Featured IGNITES:

“Data Day is my favorite holiday,”
Amy Rohan, Riverworks Development Corporation

A First Data Day to Remember

Showing up at 8 o’clock in the morning to set up Data Day MKE 2017 on May 31st, I have to admit, was terrifying. I did not know what to expect, but I was ready to work and jump right into the position as the Data You Can Use summer intern. Honestly, I was nervous and a little anxious, but in the end, I could not have been more glad and fortunate to have such an eye opening, educational experience.

My name is Clare Matkom and Data Day was the first day of my first internship after my first year at UW-Madison. I had never been to anything like this before, and I had never even heard of an “IGNITE” or “unconference session.” For those of you like me, IGNITES are short, five minute presentations sharing an overview of a specific topic and unconference sessions are 45 minute open discussions that are revolved around a leader and broad topic. I was a fresh new face just soaking it in all in, and as intimidating and a little overwhelming as it was, looking back, I would consider it a perfect first day of work. I got to experience small glimpses of different communities and organizations that are at work all over the city that I call my home. From Clarke Square, to the City of Milwaukee, to ACTS Housing, each presenter and group that I talked to or listened to had their own wants, needs, and inputs.
My inexperience turned out to be an asset at Data Day MKE 2017, and I was constantly being used by the Data You Can Use team as “fresh eyes.”

“Clare, come look at this map, I need ‘fresh eyes’.”

“Clare, does my power point look organized? I need ‘fresh eyes’.”

And truly, I really was fresh eyes.

I attended all 14 of the IGNITE sessions and two of six unconference sessions, listened to the talented and very poised Veronica Gunn as the keynote speaker, as well as enjoyed a few delicious spring rolls and even got to enjoy some banana crème flavored popcorn, which was surprisingly amazing!

Specifically, my favorite part of the day was the unconference session led by Sister Patricia from the Dominican Center. The conversation quickly developed into a discussion about changing the narrative of Milwaukee. Clearly, this is a daunting task, but certainly a task which most of these organizations who attended Data Day want to accomplish. The problem is, it is impossible for each of these organizations to change the narrative of Milwaukee by themselves. People raised their concerns, their frustrations, and at first, the conversation seemed to be hopeless. However, slowly but surely, one person realized that another person in the room could help their specific problem. The open discussion set off a chain reaction of networking and problem solving that unfolded right in front of my eyes, and all of a sudden the daunting task of completely changing the way the residents, government, and organizations of Milwaukee view the city seemed a little more doable and tangible. It was at that moment that I realized how powerful Data Day MKE really was. It brought all different people together who are each doing incredible work in troubled neighborhoods of Milwaukee and made it possible to make their goals citywide using the connections they made in the room at Zilber School of Public Health. Data Day was a hub for the innovators and the dreamers of Milwaukee who are looking for others who share their passion and love for the city of Milwaukee and all its citizens. It made them realize that they can indeed make a difference if they all work together. This was clearly not just an observation that I had alone. Based on our post Data Day survey, 77% of respondents said they followed up with someone or intend to after Data Day. Just one day sharing and communicating with other organizations and people led to creating connections across the City.

Growing up, I have always had immense interest in nonprofit organizations. My father works for Gorman & Co, a development firm that focuses on low income housing development based on tax credits. WHEDA, Urban League and Northcott Neighborhood House have been household names in my home ever since I can remember. Frequent talks about our city’s needs and struggles has always been a common occurrence, whether it be listening to my dad’s conference calls or discussions around the dinner table.

As an intern, my fresh eyes allowed me to step back and really appreciate how much potential there is in Milwaukee, especially using the data that is now available thanks to so many attendees of Data Day. I am truly confident that our city will only go forward from here. Data Day MKE 2017 was a huge success, and I can only imagine how much more prosperous and wide reaching it will become in upcoming years! In my future, I am hoping to see how businesses and nonprofit organizations can work together more effectively, especially in the city of Milwaukee. Therefore, when the opportunity to intern with Katie Pritchard and Data You Can Use this summer, I felt very fortunate and simply could not resist.

Thank you for attending Data Day 2017!

This year Data You Can Use partnered with Healthier, Safer, More Prosperous Milwaukee for Data Day.  The focus was high quality, actionable data in the areas of Criminal Justice, Public Health and Community Development.

Thank you to our speakers:

IGNITE speakers included:

Salma Abadin , City of Milwaukee Health Department
Ian Bautista, Clarke Square Neighborhood Initiative
Elizabeth Cizinsky, Scale Up Milwaukee
Karen Higgins, Milwaukee Christian Center
Carrie Koss Vallejo, Data You Can Use
Gerardo Mares, Milwaukee Police Department
Sharon McGowan, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
Nancy Olson, City of Milwaukee
Matt Richardson, Data You Can Use
Bethany Sanchez, Fair Housing Council
Erin Schubert, Sojourner Truth
Matt Schumwinger, Big Lake Data
Michael Stevenson, City of Milwaukee Health Department
Rebecca Stoner, ACTS Housing

Unconference leaders included:

Kevin Bruhn, Milwaukee County Land Information Office
Emily Champagne, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District
Danell Cross, Metcalf Park
Kevin Engstrom, Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers
Dawn Helmrich, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
Brittany McAdams, Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort Educational Fund
Sister Patricia Rogers, Dominican Center
Chris Steinkamp, Urban Ecology Center
Ben Watson,  P.I.D. & Associates

Data Dream Contest

Congratulations to ACTS Housing for winning the Data Dream Competition, for $5,000 in data support.

Our illustrious judges were:

Darlene Russell, Greater Milwaukee Foundation
LaQuondra Shaw, Northwestern Mutual Foundation
Gina Stilp, Zilber Family Foundation
Geof Swain, City of Milwaukee Health Department
Ben Watson, P.I.D. & Associates