Guest Blog: SEIGMA Launches MASS-AT-A-GLANCE—An interactive app of social and economic trends in MA communities

By Valerie Evans, a Biostatistician on the SEIGMA project, is currently managing the development of interactive web applications.

Since the start of the project, the Social and Economic Impacts of Gambling in Massachusetts (SEIGMA) team has developed numerous individual web applications that incorporate secondary data for a variety of social and economic variables. However, with individual applications, there are difficulties simultaneously comparing data sets. SEIGMA is excited to introduce MASS-AT-A-GLANCE, a user-friendly platform which makes all the data contained in each of these individual applications easily accessible.

The MASS-AT-A-GLANCE dashboard application provides users with an interactive way of exploring Massachusetts data on selected social and economic variables. It allows the user to simultaneously compare data sets through graphic representations in time and space. MASS-AT-A-GLANCE currently contains data on demographics (age, race, gender, ethnicity, population), social variables (marital status, educational attainment, veterans status, suicide rates, English language learners, students with disabilities), and economic variables (household income, poverty rates, employment, unemployment, bankruptcy, rent, building permits). Users can explore state-wide data or opt to focus on data in a specific municipality. The application is accessible through any web browser and a presentation which describes how to use the MASS-AT-A-GLANCE application is available here. In addition to the information available through the MASS-AT-A-GLANCE application, each of the above mentioned social and economic variables has an individual application which allows the user to investigate each of these variables in greater depth.

SEIGMA’s research assistants (RAs) are a crucial part of the web application development team. Over the years, the SEIGMA RAs have worked to develop the individual interactive web applications which feed into the MASS-AT-A-GLANCE dashboard application. In particular, one SEIGMA RA, Zhenning Kang—recently awarded a Master’s of Science in Biostatistics at UMass Amherst—brought the vision of MASS-AT-A-GLANCE to life.

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