About Us

Born of necessity, the RDA is corralling a chaotic regional data landscape compounded by a historic city-county divide.

Our Story

From his work in founding GoodMap and involvement in strategic planning for Grace House Settlement House, Paul Sorenson has faced firsthand the challenges of gathering and using data to the service of the public good. Paul noticed that he and others were constantly re-inventing the wheel when it came to compiling large data sets to support their organization’s mission.

For many non-profits, significant effort is invested in data work that only serves a single project within a single organization and disappears with the project. The St. Louis RDA  aims to change that inefficient dynamic and provide a highly-leveraged and open service for organizations across the region to bolster their capacity to use data to improve their work and access to funding.

Whether your organization is a data source or a data consumer, we invite you to become part of the story. 

Our Values

The St. Louis Regional Data Alliance recognizes that our work can (and should) take may forms — from complex data transformation projects to community organizing to spatial analysis. All of our efforts, however, work to pursue our shared values outlined below:

Data is About People

At the core of all of our work is a focus on the people that drive data practices across the region. Without trust and strong relationships, no collaborative data effort can be successful. That’s why the backbone of the RDA is a collaborative Steering Committee comprised of rockstar institutional leaders, community advocates, and academics. Our open membership structure allows for everyone to benefit from our work. It is upon this foundation that all else is built.

Sharing Data Requires Shared Infrastructure

The RDA works to build innovative, sustainable, and powerful data tools that remain at our collective fingertips instead of disappearing at the end of each project. These include packaging community datasets and providing basic data visualization on platforms like the Regional Data Exchange and All Things St. Louis, expanding the data transformation process used for the STL Vacancy Portal, crafting a flexible technology strategy for the Community Information Exchange, and publishing as much as possible to open repositories like GitHub.

Collaborative Data Drives Collective Action

St. Louis’ biggest data challenges are collective, not isolated within individual organizations, geographies, or issues. How do hospitals connect their patients to homeless services? How can counties work together across the Mississippi River? How can funders better identify community needs and align their investments? The RDA leverages shared data infrastructure and strong relationships across data actors to help tackle critical regional concerns.

Make St. Louis Better

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Our 3-year Strategic Plan

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Photo by Kristin Sobolik

Data Sources

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Data Sets

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Fields of Data

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Pieces of Data

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STL NonProfits

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STL MUNICIPALITIES

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Reports Each Year

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Total $ Spent

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Donations Make a HUGE Impact

2015

  • Campaigns 82% 82%
  • Research & Development 10% 10%
  • Management 6% 6%
  • Organization Growth 2% 2%

2016

  • Campaigns 74% 74%
  • Research & Development 12% 12%
  • Management 10% 10%
  • Organization Growth 4% 4%

2017

  • Campaigns 84% 84%
  • Research & Development 14% 14%
  • Management 6% 6%
  • Organization Growth 2% 2%

2018

  • Campaigns 80% 80%
  • Research & Development 15% 15%
  • Management 5% 5%
  • Organization Growth 0% 0%