How the Data Equity Hub helps organizations use data in the fight for justice and equity

Democratizing and demystifying data so anyone can see where inequalities, biases, and disenfranchisement are present.

“Data Equity for us is about helping everyone to use data to drive impact across all the different issues and countries that our partners have worked in. Success and change have come from people working with data, together. Data about a community, by a community, and for the community, so the decisions that shape their lives are best made by those within the community. There is a core idea when thinking about Data Equity, it’s about keeping the community central at every step of the process. It’s a way of saying no data about us without us,” highlighted Channing Nesbitt, Social Impact Program Manager at Tableau during the Tableau Conference 2022 keynote “The Promise of Data”

With these principles in mind, the Data Equity Hub platform has been created for organizations and advocates to access relevant data, analyses, and resources to advance data work in the racial, equity, and justice space. Combining Tableau’s mission, helping people see and understand data—with the expertise of researchers and advocates, created a winning formula to support those working to advance equity across the United States. The aptly named Racial Equity Data Hub, our initial collection of resources, brought together contributors to publish original dashboards, case studies, and additional data capability-building assets to facilitate data exploration across four key issue areas. That original focus was grounded in the Racial Justice Data Initiative (RJDI) portfolio.

Advancing racial equity and justice with data 

Helping organizations and advocates learn from each other and allowing us all to see the role data plays in equity work across U.S. communities was a goal that we achieved with our partners: 

  • Created advocates among local community organizations 
  • Helped people and organizations effectively and ethically use data to 
    • Achieve equitable education 
    • Advance equitable justice
    • Build economic power
    • Build political power  
  • Inspired academics, elected officials, and business leaders with the power of data as a catalyst for change and a tool for good in the world

We successfully showcased the impact of the Racial Equity Data Hub by highlighting the work of our contributing partners who shared comprehensive data stories. We are very proud that the Hub provided the engagement we envisioned and an opportunity for organizations and advocates to learn how they are using data to inform their local equity work. The Hub provided resources that were used to support data being used ethically, responsibly, and in ways that drive toward positive change. The Hub also is an online destination for exploring key data sources that are public-facing and vetted for legitimacy. 

The Data Equity Hub: A broader focus with expanded tools

Staying connected, open to change, and responsive to the feedback we receive informs all decisions we’ve made concerning how we grow the site to benefit the advocacy community. With our original goal in mind, along with a focus to offer expanded tools that will enable activists working to impact policy at the local, state, and federal levels of government, we explored opportunities for improvement. 

This spring, we began to prepare the platform to engage with organizations and deliver stories that build off of the various intersections of equity. We have relaunched the Hub as the Data Equity Hub (DEH). The lens of racial justice remains the foundation that ties all of the assets on the expanded DEH together, but we now include work that touches on gender, environment, health, and all the different intersections that our portfolios cover.

Focus areas of the Data Equity Hub 

As the equity-focused data community continues to evolve, the Tableau Foundation will continuously use the Hub to create a dialogue between organizations, advocates, students, and all who value the role data plays in informing our country. We feature the causes, work, and data-driven tools of our partners who are addressing inequities, advancing policy, and delivering well-being in America. In addition to spotlighting partner organizations and their solutions, the Data Equity Hub focuses on: 

It is essential that data storytellers have sensitivity for our subject matter and our audience while always approaching work through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Do No Harm Guide teaches us to work with intent and empathy throughout all phases of any data project. We never forget that every data point represents a person, therefore, we created a space to share Data Equity Stories (the human stories) behind the data. With data being publicly available, there is a misinterpretation that it is easy to access and that it’s easy to use. We are working to fix that by Democratizing Data Access through Tableau-ready assets on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Our commitment to enabling organizations working to advance equity and justice requires tools that assist any size organization to effectively utilize data and visualizations. The Data Advocacy Explorer is positioned to do that and so much more. 

Introducing the Tableau Data Advocacy Explorer 

Data can be a powerful force in all advocacy conversations, especially when speaking truth to power to inform policy decisions. The Data Advocacy Explorer is designed to help community organizations–from grassroots, community organizations to small and medium-sized nonprofits–all can more effectively incorporate data into their storytelling and advocacy efforts. The Explorer encourages the use of best practices for data collection, analysis, and representation. Launched in May of 2022, it is our hope that by outlining how to approach a data advocacy project and offering resources, tools, and training that effectively enable advocates with data analytics skills, so they can advance their causes and ability to do good. Visit the Data Advocacy Explorer now to access free resources, training, a case study, and best practices for effectively using data. 

Organizations doing good with data 

Equal Measures 2030 is sharing actionable data to achieve gender equity by the next decade. This critical work is helping nonprofits that advocate for women and girls to integrate data into their work. Tableau worked with Equal Measures 2030 to develop a dashboard that illustrates the gender equity gap. Both advocates and the public can easily view where countries stand and hold them accountable for achieving gender equity. 

EM2030 2022 SDG Gender Index

The 2022 SDG Gender Index, developed by EM2030, provides a snapshot of where the world stands on the vision of gender equality.

The Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP) developed a suite of resources including a series of dashboards in response to inquiries from local governments and community leaders seeking an understanding of the federal requirements associated with the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, which provides $130 billion in federal funding directly to local governments. 

ARP Local Funds Spending Tracker

ARP Funds in Action. Published: Feb 3, 2022. Updated: May 31, 2022.

The SEAP ARP Spending Tracker dashboard highlights funding allocations for municipalities mostly between 20,000 and 250,000 in size. The Tracker shows funding allocations (what percentage of funds are allocated to projects) and project categories like housing, broadband, and public health. SEAP works closely with communities and their deep connections foster ongoing engagement across issues and states throughout every phase of their work. It is their hope that advocates use their ARP dashboards to gain an understanding of how their community started, what the greatest needs are, and if ARP funds are addressing systemic change and economic equity.

In the fight for justice and equity, data is critical in helping us identify, see, and understand inequities. To access data tools and learn more about advocates working at the intersection of data and equity, visit the Data Equity Hub.