About Us

SAVI helps organizations and individuals make data-informed decisions.

It’s our vision that all organizations will have access to and use data to improve planning and decision-making and ultimately improve the quality of life in the communities they serve. SAVI is a program of The Polis Center at IUPUI.

Learn more about our work and our team below.

OUR SERVICES

We provide reliable data about communities.

We empower organizations and people with the information they need to affect change. Explore the data.

We create actionable information.

We analyze data to develop knowledge that can make an impact. Discover our findings.

We develop tools for data analysis.

Our tools enable you to easily explore information about your community, whether you are a data novice or a data analyst. Explore the data.

We support and train organizations to use data.

Our education program equips organizations and citizens with the skills needed to use data effectively. Sign up now.
OUR STORY

SAVI began in 1994 as a program of The Polis Center at IUPUI in a partnership with United Way of Central Indiana. Since then SAVI has become one of the country’s first and largest online community information systems. Each year we serve hundreds of organizations, train hundreds of people, and offer free data to thousands of users.

OUR TEAM
Sharon Kandris

Sharon Kandris

SAVI Director and Associate Director, Polis Center

Sharon joined Polis in 1999 and directs the center’s community informatics strategy. She served on the executive committee of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, a 29-city collaboration lead by the Urban Institute. She earned a master’s degree in geography from University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
Gautham Bavandla

Gautham Bavandla

Research Programmer

Gautham joined Polis in 2011 as a full-stack developer. He received his master’s in computer and information sciences from Purdue University and has extensive experience in databases, data mining, information security, intelligent systems, advanced mobility, and cloud computing.
Jay Colbert

Jay Colbert

Project Manager

Jay Colbert has been with The Polis Center for 14 years. He specializes in data analysis, geographic information systems, and SAVI, including SAVI data development and training. His interest lies in staring into a pile of numbers or geographic data, making sense of it, and then turning it into a real decision-making asset.

Kelly Davila

Kelly Davila

Senior Research Analyst

Kelly has a background in public policy research and urban planning. She has experience in academic research, applied social science, and transportation planning. She holds a Masters of Science degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa, where she attended as a Dean’s Graduate Research Fellow.

Neil Devadasan

Neil Devadasan

Systems Engineering Manager

Neil joined Polis in 1996 and leads the center’s technology team, including developers and database administrators. He was one of fifteen international fellows in the 2005-2006 Reuters Digital Vision Fellowship Program at Stanford University. He is an engineering graduate of the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
Jim Dowling

Jim Dowling

Database Administrator

James Dowling is director of information systems. He oversees staff responsible for corporate network, database, and application support. His duties include developing network and database policies, specifying and allocating equipment, planning disaster recovery, and developing custom applications for GIS and database applications.
Allegra East

Allegra East

Communications Manager

Allegra works to increase the visibility and convey the value of the diverse research projects at The Polis Center. In addition, she directs media relations and fulfills graphic design activities. She has more than 20 years of experience, including work with The Dallas Mavericks, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Purdue University, Clarian North Medical Center, and AUL.

Robert Ferrell

Robert Ferrell

Programmer

Robert is a computer application developer. He designs, implements and documents application software. He has a degree in computer science from West Virginia University.
Melissa Gona

Melissa Gona

Business Manager

As the business manager for The Polis Center, Melissa is responsible for overseeing all financial transactions for the center. This includes budgeting, forecasting, and human resources. Melissa has over twenty years in the GIS industry with both administrative and production experience.
John Hayes

John Hayes

GIS Analyst

John is a GIS analyst who specializes in data processing, quality assurance, and quality control. John helps process SAVI data and test it for quality. He performs frequency analysis, data class replication and other statistical testing.
Debra Hollon

Debra Hollon

GIS Analyst

Deb specializes in defining, transforming, and anlyzing data. She has a BA from Indiana State University, an MBA from Vanderbilt University, and an MS in Geography/GIS from Ball State University.  She spent several years as non-partisan legislative staff before using GIS to find her way out of the wilderness.

Unai Miguel Andres

Unai Miguel Andres

GIS and Data Analyst

Unai focuses on geoprocessing data, data analysis, and data literacy education. His expertise is in mixed methods research, GIS software, and remote sensing applications. Unai previously worked for the Muncie Food Hub Partnership. H has a Master of Urban and Regional Planning and a MS in Natural Resources and Environmental Management, both from Ball State University. 

