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The 'Palm Beach County Counts’ website is intended to be a place where residents, policy makers, public and private organizations can learn about the Palm Beach County community. It is a website dedicated providing credible and balanced county and sub-county level data, resources, promising best practices, news articles, and community events. These editorial guidelines describe how the content of the site is selected and managed and also include background on the different features of the site.
The Portal Collaborative is a group of public, private or not-for-profit entities in Palm Beach County that provides editorial oversight for the Palm Beach County Counts website. The primary role of the Portal Collaborative and its Advisory Committee is to provide guidance throughout the planning, determination of best practices, determination of local indicator selection, data collection, data analysis, priority setting, development of tracking measures, marketing strategies, and public input processes.
The governing body and its advisory group reviews the news articles, promising practices, featured content and calendar of events, and strives to ensure balanced content. The governing body and the Palm Beach County Counts website do not endorse or advocate any political initiatives, political figures, community collaborations, programs or plans that may be associated with Palm Beach County Counts from time to time.
Editorial Values for Indicators & Featured Content
Objective - Present independent analysis that includes all sides of the issue
Diverse - Include a variety of views, analyses and disciplinary approaches rather than trying to reinforce the ‘established wisdom’ or consensus view
Collaborative - Value partnership rather than compete with existing research efforts
Accessible - Design information to be easily obtainable and informative to the general public
Relevant – Enhance features and content based on feedback from users and its potential impact on public policy and the quality of life of local stakeholders
Expansive - Highlight connections among local, state, national and global trends
Bold – Select contextual information that is pertinent, thought provoking, and inspires new innovation and ideas
In order to be able to provide users with continually updated, high-quality information in a lively and effective manner at no cost, Palm Beach County Counts seeks funding through various sources including advertisements and corporate sponsorships. The Palm Beach County Counts website maintains complete editorial independence and separation from advertisers on the site. None of the website’s content is screened, altered, or edited by sponsors at any time. While we maintain an unbreachable wall between our content and our corporate sponsors and advertisers, we see them as valuable contributors in helping to maximize the cost efficiency and impact of strategic business, philanthropic and service investments in our community.
The following rules guide our advertising policy:
Community Indicator Data
Palm Beach County Counts indicators are presented in nine topic areas to provide a measure of how our communities are doing. The primary aims of the indicator system are to inform and facilitate positive change. To inform, we must provide accurate, reliable, and timely data at a geographically meaningful level. We accomplish this by selecting sources that meet the following criteria:
Community Indicator Data Standards:
Key Criteria for consideration of proposed new indicators:
While the databases of promising practices, articles and literature located on Palm Beach County Counts are initially populated by the Healthy Communities Institute, the Portal Collaborative adds local content to these sections.
In order to add a local promising practice to Palm Beach County Counts the Portal Collaborative consults with local community experts/leaders in the topic area to determine its appropriateness. In addition to the research and/or evaluation process on the practice being rigorous and the results statistically significant, the content is evaluated as to whether or not it adds value to the website or fills a gap, is readily available and can be kept current, and is valid and credible. Promising Practice sources must be local, state & federal agencies, universities, organizations, associations and non-profits rather than individuals.
Feature Articles, Content & Events
We may post local feature articles and stories on topics or programs that enhance, analyze and provide deeper understanding of various indicator data, potentially promising practices, and community assets on the Palm Beach County Counts homepage. Feature articles or programs are simple links to an existing website or web article about a particular issue along with a brief synopsis or are full articles that are written and created locally. The Portal Collaborative and its advisory committee encourage users to submit ideas for this feature, and choose the feature articles and content based on current events and corresponding website information updates. Palm Beach County Counts also features a central repository of events that are linked by relevance to each indicator page. The Portal Collaborative, by community request and in consultation with an advisory committee and other community partners, add these events to the website.
Local Resources & Links
Palm Beach County Count’s local resources section provides a comprehensive community services search tool that connects residents of Palm Beach, Florida to important local health services. This section is populated with resources from 2-1-1. The Portal Collaborative, in consultation with the advisory committee, will add these resources based on the following criteria:
Links to government sites, academic centers, community-based organizations and foundations will be permitted only if the other site includes information and data related to Palm Beach County Counts. Links will not be provided to advocacy organizations and organizations that offer or support products or services that are detrimental to health, such as tobacco products.
Website survey questions are non-scientific polls to gather information about how well the ‘Palm Beach County Counts’ website is serving its audience. The Portal Collaborative manages this tool.
More about our Indicator Data
For each indicator on Palm Beach County Counts, the actual value is shown as well as information about how we are doing compared to other geographic areas (the red-yellow-green gauge) or how we are changing over time (green or red up and down arrows) or how we compare to a national or state average (blue/white or tri-color gradation gauge) to give some context to the information. Indicators are described and links given to the source of the data and what the values mean. It is important to remember that while we may be doing better on some indicators than other parts of the country or compared to a state or national average value that does not mean that we should not be working on improving all indicators.
The status of the community is typically displayed in one of the following three ways:
Regional Comparison Indicators
For indicators that are meaningfully displayed as an objective value that can be compared to other communities, the local value is assigned a status (green = excellent, yellow = fair, or red = poor) based on how the local value ranks in comparison to other communities. These indicators compare a community's measure to a distribution of other relevant geographies. For indicators where a high value is good, indicators are assigned green values if the value is better than or equal to the 50th percentile, yellow if the value is between the 50th percentile and the 25th percentile, and red if the value is less than the 25th percentile. In this ranking approach, the median is the value that provides the cut-off between the green and yellow ranking.
Regional Comparison Indicator Example: The infant mortality rate in all 3077 US counties is collected and the rate of infant mortality (number of infant deaths/100 births) is entered in a spreadsheet. The rates are ordered from lowest to highest. The 50th percentile or median value is the rate of the 1,539th value in the list of values (3077 / 2 = 1538.5, standard rounding rules round the number to 1539). Often the distribution of counties within a state or other regions must be used instead of US counties because the data is not available nationally. The cut-off point between yellow and red is the 75th percentile, or the 2,309th value in the list of values.
Average Comparison Indicators
For indicators that are not meaningfully displayed as an objective value (i.e. median home value) or where we do not have values for other communities, but do have a national or state mean value, the blue/white indicator dial (if direction does not matter) or tri-color dial (if direction matters) simply shows how our community compares nationally or statewide. This indicator is a useful way to present community data compared to the state or national median or mean value and allow the user to interpret the local indicator value.
Average Comparison Indicator Example: In a community the median home price is above the median home value compared to 39 other counties in the state. The fact that the median home value is above the median can be interpreted in two ways, depending on the end-users perspective: if you are selling your home, high median values may be a beneficial, but if you are trying to purchase a home, high median values may be a negative.
Time Period Comparison Indicators
These indicators show how an outcome varies over a significant amount of time, a commonly accepted period in the field, as indicated in the description. These indicators have three states: getting better, getting worse, or stayed the same. These indicators are typically used when distribution data is not available to calculate a comparison distribution or when trend data seems more relevant and important on an issue than comparison to other locales. They are also useful to highlight when a measure compares favorably to other communities, but the measure is actually moving in the wrong direction.
Time Period Comparison Indicator Example: In community A, the % of the population that is overweight or obese is 50.5% and this percentage has been growing over the last three years. The yearly percentages exceed the CDC 2010 Healthy People goal for healthy weight (<40% of adult population overweight or obese), though the local value (50.5%) is still better than the median value where 61.3% of adult population is overweight or obese in the state. In this case, a time period comparison indicator can be used to show that the community trend is increasing and there is a growing percentage of the adult population that is either overweight or obese.
Palm Beach County Counts