Non-Profit Launches Online Tool for Market, Demographic Information

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorPhiladelphia–The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) recently launched PolicyMap, an online mapping tool that empowers decision makers with access to market and demographic data.PolicyMap offers simple and quick access to a wealth of data for anyone who needs it. “In the Internet age, the data that is available can be overwhelming,” says Jeremy Nowak, president of TRF, a not-for-profit financier of neighborhood revitalization. “It is often dispersed across a multitude of sites and can be difficult and time consuming to decipher. With PolicyMap, we have an interactive mapping tool that brings thousands of indicators to your fingertips. It used to take days and an expertise in GIS mapping software to create even basic demographic maps.” PolicyMap offers more than 4,000 indicators related to demographics, real estate markets, crime, schools, housing affordability, employment, energy, and public investments. PolicyMap aggregates indicators from a variety of sources including U.S. Census, Claritas, FBI, IRS, Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and others. PolicyMap compiles and filters the data to ensure that it is reliable and accurate. Users can access the data through maps, reports, charts, and tables – all of which can be saved and printed. They can create reports based on a specified radius of a location or a custom-drawn region, upload and map their own data and share as appropriate, save reports, maps and tables, and email or print them for use in reports and presentations and access online tutorials and live online training sessions. “The goal of PolicyMap is to make it easy to gather and analyze credible data that policy makers, foundations and investors need to make decisions,” says Maggie McCullough, director of PolicyMap.The basic service is available for free but users can also select from various subscriber levels to access proprietary data and projections, upload their own data and use additional features.