Matt Nowlin

Matt Nowlin

Research Analyst

Matt Nowlin is a research analyst with the Polis Center. He works in the Community Informatics team, focusing on analysis, data visualization, and web development. Matt received his Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from Ball State University and his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
Kim Sarver

Kim Sarver

Senior Research Project Manager

Kim is certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and a Project Management Professional from the Project Management Institute. Sarver holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Wayne State University in Detroit and a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee State University in Nashville. She has served on the Volunteer Committee for Women & Hi-Tech and initiated the pilot program for STEM Scouts.

OUR PARTNERS
SAVI relies on the outstanding support of foundations and community organizations
to keep our data, tools, and training accessible at no charge.

Lilly Endowment, Inc.

Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, Inc.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

United Way of Central Indiana

Marion County Public Health Department

IUPUI Center for Service & Learning (Service Learning Assistant Scholarship Program)

In-kind contributions are provided  by the Indianapolis Public Library.

Library staff offer trainings on SAVI data and tools. These are free and open to the public. Visit www.indypl.org/events to learn more.

We are a proud affiliate of The National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership.

NNIP is a collaboration between the Urban Institute and local organizations that connect people with neighborhood data. We tackle challenges in education, health, housing, economic opportunity, and public safety. 

We are an Indiana State Library Data Center Affiliate.

The Indiana State Data Center makes the Census as well as other federal and state statistics on such topics as demographics and economics available through a statewide network of affiliates located in state agencies, universities, libraries, local planning agencies, small business development centers, and non-profit organizations. 

BOARDS & COMMITTEES
SAVI Education Program Advisory Committee (2017-2018)

Maury Plambeck
Training & Curriculum Development Specialist, INRC

Mike Simmons
Director, Advocacy and Professional Relations, Eli Lilly

Marsha Williams
Quality Assurance Analyst, Employ Indy

Tiffany Hattfield
Director of Foundation and Corporate Giving, YMCA of Greater Indianapolis

Khaula Murtahda
Associate Vice Chancellor, IUPUI Office of Community Engagement

Breanca Merritt
Senior Research Analyst, IU Public Policy Institute

Denise Luster
Strategic Information, United Way of Central Indiana

Sarah Zike
Manager, Capacity Building, United Way of Central Indiana

SAVI Community Profile Advisory Committee (2017-2018)

Eden Bezy
Director, Office of Public Health Performance Management, Indiana State Department of Health

Karen Comer
Director of Collaborative Research, The Polis Center

Tricia Frye
Planning Supervisor, Indianapolis Public Schools

Joe Hanson
CFO and EVP of Strategic Initiatives, INHP

Chris Hartley
Data Manager, Renew Indianapolis

Jeff Hasser
CDBG Manager, Department of Metropolitan Development

Tawnya McCrary
Operations Director, Edna Martin (Center for Working Families)

Kelli Mirgeaux
Consultant, Polyphonic

SAVI Community Assessment Tool Advisory Committee (2015-2016)

Bob Cross
Consultant

Karen Gentleman
Owner and Consultant, Gentleman McCarty

Demetrius Glover, Ph.D.
Former Vice President of Strategic Information, United Way of Central Indiana

Carmen Luca Sugawara
Ph.D., Associate Professor, IU School of Social Work at IUPUI

Denise Luster
Director of Research and Evaluation, United Way of Central Indiana

Lexie McGillis
Former Research Analyst, United Way of Central Indiana

Diane Pfeiffer
Consultant

Kayli Schafer Krevda
Former Director of Strategic Research, United Way of Central Indiana

