2. PREV-STAT™: Overview
How many times have you heard or read a national or local statistic and been surprised and shaken your head because the statistic did not reflect your reality? This happens when data about very diverse realities are blended into a single summary statistic. For example, describing Marion County as the wealthiest county in Indiana overlooks the pockets of deep poverty that exist there. Geographic Information Systems help us understand data in much more minute detail, separating layers of information and suggesting relationships between those layers, such as synergies and cause-and-effect.
Recently, the Indiana Prevention Resource Center launched a new, free service called PREV-STAT™ for people working in prevention in Indiana. Using GIS software and data from a variety of sources, IPRC staff create county profiles and customized project reports, including maps and tables. Users of this service include such prevention professionals and practitioners as state level officials, agency heads, teachers, community coalition members and program leaders.
PREV-STAT™ enables the user to understand the characteristics of a place, to locate a group of people with particular attributes, or to study a subset of the population of a given locale. Analysis can be done at any level from the state to the county, block group, zip code, neighborhood, or based on any arbitrary selected boundaries. Alternately, a radius can be drawn around a site (e.g., a school, place of worship or prevention program) to be studied. The greatest power of PREV-STAT™ is its ability to zoom in on the very small geographic area!