Thank you to the more than 130 people who joined us for our 12th CTData Conference. And another thank you to our wonderful sponsors: Be Foundation, Novus Insight, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and CT By the Numbers.

Here at CTData, we talk about data as people and we believe that people matter. Everyone who attended the conference has committed their lives to serving their communities and their residents for different reasons and in different ways. You might be the executive director of a nonprofit, a policy analyst for an advocacy organization, or a program director with a state agency. We collect different types of data about different topics all across the state. But our common goal is to serve our clients, our students, and our patients so that they can live their best lives and so we can build a more vibrant Connecticut. To do this, we must count what matters. I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say that counting what matters is so much easier said than done.

At the CTData Conference, our speakers shared ways in which they have counted what matters. We learned about overcoming data fears, how to understand migration data, new ways of thinking about child welfare data, how to tell our data story, and creating a data culture. Our keynote, Kim Paull, shared lessons about how she helps to collaboratively count what matters through an integrated data system in Rhode Island.

And, as we heard during the Census Ideation workshop and from Lt. Governor Bysiewicz, we all have an opportunity to practice counting what matters during the 2020 Census. During the next few months, Complete Count Committees will be working to ensure that all of our neighbors understand what the Census is, why it is important, and how to complete it. Not only is it an issue of equity to make sure that everyone is counted, it is also an issue of resources because decisions about funding and redistricting will be made based on these numbers. This is just one example of the power of data to transform communities—for better or worse—that we heard at the conference. We aim for the better.

We, at CTData, hope that our time together at our conference provided you with insight and inspiration. We hope that you made new connections to inform your data work. But we also recognize that this event is just one step along each of our data journeys. In order to build data literacy and advance data-informed decision-making within our teams, organizations, and communities, we must continue the conversation and collaboration outside of these walls.

Connect and follow up with the individuals you met at the conference. Reach out to the speakers to learn more about their work. And continue to engage with us at the Connecticut Data Collaborative to support your data-related needs. As our Executive Director, Michelle Riordan-Nold, mentioned in her opening remarks, there are many ways that we can help you to work with, understand, and communicate your data.

Please reach out to us (info@ctdata.org), visit our website, connect with us on social media, and let others know how we can collaborate with them. We are here to help you count what matters. Let’s keep innovating, inspiring, and conversing with one another.