You may recall the film “Moneyball” where Brad Pitt played Billy Beane, the General Manager for the Oakland A’s who used analytics to improve the A’s chances of being successful – AKA – winning the world series.
Analytics proved to be a game changer but it isn’t just for sports. There is a role for data analysis in community economic development. With limited resources (people and money) available, analytics can help the Edmonton Community Development Company make geographically targeted investments that improve the neighbourhood.
This is where I come in. My name is Karen Gingras and I joined the team at the Edmonton CDC to collect and analyze data about properties in McCauley to help the organization make investment decisions that could make lasting change in the community. It is the Edmonton Community Development Company’s intention to take a similar approach in other neighbourhoods, creating a data series that can be used to inform the community and the organization.
Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), open source data from various levels of government, and other data sources, I’ll be using analytics to examine numerous parcels of land in the McCauley community. The data will include tax arrears, the difference between the assessed value of the land and the building on that property, bylaw violations, health and safety code violations and several other data sets to get a sense of where the Edmonton CDC has an opportunity to turn a property that is a source of concern in the community into a welcome addition. Granted, I won’t just be looking at the numbers. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be walking through the neighbourhood with my spreadsheets, taking pictures, talking to people, and identifying some potential locations where the Edmonton CDC might shape development in the community.
In other words, (pardon the pun), looking for a home run for the Edmonton Community Development Company and the community of McCauley.