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Arkansas Viewpoints: What is the most important statistic/metric that Arkansans should be working to change?
/ June 11, 2015
Arkansas Viewpoints is featured in our quarterly ENGAGE magazine. To read more about how tracking and measurement can help improve communities, you can view the full edition online

By Governor Asa Hutchinson

 The most important measure of success for Arkansas is whether we are creating jobs and growing our economy. That’s my No. 1 goal. That’s the reason we have focused on reducing our high income tax rate, requiring computer science to be offered in every high school, reducing burdensome regulations and increasing job-skill training in the state.

All of those things will help us create more jobs and grow our economy, and that is the most important metric that we need to change here in Arkansas.

As Governor, I started with a plan to lower income taxes for the middle class. It was a promise I made to the people of Arkansas during the campaign. In January, I signed the Middle-Class Tax Relief Act into law. This will give a tax break to some 600,000 hard-working Arkansans.

Arkansas has been an island of high taxation for too long. Every neighboring state has a lower income tax rate than we do. The Middle-Class Tax Relief Act is a significant first step toward making our income taxes more competitive. Ultimately, that will help us attract jobs, improve our economy and change the state’s metrics for the better.

By Sherece Y. West-Scantlebury

Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

 I was asked to write an essay on what are the one or two most important metrics to measure in community change initiatives.  As I began preparing this essay, the metric I am most compelled to say is the most important is . . .well, the metric.  In my 30-something years working in community change, I have observed that community leaders, stakeholders and nonprofit organizations know that data is powerful and great for informing decisions.  But we do not metrics. I know that metrics is a noun and not a verb, but indulge me for a moment.  We know we need to “metric” at the outset of any work we do in community to
  1. Make data-driven decisions to build our communities,
  2. Help increase effectiveness by showing which efforts have the greatest impact, and thus, where we should spend our money and time,
  3. Be accountable to our constituents, whether they are clients, donors, board members or those who believe in what we do,
  4. Support fundraising, and
  5. Promote our impact and tell our stories.

If we know we need to metric, we should just do it.  Seriously, just do it.  The metrics that are most important for you to track depend on your vision, mission and goals.  Communities have the power to decide which metrics to track, when to track them, how to track them and why they are important.  Do what is best, most cost effective, and metrically measurable (indulge me here, too) for your community change.  Keep metrics simple.  Keep metrics doable.  Most important, just do it.


Other stories from our May 2015 edition of ENGAGE include: 

Awareness, Early Detection, Research Improve Breast Cancer Statistics
Read more now >> 


Data is Key Ingredient to End Hunger and Improve Nutrition in Arkansas
Read more now >>

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