Public policy wonks and gurus in Virginia now have an incredible new toy to play with — the Virginia Performs website. Thank you, Gov. Kaine, for best Christmas present ever! (Technically, yesterday was the ninth day of the “Twelve Days of Christmas.”)
Virginia Performs, developed in partnership with the Council on Virginia’s Future, benchmarks Virginia against other states for about 50 crucial economic, social and government indicators. Most of the statistics were available to anyone who knew where to dig them up, but the website brings them together in one convenient place.
Best of all, the website provides a super-cool map-making capability that displays in a glance how the indicators vary by county or region. For example, to pick an indicator totally at random, here is a map showing where the incidence of the maltreatment of children is the highest (the number of cases per 1,000 children):
I would offer one modest suggestion. The benchmarking tables compare Virginia to neighboring states and a single “best performing” state. It would be really helpful if the web designers could go the extra mile and provide downloadable Excel spreadsheets with data for all states. Surely, they’ve gathered all the data and loaded it onto a spreadsheet already. All they need to do is make the spreadsheet downloadable.
Otherwise the website is extremely well done. Kudos to those who dreamed up the project and to those who executed it.There are currently no comments highlighted.