Community Indicators and Profile
“An indicator is a marker, a way to measure something. Indicators show progress and measure change.”
In June of 2007 the Council of Community Services brought together a group of leaders from the Roanoke Region to discuss identifying and tracking key human and social service indicators. A nationally known expert, Ben Warner, President and CEO of the Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (JCCI) was brought in to explain why indicators are important measures of success and how they can be used to inspire action by tracking and reporting data on key issues. A steering committee was formed from this group of leaders and almost a year later there was consensus on tracking 39 indicators that provided a realistic description of the household economy and provided insight into the trends of the Roanoke Region. Each indicator was sifted through a screen of fourteen criteria based on whether the data were credible, measurable, accessible, and affordable. In October of 2008 the Council of Community Services published the first Roanoke Regional Community Indicators Report. Since then a yearly update has been published. A monthly publication of economic indicators was started in 2009. The Council indicator library has grown to nearly 150 different indicators. This collection of indicators tells the story of the Roanoke Region and the trends point to the direction the Region is heading.
Although static reports have been useful the time has come for something different. In September of 2011 the Council of Community Services launched their “Profile of the Roanoke Region”, an interactive web based reporting tool that gives the user access and control over the indicators tracked in the Council Library. The interactive database is presented as shown below in a dashboard of maps, charts and tables. It provides information that allows the user to look at data and compare indicators over a period of time for a specific locality as well as comparing a specific locality to other region localities, the state or a “regional” aggregate data point. Click here to open an Interactive Map