Today marks a bittersweet day in Data Driven Detroit’s history as we celebrate the achievements of Detroit’s own data guru and D3’s founding director, Kurt Metzger.
This morning, Kurt was honored at a breakfast at Detroit’s Rattlesnake Club. Friends and colleagues praised his accomplishments and thanked him for his work using data to make nonprofits and governments more efficient and effective. Although Kurt has moved on to new endeavors, he has left an indelible imprint on the city and Data Driven Detroit.
Kurt has spent more than 35 years promoting data accessibility in Southeast Michigan through his work with the Census Bureau, Wayne State University, the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, and founding of Data Driven Detroit.
In 2008, Kurt was serving as the Research Director for the United Way when the philanthropic community in Detroit recognized the need for data to help focus investment and measure outcomes. City Connect was developing a concept for the Detroit-Area Community Information System (D-ACIS). They tapped Kurt to bring the concept to life and serve as director.
Kurt’s vision for D-ACIS was an independent, objective clearinghouse that would provide information to the community at large, working with organizations that held the same beliefs regarding collaboration and information-sharing. In 2010, D-ACIS became Data Driven Detroit (D3). For five years at D3, Kurt was our mentor, leading us through many challenges and opportunities along the way.
Erica Raleigh, D3’s current director, is proud to continue the work that Kurt began. “Kurt’s vision is the reason I wanted to work with him,” she said. “He gathered a talented group of people at D3 who are committed to ensuring the equitable distribution of unbiased and essential information. We will continue our mission of providing high-quality, accessible information to drive informed decision-making.”