Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below are some of our most frequenty asked questions. Click on each question to view responses. If you have a question about Vermont Insights that you do not see listed, please contact us.

1. Do I need an account to use Vermont Insights?

No, not at this time. In the future, we are thinking about asking users to register one-time and set up an account so we can better understand and meet their needs.

2. Where does the data come from?

Our growing data collection options originate from more than 15 trusted sources at the national, state and local level, such as the United States Census Bureau, Vermont’s Agency of Education and Vermont’s Agency of Human Services (including the Departments of Health and Children and Families).

3. What data does Vermont Insights have?

Vermont insights has an ever-expanding array of data.  Reports, for example, contain data at the state and local levels for the following topics:

4. Can I request to add my data to Vermont Insights?

Yes, the Vermont Insights team is always looking for new and interesting data to add to the site. We have a set of criteria to determine if the data fits within the vision and mission of Vermont Insights. We use data sources that help inform critical child, family, and community well-being issues. If you have data you would like to share, please contact us.

5. How does Vermont Insights decide what data to include?

The data content of Vermont Insights is informed by:

Once we determine what data will be most valuable, we run it through a several filters, including:

  • Quality (currency, completeness, reliability, validity of the data, well-documented)
  • Relevance (supported by research and practice)
  • Availability (regularly available at the state and local level and likely to continue)
  • Population-Level (A group of people defined by geography or a place and/or some other universal characteristic), or Program-Level (A group of people defined as being customers/clients served by a program/service/business)

6. Do you provide individual or group training and support to use Vermont Insights?

Yes. Providing timely user support to ensure a positive user experience is important to us. Contact us to make a request.

7. When will you have available training and support materials such as tutorial videos and tip sheets?

Training and support materials are currently in development for Vermont Insights and will be released on the site in the near future.

8. What is included in a report?

Reports have visuals, narrative and supporting information. Most visuals include a chart, table and/or map, found in the green tabs.  The narrative includes two key components: the introduction at the top of the report, "why the data matter," and the findings in the yellow tab, "what the data tell us". The supporting information provides an explanation of data about the meta-data, including how the data are collected, as well as the limitations of the data. This information can be found in the orange tabs after the introduction.

9. What is a Community Data Profile?

Vermont Insights has a tool called the Community Data Profile. This tool allows Vermont Insights staff (and in the future, will allow users) to pick and choose reports in Vermont Insights, and assemble the data into a collection of reports; what we call a profile.

10. What's the difference between a report and a Community Data Profile?

A Community Data Profile is a collection of two or more reports. Unlike Community Data Profiles, reports typically focus on a single key measure, like population counts or early prenatal care, and are organized by topic on the site. When viewing a Community Data Profile, you will see selected parts of various reports, but not all aspects the each report. For example, the Community Data Profile may include a report's table, but not the report's chart or map.

11. Can I find data at the town level?

Yes, but not for all reports. For example, you can find data at the town level in the STep Ahead Recognition System (STARS) monthly report. Within that same report, you can find data by other geographies such as county, Agency of Human Services District, and Education Supervisory Union/Supervisory District. Other reports (e.g. all reports using American Community Survey) contain data as low as the county- or state-level.

12. What reports topics will be added to Vermont Insights in the near future?

See our Future Topics page for more details.

13. Can I make a request for data not currently on Vermont Insights?

Yes, we want to hear from you. The data you are looking for may be coming soon to Vermont Insights or perhaps we have found that it is difficult to find or acquire. Either way, we want to hear about your child, family and community data needs so we can continue to build and grow Vermont Insights so that it is a useful tool for you. Please contact us with your request(s).

14. Where can I find a list of the data sources used in Vermont Insights?

Please refer to our Data Sources page for a list of current data sources the integration status of future data sources.

15. How do people use the data in Vermont Insights?

People use the data in may ways: to help tell stories, assess community needs, set priorities, track progress, inform program or policy decisions, prepare grant proposals and reports and much more. We are very interested in knowing how you use Vermont Insights. Use our contact form to tell us how you use, or plan to use, data in Vermont Insights.

16. What other products and services does Vermont Insights provide?

The data in Vermont Insights is the basis for Building Bright Futures' "How are Vermont's Young Children and Families? March 2015" report. The 2016 report will be published in November 2016.

Vermont Insights also advocates for data development to fill information gaps through strategies such as publishing Mind the Gap: Data Assets and Data Gaps briefs, and convening data stakeholder discussions, such as the Data Steward and Stakeholder Annual Summit. See our Publications page for our published work.

17. How can I be involved in building and growing Vermont Insights?

There are a number of ways to become involved. You can:

  • Provide us with suggestions and feedback using our contact form.
  • Sign up for the Vermont Insights newsletter on our homepage.
  • Attend our annual stakeholder meeting.
  • Become a funder.
  • Contact us to contribute data or share your data-use story.

18. How do I provide feedback about Vermont Insights or have a question answered that is not in this list of FAQs?

We absolutely want to hear from you. Your comments, questions and feedback are critical to our continuous improvement efforts. Use our contact form to share your question or insights with the Vermont Insights team.