Why Walla Walla Trends?
Our Goal: To democratize data
The Walla Walla Trends project seeks to improve local, public decision making by providing relevant data in an easily navigable website. The data provided on this website is offered as neutral information. We leave it up to the citizens to apply the information according to their individual value judgment.
More specifically, the goals are:
- To collect and share a broad spectrum of information to support informed decision making by individual community members, governmental policy makers, non-governmental organizations, businesses, researchers and the press.
- To benchmark Walla Walla Trends against Washington State trends or other comparable communities.
- To enable analysis of these trends.
In determining which data sets would be used, the following guidelines were followed:
- Important to large numbers of the community
- Valid measurements defined by good science and social science
- Understandable to a lay audience
- Can be benchmarked to Washington State trends or similar sized communities
- Available repeatedly over time to allow trend analysis
- Sourced from credible sites
Walla Walla Trends is Not
- A community indicators site with the objective of ranking the most pressing needs within the Walla Walla Valley. While some community indicator sites make such ranking, Walla Walla Trends does not. The objective of Walla Walla Trends is to collect and publish relevant data on the Walla Walla Valley. We leave it up to the citizens to access and apply the information according to their individual value judgment.
- A community dashboard that gives a ranking to each data series as to its importance and whether the trend is positive or negative.
- A pre-determined set of data to promote certain views about the Walla Walla Valley.
A Process, not a Product
The trends have been developed using state and federal databases. The site continues to evolve, as we add additional trends every year and occasionally delete some. To provide the most relevant data, we need the reactions of site users. Please take advantage of our feedback box to give us your thoughts and help to improve our offering.
Above all, we view Walla Walla Trends as a tool for all residents of Walla Walla County that will only improve over time.
The Port of Walla Walla and Eastern Washington University's Institute of Public Policy and Economic Analysis partnered on this project. Funding was provided by the Port of Walla Walla and the Washington State Department of Commerce (formerly the Department of Community Trade & Economic Development).
The Port is the lead economic development agency in Walla Walla County. The Port's focus is on attracting new investment and jobs for the Walla Walla Valley. While the Port maintains an economic database on the Walla Walla Valley, the Port wanted to enhance the type of information collected and made available to Walla Walla County citizens. As a result, the Port has been a leading advocate and the principal funding source to develop the Walla Walla Trends site. The Port has received funding for this project from the Washington State Department of Commerce.
The Washington State Department of Commerce (DOC) is a cabinet level state agency. Its mission is to invest in Washington's communities, businesses and families to build a healthy and prosperous future. Each year, DOC provides the Port with economic development funds to foster economic development in Walla Walla County. The Port has earmarked a portion of these DOC funds to help start Walla Walla Trends.
The Website Development Team is a cooperative effort of two groups from Eastern Washington University (EWU): The Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis and the Center for Digital Media Design and Development. The team members in these two programs are responsible for the overall development of the Walla Walla Trends project.
The Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis (IPPEA)
The Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis (Institute) is a multi-college program at EWU. The Institute, staff and students, gathered the statistical data, wrote the explanations & designed this site. They have also created several other similar indicator websites for Spokane County, Grant County, Chelan and Douglas Counties, Northeast Washington, Kootenai County ID, and Fresno County, CA.
The Institute's Director is Dr. Patrick Jones. Scott Richter is the Community Indicators Manager at the Institute. Brian Kennedy is the Institute's Data Analyst. Brian is responsible for all of the statistical input on this site, as well as for the Institute's other sites. Sam Wolkenhauer is the Institute's Student Economic Research Intern, and assists with the collection and analysis of the site's data. (Ryne Rohla, Jeremy Marinos, and James Merchant previously served in this role). Elizabeth Backstrom and E.B. Vodde are the Institute's Student Community Indicator Interns assisting with website maintenance and electronic publishing (Matt Parsons and Noelle Madera previously served in this role). Anna Hollaran, Sarah Reynolds and Lisa Capoccia were the previous Community Indicators Manager.
The Center for Digital Media Design and Development
The Center for Digital Media Design and Development (Center) is a collaborative extension of EWU's Departments of Computer Science and Engineering & Design. Development projects for campus and off-campus clients give students the opportunity to apply their skills in a real-world experience The Center is directed by Dr. Linda Kieffer (509.359.7093). Dr. James Braukmann previously directed the Center, and contributed to this and the other indicator projects.
The goal of a university is the graduation of its students; therefore, our team is constantly changing as our students graduate.
Rachel Allison is the current student designer. Previous student designers were: Sara Weinand, Zach Daley, Katie Lilly, Katheryn Sande, Beth Karper, Rachel Clabaugh, Heather Bakker, and Kate Yates were our previous designers who contributed to this and the other indicator websites.
Kandyce Moore is the current programmers. Tyson Miller, Melissa Mewhinney and Bryan Hilmer were our previous programmers.