FAQ

Below are some of our most frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not listed, please contact us.

Using the Site

How do I provide feedback about Vermont Insights or have a question answered in this list of FAQs?

Your comments, questions, and feedback are critical to our continuous improvement efforts. Contact us to share your question or feedback with the Vermont Insights team.

Do you provide individual or group training?

Yes. One of the main goals of Vermont Insights is to help everyone access current, reliable data. We would be happy to arrange individual or group trainings. Contact us for more information.

Do you provide individual support for users of Vermont Insights?

Yes. Providing timely user support to ensure a positive user experience is important to us. Contact us to make a request.

The Data

What is included in a report?

Reports have visuals, a data table, a brief narrative, and supporting information. Most visuals include a chart and a map. The narrative includes background, analyses, and limitations of the report. These elements can be found on the green tabs at the top of a report.

Filters are on the left side of some reports and hidden on the top of other reports for geography, data year, and in some cases, population characteristics. These are especially helpful when looking for specific data.

Information about the data source(s) and data steward(s) is located on below the visualization.

Can I find data at the town/AHS district/county level?

Yes, but not for all reports. Many data sources are unreliable at the town level, and some at the AHS district or county level. When available, geographies will be available in the filters on the left side or hidden on the top of reports along with other criteria.

Can I download a data table?

Yes. At the top of each report are green tabs, one of which is labeled either table or data table. By clicking on either of the following buttons, you can download the data table.

How does Vermont Insights decide what data to include?

The data content of Vermont Insights is informed by:

Once we determine what data will be most valuable, we make sure it meets our criteria, which include:

  • Quality (currency, completeness, reliability, validity of the data, well-documented)
  • Relevance (supported by research and practice)
  • Availability (regularly available at the state and local level and likely to continue)
  • Population-Level (A group of people defined by geography or a place and/or some other universal characteristic), or Program-Level (A group of people defined as being customers/clients served by a program/service/business)

Where does the data come from?

Our growing data collection options include more than 15 trusted sources at the national, state and local level, such as the United States Census Bureau, Vermont’s Agency of Education and Vermont’s Agency of Human Services (including the Departments of Health and Children and Families).

Where can I find a list of the data sources used in Vermont Insights?

At the bottom of each report is the data source and, if applicable, the data steward(s).

Can I request to add my data to Vermont Insights?

Yes. The Vermont Insights team is always looking for new and interesting data to add to the site. We have a set of criteria to determine if the data fits within the vision and mission of Vermont Insights. We use data sources that help inform critical child, family, and community well-being issues. If you have data you would like to share or questions about the process, please contact us.

Can I make a request or suggestion for data not currently on Vermont Insights?

Yes, we want to hear from you. The data you are looking for may be coming soon to Vermont Insights or perhaps we have found that it is difficult to find, acquire, or validate. Each request that is not fulfilled is cataloged and provides the team with information about data that is important to users. We want to hear about your child, family and community data needs so we can continue to build and grow Vermont Insights so that it is a useful tool for you. Please contact us with your request(s).

Using Data

How should I cite the data I get from Vermont Insights?

You are welcome to make use of Vermont Insights data, and are granted permission to cite the information and reproduce tables, graphs, maps or any other data product. Suggested citation:  Data retrieved from Vermont Insights, Building Bright Futures (https://www….) [insert mm/dd/yyyy]

How do people use the data in Vermont Insights?

People use the data in may ways: to help tell stories, assess community needs, set priorities, track progress, inform program or policy decisions, prepare grant proposals and reports and much more. Contact us to tell us how you use, or plan to use, data from Vermont Insights.

How does Vermont Insights use the data?

As a program of Building Bright Futures, the data in Vermont Insights plays an important role in the larger organization. For example:

  • Vermont Insights data is the basis for the Building Bright Futures ‘How are Vermont’s Young Children and Families?’ annual report dating back to 2015.
  • BBF Regional Councils and Committees use the data in Vermont Insights to understand the conditions of early childhood in their respective geography or subject matter area. Vermont Insights supports the planning and strategy for collective impact and provides a way to measure results.
  • Building Bright Futures also advocates for data development to fill information gaps through strategies such as publishing Mind the Gap: Data Assets and Data Gaps briefs, and convening data stakeholder discussions. See our Publications page to access selected reports.

How does Vermont Insights encourage data-based decisions?

Vermont Insights is designed to purposefully promote and support data literacy and a culture of data by providing accurate, relevant and interactive data – visually and geographically – with clear and concise supporting information.

Data literacy According to Gartner, “Learning to ‘speak data’ is like learning any language. It starts with understanding the basic terms and describing key concepts… If there is no common language with which to interpret the various data sources… there will be fundamental communication challenges when using data- and analytics-based solutions.” (Smarter with Gartner | Do You Speak Data?. (2018) Retrieved March 10, 2019, from https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/gartner-keynote-do-you-speak-data/)

Data culture is about individuals within an organization or a group who at all levels seek data to help inform decision making, measure desired outcomes or performance, act based on available data, and build on existing knowledge over time.

How can I get involved?

There are a number of ways to become involved. You can:

  • Provide us with suggestions and feedback using our contact form.
  • Contact us to contribute data or share your data-use story;
  • Learn more about the Building Bright Futures Data and Evaluation committee and join their open meetings;
  • Use data to inform your program/project/organizational improvement; and
  • Strategically communicate about data.