THE WEST MICHIGAN REGIONAL DASHBOARD
A Project Funded and Supported by: The West Michigan Regional Prosperity Alliance
The West Michigan Regional Prosperity Alliance (WMRPA) is one of 10 economic regions identified by former Governor Rick Snyder to create vibrant regional economies. The 31-member WMRPA steering committee is composed of representatives from: regional transportation and planning, economic development, higher education, community development, adult education, workforce development, private business, and philanthropic groups.
What is the regional dashboard?
The West Michigan Regional Prosperity Alliance established a common set of shared metrics that will track the region's progress on critical economic, environmental, and social outcomes. The goal of the project is to share these metrics as a regional dashboard with the region.
Why is it important?
The West Michigan region lacks a common set of measurements by which to measure its growth and prosperity. Although several organizations, such as Talent 2025, K-Connect, Our Community's Children and the West Michigan Presidents' Compact Committee are collecting, tracking, and sharing valuable data within the region, a common set of shared metrics for the entire region is needed. A coordinated measurement tool empowers communities in the region to begin strategic change and build collective action.
Who is responsible for the dashboard data?
An Advisory Committee of regional organizations are leading the data gathering and development of this dashboard project. Current member organizations include:
Barry County Community Foundation
Grand Valley State University
Michigan Works! West-Central
Sustainable Partners LLC
The Right Place, Inc.
W.E. Upjohn Institute
West Michigan Works!
DEVELOPING THE DASHBOARD
How were the metrics determined?
The Advisory Committee reviewed nearly 100 different metrics gathered from other regional dashboard including the previous Vital Signs report developed by the West Michigan Strategic Alliance (WMSA). The main objective of the Advisory Committee was to narrow all of the possible metrics from nearly 100 to between 30-40.
One of the goals of the Advisory Committee was to identify metrics that can be gathered and displayed on the county by county level. By providing this level of geography the dashboard data will be able to be displayed on the regional as well as the county level.
Another goal of the Advisory Committee was to identify metrics that are actionable and have an impact on the prosperity of our region. The Advisory Committee committed a significant amount of time and expertise critically discussing which metrics to include, exclude, and where to find the data.
As part of a continuous improvement process, the advisory committee met in 2018 to refine the dashboard. A few indicators were added and removed due to data quality issues. The 2018 refresh now includes a total of: 37 indicators
17 economic, 14 social, and 6 environmental.”
All of the economic and social metrics and nearly all of the environmental metrics can be gathered and displayed on a county level. The Advisory Committee also believes all the metrics are actionable and fall within the sphere of influence of at least one regional partner organization or stakeholder.