The Value of Data

By Erika Ditzman


Achieve Brown County is a data-driven organization and, therefore, it is crucial that our supporters understand the value of data. Read below for the top five reasons that data is valuable to Achieve Brown County.

1. Improving Quality of Life

Improving one’s quality of life is the most basic, but also most important reason to use data. While data may not directly affect change, such as putting food on a hungry family’s table, data works behind the scenes to inspire action. At Achieve Brown County, we have six cradle-to-career outcomes that are linked to quality of life. These outcomes can be viewed on the Community Dashboard.

2. Making Predictions: 

We can often extrapolate beyond the collected data and make predictions that guide our arguments and actions. As an example, if data demonstrates a consistent downward trend, one can predict that the trend will continue unless impacted by an outside, unpredictable variable.

3. Supporting Your Arguments:

An argument without evidence has little merit. Data used as evidence can create a strong case for systems advocacy, such as spreading awareness about the need for digital access during the COVID-19 pandemic or arguing for availability of internet enabled devices and a better quality internet service.

4. Making Educated Decisions:

To make educated decisions and determine where efforts must be allocated in the organization, we use data-driven evidence to guide us.

Example: Achieve Brown County Digital Access Action Team conducted a survey to look at the digital access needs of schools within the Brown County area. According to this survey, there are still schools in need of internet enabled devices (0-12% of students depending on school) and students needing adequate access to internet (6-25% of students depending on the school). These schools argue that it is a funding issue that prevents internet enabled devices to be available to every student while the access to internet is more dependent on the consistency, speed and reliability of service in an individual home. Our Digital Access Team was formed in response to the community’s need for digital access.

5. Solving problems 

Data is essential for locating problems and finding potential solutions.

Example: Brown County, a member of the Digital Access Team, has partnered with Geo Partners LLC to ensure that everyone has access to quality internet connectivity in the county region. Through their Broadband Speed Test, an individual’s internet speed and general location was recorded and made available to the public. This data can be viewed on the Speed Test Map. This map assists the public with locating stronger internet in the Brown County area.

While this collaboration does not mean an end to the digital divide, this is one step in the right direction toward connecting Brown County students.


The ABC data team invites you to reach out for any additional information at


12 reasons why data is important. The Council on Quality and Leadership. (2020, July 27).

Published: August 30, 2021

Edited: August 30, 2021