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What’s new in State of the Detroit Child?

This piece was originally published on Data Driven Detroit’s website. Read the original post.

The Skillman Foundation is proud to support Data Driven Detroit (D3), creators State of the Detroit Child (SDC), which provides information necessary to advance the Opportunity Agenda and support the Foundation and systems reform actors.

Below is an explanation of some new features of SDC from the D3 team to help you and our partners learn gather important information to guide work on behalf of Detroit kids.

New homepage and data profile

A collage of the faces of the five team members that comprise the worker ownership team

At Data Driven Detroit, we are dedicated to providing effective and accessible ways to help Detroit data users better navigate local data and understand their communities. In 2016, with the support of the Skillman Foundation, we launched one of our most used data tools, State of Detroit Child (SDC). Users can easily find data points by topic and geography, which include not only Detroit but also the entire state of Michigan. Today, we are excited to announce two new features that will make the tool easier to use and more relevant to Detroit’s most important topics!

  1. The new lifecycle homepage allows data users to better navigate key data points of a Detroit child’s life through a chronological timeline. 
  2. Updated profile pages now include key contextual information to help data users better understand the data. 

You can jump right into the tool, learn how to use it, or keep reading to find out details about the updates!

In Oct. 2021, we conducted three user testing sessions with Detroit nonprofit organizations to evaluate their user experience and test new layout designs. We presented three new layouts for SDC, and asked participants to vote if they preferred the new design or the old one, and explain their choices. The final updated version includes two changes: 1) SDC’s homepage replaced the critical questions with the new lifecycle landing page. 2) SDC’s data profile page included key contextual information, such as the total population of the observed group.

New lifecycle homepage

On the new homepage, the users will find a timeline that connects data points related to the well-being of Detroit’s kids at various development stages, from newborn to adolescence. The data points include frequently asked topics, such as childcare accessibility, education performances, and young adult employment. 

Compared with the previous homepage, the lifecycle homepage adopts a more intuitive and organized design. Frequently requested data points are arranged in a chronological thread, which allows users to easily find the data that they are looking for. When the users click on the icon, the webpage will lead them to the correspondent data fact in the City of Detroit’s profile page, providing quick answers to their questions.

New profile page with key contextual information

The new profile page includes key contextual information right after each orange section header. When users dive into details, they can now easily compare specific data points with related data points that provide a larger context of the subject matter. Newly-added information includes the total population of the observed group (total children, total children in poverty, etc.), the central tendency of the observed group (median monthly housing cost), and so on. Based on our testing user feedback, people also find the new profile design encourages users to explore and learn more.

We hope these new features will help you further your important work in Detroit and in Michigan. We would love for you to share with us how you’re using this new data in your work!

To explore the new State of the Detroit Child, click here.

Since these features are brand new, we would love your feedback on what works and what doesn’t.  Please submit questions and issues to AskD3.

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