The Making Action Possible for Southern Arizona (MAP) Dashboard won the 2021 Research Award for Data Collection, Dissemination, and Visualization, awarded by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER).
Founded in 2014, the University of Arizona Eller College, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA), the Pima Association of Governments, Sun Corridor and the Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC) partnered to create the MAP Dashboard Project, to measurably improve Southern Arizona through data-driven collective civic action and education.
The MAP Dashboard, maintained by the University of Arizona’s Eller Economic and Business Research Center, provides data and research on the economy, health, education, infrastructure and more with comparisons to other cities comparable to Tucson.
C2ER, a nationally recognized leader in economic research, is committed to developing and engaging a network of professionals and elevating data-driven decision making to advocate at the state and federal level. The program recognizes the contribution of research activities to the success of local, regional, or state community, economic, and workforce development initiatives.
They recognized the MAP Dashboard for “making our region’s economic, demographic and cultural data available, approachable and accessible to the public.”
While the MAP Dashboard has provided accessible data and research for years with notable research on residential water use, high school graduation rates, and labor force participation rates that continue to inform decision-making for Tucson and Pima County, during the pandemic the MAP Dashboard became a important source on the impact of pandemic to the community.
“The MAP team pivoted quickly when the pandemic hit to help the southern Arizona community understand the impact of COVID on the economy. We did this by writing articles on emerging trends and hosting webinars to discuss the impacts,” said Jennifer Pullen, MAP Dashboard Coordinator and Research Economist. She especially thanked their sponsors for the continued support. On March 29, they published a study on distance learning and how the pandemic impacted students, which showed the gaps in access to learning as the majority of distance learning was conducted online, as opposed to learning through paper materials, and the lower income households had lower percents of computer access.
At the start of the month, the dashboard also published a study on post-pandemic work and travel, finding the differences in the percentage of households teleworking by their level of education, race and ethnicity, and differences between households with children or no children.
Recently the MAP Dashboard presented the research on Tucson’s Housing Market, which showed the incredible growth of the market, but also the gaps in housing affordability. The research was previously presented to the City of Tucson’s Commission on Equitable Housing and Development at their March 2 meeting as they worked to build on their mission and goals.
“Our mission is to measurably improve southern Arizona through data-driven collective civic action and education,” said Pullen. “We hope to accomplish this by providing our community with the resources and tools they need to make informed decisions on areas relevant to our region.”
The MAP Dashboard plans on continuing their pandemic-related research with upcoming articles on housing and food scarcity.
Visit the MAP Dashboard at mapazdashboard.arizona.edu/