The idea for this present series and its format evolved in response to customers of the PREV-STAT™ Service, some of whom recalled the earlier County Profiles statistics produced by the IPRC. Many customers were requesting county-level data. The requests were increasing and the labor involved in each response was considerable. It occurred to me that some of that labor could be “given legs,” as they say, by creating wide and immediate access to a large pool of county level data, adding maps and tables and taking advantage of the new GIS software and data sources. Microsoft Power Point slides seemed an excellent medium, because it facilitates development of the publication and because it allows the reader/user access to the maps and tables for use in public presentations, for incorporation into grant applications, for further development of the Excel tables, and for other manipulations useful for their prevention needs.
In addition to providing data, this publication serves a training function, introducing people to the IPRC and its PREV-STAT™ service and aiding understanding of how data can be applied to prevention. The County Profiles are at once an application and a training tool. They increases both the return for investment of the IPRC PREV-STAT™ staff, databases and hardware, and also the effectiveness and efficiency of prevention efforts across Indiana. In addition to expanding the number of people who know about the IPRC, its PREV-STAT™ service, and how it can assist them in their work, having these Profiles then frees the IPRC staff to respond to requests at the smaller geographic level for neighborhood and site-specific reports. These Profiles will be made available via the internet, on CD Rom, and in a very limited number of print copies.