D3 incorporates features of “neighborhood data systems” that have been created in a variety of cities across the country. Such systems have been recognized and championed by the Urban Institute, which created the National Neighborhood Indicators Program (NNIP) in 1995. NNIP partner communities incorporate a number of different models of data access and analysis. While their structures, staff and delivery mechanisms may differ, they share a set of principles that D3 supports.
- Design indicator systems for the explicit purpose of changing things—not just to monitor trends.
- Develop a single integrated system that can support one-stop shopping.
- Develop indicators at the neighborhood level—not just for the city as a whole.
- Build a data "warehouse" from which indicator reports can be derived—not just a set of files on indicators.
- Serve multiple users but emphasize using information to build capacity in poor communities.
- Democratize information—help stakeholders use information directly themselves.
- Help stakeholders use data to tackle individual issues, but do so in a way that leads toward more comprehensive strategies.
- Use information as a bridge to promote local collaboration.
- Use available indicators but recognize their inadequacies—particularly the lack of sufficient data on community assets.
- Assure integrity in the data and the institution that provides them.