Tell your story through data

DataMade is a civic technology company in Chicago. We understand that data can be easy to come by, but difficult to make sense of. At DataMade we transform complex data into clear, appealing, and actionable websites.

DataMade works with nonprofits, municipal organizations, government agencies, journalists, researchers, and advocacy groups to shape data into persuasive narratives and exploration tools.

Our expertise includes research and discovery, strategic consulting, process improvement, creating online maps and visualizations, building and maintaining data management tools and APIs, and performing data analysis and modeling.

 
$5,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2012
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 233 N Michigan Ave Suite 1800
    Chicago, IL 60601
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

DePaul Institute for Housing Studies, Columbia Univerisity, University of Chicago, Los Angeles Metro, New York City, New York State, New Mexico in Depth, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Associated Press, Uptake Foundation, Generation All, Participatory Budgeting Project, Invisible Institute, LISC-Chicago, National Democratic Institute

Reviews

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Microsite Dev for Applied Research Center

"They’re able to turn around high-quality products within tight deadlines."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DataMade develops microsites with the purpose of displaying data-driven research in a visually appealing, interactive way.

The Reviewer
 
1001-5000 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Geoff Smith
Executive Director, Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

DataMade excels at refining complex concepts into accessible publications that don’t overwhelm the reader. Internal and external stakeholders have praised the appearance of the data visualizations. The long-term partnership has become an integral part of internal processes.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the executive director of the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University. We’re an applied research center based in the business school within the real estate department.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DataMade?

We brought on DataMade to make our web-based data more accessible to our audience of practitioners. Ideally, interacting with the data would become engaging rather than overwhelming and complex.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They perform design as well as development, aiming to create user-friendly, intuitive interfaces for various microsites. We determine and calculate the data points, and they collaborate with us to create solutions using a blend of open source and proprietary technologies. 

We asked DataMade to create an interactive map that displays the diversity of housing stock in the city of Chicago. Since then, they’ve created project-specific microsites that serve as data tools accessible through our main sites. A few of those microsites are data indicators that require routine updates. For example, they created a house price index that visualizes 33 different submarkets. It contains a trend line for each market, a map, and a sortable table that displays key metrics which people can manipulate for each submarket. More recently, they redesigned our entire website and data portal.

What is the team composition?

Our primary point of contact is Derek (Founder, DataMade), and we’ve worked with him throughout the partnership. We communicate with other specialists depending on the skills required for specific projects.

How did you come to work with DataMade?

One of our associates came across their work and decided it would be helpful to connect with the team. After stakeholders had a conversation with DataMade about our work, we decided to hire them for a pilot project. Our relationship has grown over the years as the success of that project has spurred several more projects with the team. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working together in 2014, and the partnership is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Whenever we produce reports, users compliment the UX of the data visualizations. These charts, maps, and tables have become a key component of most of our publications. Now, we budget web-based work into our proposals more often as we’ve recognized the value of their craft. After a successful first engagement, we’ve continued to work with them on a variety of projects.

How did DataMade perform from a project management standpoint?

We appreciate their flexibility—they’re very responsive to last minute ideas. DataMade can turn around high-quality products within tight deadlines. 

Our long-term partnership has enabled us to determine an optimal method of communicating with DataMade that conserves time and effort on both ends. We can rely on them to conform to the initially determined budget.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They are great at simplifying complex data, conveying the key point in an interactive, intuitive manner. Working with data usually means there’s a large pool of research, but they never overwhelm the user with too much information. Often, they will help us refine our concepts to make them more user-friendly, and we really value that feedback. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

Nothing comes to mind that they could improve.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

They work most effectively when their clients spend time considering requirements (e.g. audience, desired outputs). DataMade is great at brainstorming to refine concepts, but clients will be most successful if they come to the team with well-rounded ideas from the start of the engagement.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Web Dev & Design for National Nonprofit

“Their work has helped us add a lot of value to the community.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2014 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

DataMade designed and developed a website that allows users to access information and submit applications. They also built an administrative interface for employees to review applicants. 

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Executive, LISC-Chicago
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

DataMade developed a user-friendly, well-received website that's helped the local community access valuable information. In addition to the quality of their work, their team is also very proactive in communications, timely, and good about accurately scoping work. 

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm an executive at the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC Chicago), a national nonprofit that supports community development efforts. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with DataMade?

Chicago recently started a program that allows residents to purchase vacant city-owned land on the same block they own property on for $1, but it was rolled out without a way for people to be able to determine which slots were eligible for purchase. We engaged DataMade to build a website that allows users to easily access that information. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

DataMade designed and developed an initial version of our website, fully developing it after the city approved the interface. They also built an application function within the site that allows users to apply for the land-purchasing program, including an admin interface for city employees to use as they evaluate applicants. They've continued to provide ongoing maintenance and make updates as needed over the years. 

What is the team composition? 

We mostly work directly with Derek (Founder and Partner, DataMade).

How did you come to work with DataMade?

When I moved to Chicago in 2009, Derek had a good reputation in the civic tech scene; he was known as a pioneer in helping grow Chicago's influence in that field. One of our partners had also worked with DataMade and recommended them. Since we had a limited amount of time to work with, we didn't even consider other vendors. We knew they'd be responsive enough to get the work done in the time we needed it. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been working with them since 2014, and they continue to provide updates and maintenance.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

DataMade developed a very simple and user-friendly website, evolving the site as needed over the years. Their work has helped us add a lot of value to the community. They've worked closely with our partners who are doing neighborhood development work on the ground, creating tools that have solved many of their greatest challenges. 

How did DataMade perform from a project management standpoint?

Their project management skills have been fantastic overall. They've always held high standards of quality and delivered on time, communicating well throughout the engagement. They're also able to scope out the work very accurately and work well with clients lacking a technical background, making information accessible and understandable.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their ability to understand client needs and create a plan of action for achieving their goals sets them apart. 

Are there any areas they could improve?

I don't have any criticisms. 

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

When developing something from scratch, try to think through the sustainability plan of the project. Try to keep the long-term vision in mind, as well as how it might evolve. 

4.5
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer