Partnership between Two Organizations to Strengthen Hartford with Open Data and Education

Trinity College and the Connecticut Data Collaborative are partnering to enrich and expand their educational work with nonprofits in the Hartford region. The Connecticut Data Collaborative will move into offices within Trinity College’s 10 Constitution Plaza location in downtown Hartford to team up with the Liberal Arts Action Lab, a community-based research program that was recently launched by Capital Community College and Trinity College. Together, these not-for-profit organizations will help build a data ecosystem, enhance access to open public data, collaborate on building the data capacity of organizations in the Hartford region, and pursue new sources of funding to benefit the Hartford region.

While the official move-in date is July 1, 2018, the Connecticut Data Collaborative and the Action Lab have already begun working together on projects of mutual interest, including health and housing data visualization and analysis in Hartford neighborhoods.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Liberal Arts Action Lab and look forward to building a robust data culture in the Hartford region,” said Michelle Riordan-Nold, executive director of the Connecticut Data Collaborative. “Leveraging our existing expertise, together we can democratize access to data, expand the data capacity of nonprofits, and build a robust data network where data becomes the foundation for innovative service delivery.”

The Connecticut Data Collaborative focuses on providing accessible public data, liberating and visualizing data for public consumption, convening data forums and conferences, and increasing data literacy through its CTData Academy. Activities of the CTData Academy include monthly open data calls, monthly Data Basics workshops, Data Storytelling workshops, and quarterly Hartford data meetups.

“I’m excited for Trinity and Capital students and faculty to work with the Connecticut Data Collaborative on research projects to help address some of the real-world challenges that exist in our city, region, and society broadly,” said Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney.

Trinity College and Capital Community College opened the Liberal Arts Action Lab at 10 Constitution Plaza in January 2018. The Action Lab investigates problems posed by Hartford community partners, with teams of undergraduate students and faculty fellows who conduct semester-long research projects to strengthen the city. This spring, Action Lab Director Megan Brown led five teams on projects that included housing eviction, parent engagement, and North Hartford Promise Zone digital mapping. Each of the Spring 2018 project teams created websites detailing project goals, research methods, findings, and proposed action plans.  According to Trinity College Professor of Educational Studies Jack Dougherty, the Action Lab faculty director at Trinity, “This partnership with the Connecticut Data Collaborative builds on our complementary strengths in data analysis, storytelling, and educational outreach, and advances our mutual goal of expanding our work with organizations across Hartford.”

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