SAVI Advisory Board (2008-2015)
Frank Alexander
Pastor, Oasis of Hope Church
Todd Sears
Executive Vice President, Portfolio and Corporate Finance, Herman & Kittle Properties, Inc.
David Bethuram
President, Catholic Charities Indianapolis
Jim Sparks (Vice Chair 2012 – 2015)
Geographic Information Officer, Indiana Office of Technology
(Board Vice Chair)
Dr. Virginia Caine
Director, Marion County Health Department
Andrew Swenson
Principal Planner, Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization
Alan Cloe
Executive Vice President of Content Services,
WFYI
Anne-Marie Taylor
Executive Director, Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center
Demetrius Glover
Director of Research and Information Resources, United Way of Central Indiana
Sara VanSlambrook
Program Officer, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Marya Jones
Attorney at Law,
Jones & Kennedy, LLC
Kevin Whiteacre
Director, Community Research Center,
University of Indianapolis
Sara Laycock
Economic and Community Development Liaison,
Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors
Brad Beaubien
Planning Administrator,
Department of Metropolitan Development
City of Indianapolis
Lee Lewellen (Chair 2012 – 2015)
CEO, Indiana Economic Development Assoc. (Board Chair)
David Bodenhamer
The Polis Center, ex officio

Paula Parker-Sawyers Means
Missions Director, Tabernacle Presbyterian Church
Sharon Kandris
The Polis Center, ex officio
Mike Dearing
Manager, Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Association
Dr. Beverly Pitts
President, University of Indianapolis
Mary Moore
Vice President, Research, Planning, & International Partnerships, University of Indianapolis
Michelle Goodrich
Executive Vice President, YMCA of Greater Indianapolis
Dr. Algeania Freeman
President, Martin University

Bill Taft
Local Initiatives Support Coalition

Ted R. Grossnickle
Chairman & CEO, Johnson, Grossnickle, and Associates, Inc.

Dennis Ryerson
Editor & Vice President, IndyStar

Roger Schmenner
Chief of Staff, Office of the Chancellor

Janet Boston
Director of Regional Services & Community Relations, Arts Council Of Indianapolis

Ron Gifford (Chair 2008 – 2012)
President & CEO, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership

Rose Fife
Assistant Dean for Research, Indiana University School of Medicine

Michele Goodrich
Sr. Consultant, Donor by Design Group

Steve Sullivan
Chief Executive Officer, Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors

Moira Carlstedt
President, Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership

Emily Hardwick
CHEP Program Manager, Indiana CTSI, Community Health Engagement Program

Laura Bramble (2008 – 2011)
CEO, Indianapolis Marion County Public Library

John Krauss
Executive Director, Indiana University Public Policy Institute

Jennifer Hill
Community Outreach Coordinator, Indiana CTSI, Community Health Engagement Program

Greg Pastor
Director Information Technology, Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership

Douglas Miller
Co-Director, Indiana CTSI, Community Health Engagement Program

Paula Parker-Sawyers
Program Manager, Indiana CTSI, Community Health Engagement Program

Technology Advisory Committee

Gail Farnsley (Committee Chair)
Executive Partner, Gartner Executive Programs

Bob Baird
President, Inverse Square

Andrew Bittermann
Business Intelligence and Data Strategy Solution Manager, Fusion Alliance

David Ortiz
BI Solution Manager, Allegient

Jeffrey S. Ton
Executive Vice President of Product and Service Development, Bluelock

Data Security & Privacy Task Force

Julie Aders
Office of Student Data Mgmt. & Access, Manager, University Data Steward

Angela Adams
IU General Counsel, Associate General Counsel

Sara Chambers
University Information Policy Office , Chief Privacy Officer

Kelly Davila
The Polis Center, Sr. Research Analyst

Tom Davis
University Information Security Office, University Chief Security Officer

Neil Devadasan
The Polis Center, Director, System Engineering

Jim Dowling
The Polis Center, Database Administrator

Frank Faults
Rooney Foundation, Director

Demetrius Glover
United Way of Central Indiana, VP Strategic Information

Melissa Gona
The Polis Center, Business Manager

Sharon Kandris
The Polis Center, Director, Community Informatics

Andrew Korty
University Information Security Office, University Info Security Officer

Keith Lehigh
University Information Security Office, University Principal Security Engineer

Andrew Marsh
University Compliance, University HIPPA Security Officer

Leslie Pfeffer
University Compliance, University HIPPA Privacy Officer

Thank you to our data partners.

 

211 Connect to Help

Center for Congregations

Family and Social Services Administration

Indiana Department of Education

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Indiana State Department of Health

Indianapolis Bureau of Neighborhood Services

Indianapolis Department of Public Works

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department

Indianapolis Public Library

Indiana State Police

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful

Marion County Treasurers Office

United Way of Central Indiana