Recently, the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership launched a mySidewalk data dashboard. The story below highlights their goals, challenges, and the data-driven solution they're employing to retain and attract businesses for the City of Alexandria.
What was the goal of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership?
The main goal of the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP) is to promote the City of Alexandria by attracting and retaining businesses. Ryan Touhill, chief of staff, and Jackie Reilly, project assistant, know that in order to accomplish this they need to be able to communicate a strong city story and showcase the uniqueness of specific areas in their city— the seven Alexandria submarkets.
What challenges were they facing?
Developers often come to them and request a lot of the same information that they package in one-off reports. In the past, their website had a static map of their submarkets and basic tables to display relevant data sets. However, Alexandria’s submarkets were not census designated boundaries which made providing basic information for a neighborhood complicated. Every year they were required to update the static tables which took time and valuable resources. Another big part of their role is to help businesses understand what the market looks like, and, while they could show what was happening within a market, their reports lacked context as to where it was happening.
What was the solution?
In using mySidewalk, Ryan and Jackie were able to upload their unique boundaries, add and apportion data to those boundaries instantaneously, and deliver a dynamic report on the comparison to the city. Better yet, the data on their dashboard automatically updates each year with mySidewalk so they don’t have to manually re-upload this information. With limited resources it’s imperative that they be able to tell the economic story of each area simply. Now, as a part of their website relaunch, AEDP can focus on driving traffic to the site vs. completing an analysis of each area.
What does this solution look like?
mySidewalk makes it simple to compare submarkets to each other and to the city as a whole. Using maps, charts, and relevant data available in mySidewalk, AEDP was able to add in their own boundaries and local data to enhance the story they were trying to tell with powerful, easy-to-understand (and create) visuals. This helps them provide developers and members of their community more accurate information, faster from one, centralized location. Below is a snippet from their dashboard that highlights Old Town, one of the submarkets in Alexandria.
mySidewalk is a city intelligence tool that empowers city leaders and the public with the most complete, clear, and real-time understanding of their communities so they can improve and innovate together.
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