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.
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.
SAVI Director and Associate Director, Polis CenterSharon 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.
Research ProgrammerGautham 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 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.
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.
Systems Engineering ManagerNeil 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.
Database AdministratorJames 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 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.
ProgrammerRobert is a computer application developer. He designs, implements and documents application software. He has a degree in computer science from West Virginia University.
Business ManagerAs 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.
GIS AnalystJohn 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.
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
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.
Research AnalystMatt 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.
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.
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)
Training & Curriculum Development Specialist, INRC
Director, Advocacy and Professional Relations, Eli Lilly
Quality Assurance Analyst, Employ Indy
Director of Foundation and Corporate Giving, YMCA of Greater Indianapolis
Associate Vice Chancellor, IUPUI Office of Community Engagement
Senior Research Analyst, IU Public Policy Institute
Strategic Information, United Way of Central Indiana
Manager, Capacity Building, United Way of Central Indiana
SAVI Community Profile Advisory Committee (2017-2018)
Director, Office of Public Health Performance Management, Indiana State Department of Health
Director of Collaborative Research, The Polis Center
Planning Supervisor, Indianapolis Public Schools
CFO and EVP of Strategic Initiatives, INHP
Data Manager, Renew Indianapolis
CDBG Manager, Department of Metropolitan Development
Operations Director, Edna Martin (Center for Working Families)
SAVI Community Assessment Tool Advisory Committee (2015-2016)
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
Director of Research and Evaluation, United Way of Central Indiana
Former Research Analyst, United Way of Central Indiana
Kayli Schafer Krevda
Former Director of Strategic Research, United Way of Central Indiana
SAVI Advisory Board (2008-2015)
Pastor, Oasis of Hope Church
Executive Vice President, Portfolio and Corporate Finance, Herman & Kittle Properties, Inc.
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
Principal Planner, Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization
Executive Vice President of Content Services,
Executive Director, Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center
Director of Research and Information Resources, United Way of Central Indiana
Program Officer, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Attorney at Law,
Jones & Kennedy, LLC
Director, Community Research Center,
University of Indianapolis
Economic and Community Development Liaison,
Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors
Department of Metropolitan Development
City of Indianapolis
|Lee Lewellen (Chair 2012 – 2015)
CEO, Indiana Economic Development Assoc. (Board Chair)
The Polis Center, ex officio
|Paula Parker-Sawyers Means
Missions Director, Tabernacle Presbyterian Church
The Polis Center, ex officio
Manager, Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Association
|Dr. Beverly Pitts
President, University of Indianapolis
Vice President, Research, Planning, & International Partnerships, University of Indianapolis
Executive Vice President, YMCA of Greater Indianapolis
|Dr. Algeania Freeman
President, Martin University
Ted R. Grossnickle
Ron Gifford (Chair 2008 – 2012)
Laura Bramble (2008 – 2011)
Technology Advisory Committee
Gail Farnsley (Committee Chair)
Executive Partner, Gartner Executive Programs
President, Inverse Square
Business Intelligence and Data Strategy Solution Manager, Fusion Alliance
BI Solution Manager, Allegient
Jeffrey S. Ton
Executive Vice President of Product and Service Development, Bluelock
Data Security & Privacy Task Force
Office of Student Data Mgmt. & Access, Manager, University Data Steward
IU General Counsel, Associate General Counsel
University Information Policy Office , Chief Privacy Officer
The Polis Center, Sr. Research Analyst
University Information Security Office, University Chief Security Officer
The Polis Center, Director, System Engineering
The Polis Center, Database Administrator
Rooney Foundation, Director
United Way of Central Indiana, VP Strategic Information
The Polis Center, Business Manager
The Polis Center, Director, Community Informatics
University Information Security Office, University Info Security Officer
University Information Security Office, University Principal Security Engineer
University Compliance, University HIPPA Security Officer
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