Institute for Social Capital

Welcome to the Institute for Social Capital Inc. home to the ISC Community Database, an integrated data system created to foster university research and to increase the community’s capacity for data-informed decision-making. Through collaboration with nonprofit organizations governmental agencies, and other organizations in the Charlotte region, ISC serves as a resource to benefit the university and the greater community. By linking data across agencies, the ISC Community Database allows researchers and community agencies to better describe, understand, and serve members of our most vulnerable populations.

About the program

The Institute for Social Capital, Inc. was founded in 2004, and became part of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute in March 2012. Its mission is to support university research and increase the community’s capacity for data-informed decision-making.

At its core is a comprehensive set of administrative data gathered from governmental and nonprofit agencies in the region. By combining key data into one community database, ISC provides a valuable resource for understanding the outcomes for the most vulnerable members of our communities from a multi-agency context.

Through its affiliation with UNC Charlotte and the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, ISC also offers valuable analytical support to assist organizations in their research and data analyses efforts.

One of the most significant struggles facing researchers and social service organizations is the diffusion of human and social data. Reliable data gathered from significant social service and nonprofit agencies are needed to understand the effects of relevant initiatives on planning services, program evaluations and public policy. However, such information is rarely shared across sources, limiting an organization’s ability to effectively measure outcomes.

By combining key sources of data into one community database, ISC provides a valuable resource to assess the impact of specific interventions across agency lines and to better understand the social and environmental variables that affect the community, particularly with regard to outcomes for children and families.

The ISC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to maintaining the confidentiality of these crucial data.

 

Articles about ISC

  • With data, numbers can’t speak for themselves

    In 2007, Shamrock Gardens Elementary in east Charlotte was showing big improvements, and after years of being listed as a school that could be taken over by the state for low performance, it was close to coming off that list. Then suddenly test scores plummeted. What happened? (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
  • Rethinking high-stakes testing

    In today’s educational climate, testing scandals are commonplace. But does that mean that testing is wrong? Is it even possible to use quantitative test data yet avoid the pitfalls we're finding in high-stakes testing? (Photo: Nancy Pierce)
  • Harness the power of data: Charlotte Data Day

    On March 26 the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County will host a forum in uptown Charlotte designed to tell the public about powerful sources of data and how to use them.
  • Institute for Social Capital names new director

    Amy Hawn Nelson, a Mecklenburg County educator with a strong record in improving the academic outcomes for at-risk students, has been named director of UNC Charlotte’s Institute for Social Capital.