Challenge: Data about customers and communities is increasingly important as utilities and local governments work to meet their ambitious energy, equity, sustainability or economic development goals. There are a myriad of data sets available but assembling these diverse sources into a cohesive structure that informs strategy and policy is difficult and time consuming.
Approach. Beginning in 2017 Tierra began developing County Metrics, a proprietary dataset that profiles various aspects of a community, such as, for example, demographic, equity, energy usage and carbon in the built environment and transportation sectors, and financial and economic performance characteristics. County Metrics is used in all of Tierra’s projects where market characterization from the region to the census tract level is essential. This allows Tierra to accurately advise clients on a broad range of topics, from strategies designed to grow the local economy to programs designed to improve grid resiliency or achieve climate action and equity goals.
Outcome: Table 1 provides a summary of recent projects completed by Tierra where County Metrics has been used to define various market elements. County Metrics currently includes more the 50 data sources and is growing and updated monthly. Most data sources are publicly available, and the range of data elements and history of records allow for flexibility in analysis and outputs, such as geographic cross comparisons (e.g., comparing various cities or counties), or timeseries analysis of per capita funding or market adoption profiles. The County Metric Database is built in Microsoft Excel and is simple to use and update over time. As part of our services, Tierra regularly provides online dashboards in Tableau or Microsoft Power BI to help visualize outputs for staff, stakeholders, and community members.
A PDF version of this project description is available for download here.
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