Josué Vega, Marketing & Communications Intern
Necessity is the mother of invention.
Chattanooga realtors, developers, and policymakers had a need. They wanted a one-stop location to find data on downtown Chattanooga–statistics like demographics, housing, and transportation.
River City Company responded to that need. This past June, they released the Downtown Chattanooga Data Dashboard, a concise, user-friendly trove of Chattanoogan information.
The dashboard has been a few years in the making, but that has given River City Company (RCC) the ability to make this new media accessible to anyone. Even school children would be able to retrieve basic data from this resource, while the stakeholders who began it all will certainly be able to milk it for all it can provide.
At the moment, the dashboard is divided into six categories: demograhics, economy, housing, livability, River City Company and Downtown Partnerships, and transportation. Each category is then subdivided into data points of interest. For example, transportation’s subheadings include commute time, commute mode choice, and a walkability index.
One of the ways businesses can use this dashboard is for talent attraction. “You can learn what makes Chattanooga attractive like housing, livability, and the cost of living, which is still less than lots of other places across the United States. You can get real time data on all those. You can talk about all these great assets we have as a community and bring in talent,” Dawn Hjelseth, Vice President of Marketing and Communication, River City Company, says.
An incredible strength of this dashboard is that it is constantly updating itself. RCC selected MySidewalk as the platform provider for their dashboard. MySidewalk has the benefit of reaping updated information from places like the census and local data providers and automatically updating the dashboard.
Even more exciting is the fact that whatever data is not on the dashboard can be obtained. “On the back end, we can pull a lot of very specific information. A person would just contact us and say ‘this is the type of data I'm looking for.’” Hjelseth says. It’s also not limited to the current Tennessee-Georgia region. “We can do customizable peer city reports as well,” Hjelseth says. “If there's a city, say, Birmingham that you want to look at, we can help pull information about how we compare to similarly sized cities.”
Additionally, the company is open to adding on to the dashboard. “It’s a living dashboard. So if we're hearing from stakeholders that there's a certain data point that they're looking at and are interested in, then we can add that data point directly to the main dashboard versus pulling a specialized report for each person,” Hjelseth says.
This tool can be a game changer for businesses city wide. Gone are the days of data scavenger hunts when trying to attract talent, write grants, or even just learn about downtown Chattanooga. Now all this information is at everyone’s finger tips, just a couple of clicks away.
River City Company
850 Market Street, Suite 200
Chattanooga, TN 37402