The Pioneer Valley Data Portal
In March of 2014, the Pioneer Valley Data Portal, www.pioneervalleydata.org, was released publicly to provide key regional economic, planning, and workforce data through a publicly accessible portal. This website is a collaborative initiative of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC), the Economic Development Council of Western MA (EDC), the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County (REB), and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG).
Originally developed for internal data sharing and storage among the ROADS partner organizations, this resource is now available to the public. The idea is not to duplicate existing sources of easily accessible data such as the Census Bureau or the Bureau of Labor Statistics information, but to be a collective resource of information that is difficult to locate for the inexperienced user, to capture these data sets in a database, and to keep them updated. The development of this cloud-based database system took about 18 months before it was ready for public use and was supported in part by the Western Massachusetts Electric Company as part of their work to encourage regional collaboration and economic development.
The Data - Important
It is important to understand that this data portal is primarily a storage and sharing space for the ROADS partners, who are in turn happy to share the data more broadly. To that end, the data contained in the database is not comprehensive. There is a lot here, and we hope you will find it helpful. However, the database does not include every year of data for every geographic area for each data variable. The coverage of time and geography for a given data variable may be spotty. If you have questions or would like more information about where to find similar data for a different year or geography, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Similarly, this data portal is intended to be used by more advanced data users who are familiar with downloading data and working in formats such as Microsoft Excel. For more simple data profiles about communities within the Pioneer Valley, please visit the data and statistics page of www.pvpc.org.
The ROADS Partnership
The Pioneer Valley Data Portal was developed by the ROADS (Regional Organizations. Advanced Data Sharing.) partners, a coalition of regional organizations in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts dedicated to collecting, managing, and sharing regional data within the region in a more collaborative and efficient manner. For questions about this portal or the ROADS partnership, please contact Molly Goren-Watts at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.
Now known as the ROADS partnership, the executive leadership of the EDC, PVPC, and the REB initially met in March of 2012 to collaborate on the accuracy and collection of regional information that could be utilized by key regional stakeholders. The partnership was expanded a year later to include Franklin County with the addition of the FRCOG. The goal of the working group was to collaborate around data gathering and analysis in new ways that will save time and provide more accurate information. Where, previously, staff from multiple organizations might be gathering the same data separately in their own offices and storing it in their own files, now one person will gather that piece of data and put it in a database that can be shared by all.