possibilities. To begin, simply click on the Maps & Data tab at the top of the Commons navigation bar and choose Build A Report.
From there choose the state and county—or multiple counties—you want to see. If you are unsure what to do, check out the How to Get Started section on that page. You can also take a look at the many data layers that make up the CHNA report by looking at the indicator data list.
Saving and Downloading
Once you have opened a report, take a look at the data available by clicking on the various data categories. If you are happy with this report, simply click Save & Download to begin the process. We suggest giving it a descriptive name so you can easily find it later.
When it comes to downloading the report you have a few options, such as saving as a PDF or in Microsoft Word. Saving in Word allows you to cut and paste parts of the report into your own documents and presentations.
There is a lot of data in the reports and it can take a long time to download. If you only need one indicator or maybe just a specific category, choose one of those options and the document will be much smaller. We also give you the information you need to cite the Commons as your source.
Ready to customize your report? There are several ways to do it. Let’s start with creating custom areas. To do this, choose Custom instead of a state and county. A location window will open and you simply enter the area you want to see. From there you can refine further by using the drop down menus on the right side of the mapping area.
In this example I am going to choose Columbia, Missouri as my custom location and then choose Select School District (secondary) as my defined area. Now that very specific area will be defined on any map or report using this custom area as the geography.
Reports can be further customized by limiting the indicators. Simply choose the Customize Report button at the top or bottom of the reports page and a window will open allowing you to check or uncheck indicators and other data options. When you are done simply save and download using the same process as shown above.
Vulnerable Populations Footprint
Looking at your reports from a Vulnerable Populations Footprint (VPF) lens is another way to customize the data you are looking at. This excellent four-minute video explains what the VPF is and how to create maps and reports using the VPF for your area. The process is very similar for the Priority Intervention Area Tool if you are looking at specific areas but not necessarily vulnerable populations.
Don’t forget to check out the specialized topic reports that have been created for a specific organizations. They are a great way to see how others are prioritizing data and see your community through their lens. We highly recommend you look at the Women’s Foundation report, the Community Action Partnership’s Comprehensive Community Needs Assessment, and the Environments Supporting Healthy Eating (ESHE) Index.
There you have it: so many great ways you can explore data using reports . Remember that you can always visit our Support page for more tutorials and helpful guides or if you really get stuck, just contact us.