woman with data icons

Rich Data

Rich Data is Key to Positive Impacts

Big data has become a buzzword. At Polis Institute, we know that rich data is key to people-centered positive impact. Rich data layers information to generate reliable insights on social and economic realities. Rich data draws together big data, hyperlocal socio-economic data, research data linked to precise issues, and qualitative data generated by the voices of people closest to the issues. Rich data empowers stakeholders to close the gap between people’s lived experience and quantitative metrics.

Rich data allows stakeholders to answer four essential questions: 1. What is the context of the issue we’re solving? 2. What is the lived experience? 3. What are the right evidence-based solutions? 4. Is our initiative working?

We deploy rich data in all of our projects. Polis Institute’s rich data-informed work enables the identification, implementation, and impact measurement of solutions in the social good sector. From cities to foundations to social good service providers, our partners call on us to deliver the vital insights they need to produce positive impacts that move the needle on urgent issues.

Rich Data Practices

Asset Maps – A leader in the field of asset mapping, Polis Institute’s asset maps give in-depth insights into the available resources within neighborhoods, cities, and counties. Asset maps can be developed to address specific issues like educational access, housing, or food insecurity. Asset maps can also be designed to emphasize place-based information on services and programs for community members.

Impact Dashboards – With a user-friendly approach, Polis Institute designs impact dashboards that enable stakeholders to track impact across time. Our impact dashboards can be applied to a spectrum of uses. Polis’s Impact Dashboards can enable colleges to further equitable enrollment goals, show foundations how they’re meeting goals over time, or give communities the ability to monitor their progress on health and economic mobility goals.

Community Action Plans – Community planning is a collaborative process that involves members of a community working together to develop a shared vision for their future and to create a plan to achieve that vision. Polis helps municipalities and stakeholders to identify community-based priorities & goals and to develop actionable strategies for community revitalization. The result is Community Action Plans that can stand alone or complement Community Master Plans. Great community planning involves business owners, community organizations, local government officials, and other dedicated partners. The process may involve public meetings, surveys, and innovative engagement to gather input from the community. Polis Institute brings people from the community and across sectors together to speak about the best possible plan and to create accessible, actionable strategies.

Strategic Plans – In the social good sector, strategic plans are vital to turn vision into impact. With our rich data approach, Polis Institute works with organizations to create strategic plans based on critical layers of information, precision analysis, and collaborative feedback. We believe that strategic plans should be designed for everyday use and have clear milestones to track achievement over time.

Innovation Studies – Find out what innovations are best for your initiative with an Innovation Study. An innovations study will give you clear eyes on the best practices already in use, current practices that can be replicated or scaled, and new practices that will lead to innovative solutions specifically designed to meet the unique needs of your initiative’s context and constituencies. Innovation studies position stakeholders to scale what works and innovate into gaps for a brighter future of success.

Strategic Issue Studies – Discover what’s happening in key issues areas – from housing to childcare, racial equity, economic mobility, or healthcare. Strategic Issue Studies give stakeholders comprehensive insights into trends, faultlines, and growth opportunities in targeted areas of social change. Polis Institute’s Strategic Issue Studies offers primary data collection with interviews, focus groups, and surveys, analysis of evidence-based solutions, and contextual data sets specific to your area of implementation.


Other Services


People gathered at a community meeting. Woman standing to speak in the center of people at the meeting.



Training & Workshops