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WSB & Associates' New Approach to Data
WSB & Associates Reaches Beyond Census Data Using New Data Tool
Every ten years, the planning and regional development agencies in the Twin Cities metropolitan region are faced with an exciting challenge: Each of the region’s 180-plus municipalities must update their comprehensive plans.
For WSB & Associates, a firm specializing in engineering, planning, environmental and construction services, this oncoming planning season brings with it the opportunity to work with a variety of communities across the metropolitan area. But when one of WSB's clients needs help gathering data for a unique boundary not available in the census, the company must turn to equally non-traditional means of gathering that data.
Karina Heim, planner at WSB, works in the community planning and economic development sub-department of WSB.
“Data should lead every act that planners do,” Heim said. “It’s critical that we have good data and that we can present it in a way that is comprehensible to different audiences.”
Gather lists of relevant data for any community
Compare one location to another location
Compare past data to current data
See how a location has changed or is projected to change over time
Share insights through reports, charts, and interactive maps
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“I would be spending more time on the census website, and it would be complicated by the fact that the geographic area was sort of a non-traditional one, certainly not one that the census has summary statistics for,” Heim said. “I’d be pulling the data by census tract and then filtering out the different census tracts I needed, or something more laborious. I could be using GIS, but if I were to do the whole thing in GIS, it would be a lot more clipping and cutting the data down, and this was much quicker.”
>>To learn more about how WSB is using data in their work, read the full story here.
If you’d like to save your team up to 100 hours when working with data, try mySidewalk for free here.