Ballarat Foundation has released a Vital Signs report and online data platform, in partnership with Seer Data & Analytics. The data-driven report is a health check on how Ballarat is faring as a community, and will be used to identify issues that need attention to ensure that Ballarat continues to thrive into the future.

Ballarat Foundation CEO Andrew Eales said the aim is to drive better outcomes in the areas of health, family violence, unemployment, housing affordability, homelessness, wages, alleged offending, community safety, and even volunteering. By identifying the vital measures of equity, social prosperity and Community development Ballarat can establish a vision for a fairer, more sustainable and flourishing community, and develop actions through collaboration and connection to enable that vision.

Ballarat Foundation Community Impact Manager Stacey Oliver and CEO Andrew Eales. Photo by: Edwina Williams, Ballarat Times.

“The platform is a living, breathing snapshot of our community, and it contains more than 100 insights,” he said.

“The insights are based on areas targeted by Vital Signs studies across the country. Our vision for the platform is for it to be a space where community organisations can add their own data, creating a deeper, richer understanding of need in our community.

“In turn, these organisations will reap the benefits of access to an evidence base on which they can tell their stories, which will see a greater success in obtaining funds in areas where out community needs increased support.

“Where new issues emerge, we can respond, and track what’s happening year-to-year, month-to-month.

“The potential of this project in a collaborative sense, where we can enable those around us to prosper, is immense.”

Now the problems have been identified, Mr Eales said the next step will be to form an action group to address the social inequalities as soon as possible.

“Collaborating together and creating a united response, we can turn the dial on some of these numbers,” he said.

“We’ve got such a passionate and great community sector… keen to be part of the solution, and we can’t wait to see where those conversations go.”

The last Vital Signs report was conducted by the Ballarat Foundation in 2011. In the wake of the COVID19 pandemic and the release of new data from the 2021 Census, the Ballarat Foundation is taking a community leadership role in being a catalyst for change.

Andrew Eales made clear the findings were not a critique on the in­credible work organisations and community leaders were undertaking in welfare spaces. He said the report findings, while confronting. aimed to spark discussion and provide evidence to support deci­sion-making. “We’re looking at positive social change in the commu­nity and we have a broad da­ta set across different sectors and industry,” Mr Eales said.

It’s impossible to have every set of data we need, but we’ve got to start somewhere. Vital Signs is an independent way of creating conversa­tions in ensuring no-one is left behind.” Data will be continually updated and expanded in the Vital Signs project in a bid to provide a fuller picture to drive change.

Seer Data & Analytics is thrilled to have supported Andrew Eales, Stacey Oliver and the Board with access to the data, creation of insights and storytelling that underpins the Vital Signs report. Seer Data’s drag and drop dashboard feature has been used as the pulse check for Ballarat and is embedded on the Foundation’s website.  

View Ballarat Foundation Vital Signs Data Platform