DMARC Launches Data Visualization Dashboard for the Public
DMARC has launched a publicly-accessible data visualization dashboard for its Food Pantry Network. The data visualization dashboard is now live and can be accessed at data.dmarcunited.org.
DMARC has been utilizing an internal data visualization dashboard since 2017, but the dashboard has been housed on a limited number of DMARC computers due to privacy concerns. The new public-facing dashboard aims to provide similar data in a way that protects the privacy of people who use the Food Pantry Network.
“DMARC’s data visualization dashboard paints a stark picture that is hard to deny – that hunger and food insecurity know no bounds in our community,” said DMARC Chief Executive Officer Matt Unger. “It has been our goal to make this tool available to the public for some time now, and we are excited to finally launch it.”
The new data visualization dashboard provides general information on the number of people assisted by the DMARC Food Pantry Network going back to January 2014. It also provides more detailed demographic data for the past 12 months and can be examined through a number of different geographic layers, including ZIP codes, census tracts, House and Senate districts, and city boundaries.
“It is critical that we better understand the circumstances visitors to our Food Pantry Network are facing if we truly want to address the root causes driving people to food insecurity,” said Unger. “The data we are collecting aims to do just that – and it’s even more useful when a greater number of people can access and understand that data.”
DMARC has used its internal data visualization dashboard in educational and advocacy efforts with elected officials and other community and nonprofit leaders. The dashboard has also been instrumental in finding areas of high-need and low-access that could be served by a DMARC mobile food pantry. Both the internal and public data visualization dashboards were built and are maintained by DMARC volunteer and former board member Tom Fischer.
“Before the project, I didn’t really understand the extent of the problem of hunger,” said Fischer. “People from all over use the Food Pantry Network, including the wealthier suburbs and from neighborhoods where you would have never thought there was poverty.”
Special thanks goes to United Way of Central Iowa, who has helped provide funding for DMARC’s data visualization dashboard efforts.
Got something to say?