Fox and Elswick: Regional Data Can Spur Progress

The Richmond Region is an incredible place to call home. The list of accolades for our community is growing every day. The world is noticing us and we should be proud. But to continue our progress, we must continue to strive to take that next step.

The challenges we face are not new, nor are they surprising. Combating poverty, attracting new businesses, solving our education disparities, building and filling the talent pipeline, and creating safe neighborhoods are among the many areas where we focus time and money to improve our community. Though we certainly see progress being made, how can we truly measure our success?

Many regions throughout the country have begun measuring and tracking past and current trends to assist community leaders in future decision-making. These indicators assess what the community cares about and track whether it is moving in the right direction. They provide reliable information that enables funders and policy makers to make data-driven investments in the community. But mostly, these indicators help us answer key questions. Are we there yet? Is our effort working?