Looker Blog : Data Matters

DonorsChoose - Visualizing Community Impact

Michael Zhang, Data/Product Intern

Aug 27, 2015

At Looker, we love helping people access the data they need to answer important questions. It's even more exciting when we see our customers doing the same. DonorsChoose, a great organization helping to fund classrooms all across the country, recently made their community impact data available to the public. Through Looker Dashboards, anyone can login and discover the impact DonorsChoose has made in their area. Michael Zhang, Data/Product Intern at DonorsChoose gives us the full story below.

Today, we are happy to introduce our new public impact dashboard, which features stats and graphs showing everything from how many projects our donors have funded to how many teachers’ and students’ lives we have touched.

Media & Researcher Dashboard

On Looker, our data exploration platform, we’ve curated all the numbers from our impact page, as well as additional interesting tidbits such as poverty and metro area breakdowns for all the schools we’ve been able to reach. For each impact statistic, you can also see an accompanying graph below it showing our year-to-year growth in improving that metric.

On top of everything, we want to give you to ability to customize what you see, both geographically and chronologically. Specifically, you can use our filters to pin down your view by state, county, city, and even school district. Additionally, you can compare school years either by using our graphs, or you can select and see all of our aggregate measures for a particular year. Feel free to mix and match as you please!

The rest of this blog post will walk you through a quick example of how to harness our new dashboard.

Getting Started

First, let's get you set up on our dashboard. The link can be found here. Here is the public login:

Email: media@donorschoose.org

Password: teachersrock15

As a basic example, let’s say you wanted to look at our impact in all of Chicago in the last school year (2014-15).

Our default settings for this dashboard include all donations and limit our impact to projects funded for the current school year (2015-16 currently). If you want to narrow your focus, you can click on the arrow next to “Filters” at the top, which will drop down options to focus on a specific state/county/city/district or school year (you can also select “is any value” to look at all-time).

Filters Dropdown

In our example, let’s do that for Chicago, 2014-15. Remember to always use the full names of cities/counties/districts when filtering (for states, use the abbreviation)!

Filters example

After inputting your desired focus on the appropriate field, simply click “Run” on the top right, and every element on the dashboard will refresh to display the specific regions and timeframes you are interested in. As a bonus, you can also see the details for each project funded (you may also see all projects by adjusting the filters) at the bottom of the dashboard, and you can visit the project pages on our site by clicking on “Link” under “Project Url.”

Chicago 2014-2015

Hooray! Looks like our donors funded over 3,500 Chicagoan projects in the last school year!

Thank you for exploring our data, and please feel free to email data@donorschoose.org if you find any interesting insights, have questions, or want to share with us an idea for a story you’d like to tell.

Click here to view the original post from DonorsChoose.

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