FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Opportunity360?

A comprehensive approach to understanding communities and improving outcomes using: 

  • Cross-sector data
  • Community engagement
  • Map-based measurement tools

Users will be able to leverage the comprehensive data in Opportunity360 to make smarter investments and create collaborative solutions that transform communities.

Who created Opportunity360?

Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise), a nonprofit that brings together nationwide know-how, partners, policy leadership and investment to multiply the impact of local affordable housing development.

What’s different?

Enterprise conducted a thorough review of existing indices, atlases and other publicly available measurement resources and saw the need for a more robust, comprehensive platform at a neighborhood level.

Opportunity360 provides a framework for measuring the basic indicators of well-being for families in every community across the United States. These indicators, presented in the Opportunity360 Measurement Report, are strongly correlated with long-term positive outcomes for low-income families. Unlike other existing platforms, Opportunity360:

  • Pulls together cross-sector data in one report
  • Presents data at a census tract level
  • Provides a broad array of robust housing market and cost data
  • Shows indicators of change over time
  • Is built on a refined conceptual model, grounded in research
  • Separately measures the characteristics of people and places to get a more nuanced view of neighborhood change
  • Leverages third-party tools through partnerships
  • Elevates the role of community and resident perspectives, alongside data, to inform planning and policy
  • Frames the narrative of opportunity to support stronger advocacy efforts
What does the Measurement Report include?

The report measures whether people in a given place have access to resources, institutions and services they need to pursue economic security and high quality of life. It also measures the characteristics of people and how they fare on measures related to opportunity. The primary opportunity outcomes are:

  • Housing Stability
  • Education
  • Economic Security
  • Health and Well-being
  • Mobility

For more information about the data sources and descriptions of the data points, please see the Opportunity360 Data Dictionary.

What kinds of stories can the Opportunity360 help me tell?

Opportunity360 provides detailed analyses and a starting point for understanding the strengths and needs of a specific location. For example, is housing affordability an issue in a location because the housing is relatively expensive, because incomes are low, or some combination of both?

The data can also help demonstrate how a given neighborhood or set of neighborhoods is doing relative to nearby areas, the region, state(s) or the nation.

The data can be used to:

  • Conduct needs assessments
  • Build a case for certain investments or interventions
  • Start a community conversation
  • Identify potential partners for delivering on programmatic priorities
How much does it cost to use Opportunity360?

The basic suite of tools, research and best practices available on the Opportunity360 website are accessible at no cost.

How are the scores calculated?

Opportunity360 contains two distinct sets of indices. 

Outcome Indices capture the characteristics of  residents related to:

  • Housing Stability
  • Education
  • Economic Security
  • Health and Well-being
  • Mobility

Each of these five dimensions is measured by an index value calculated from a combination of neighborhood-level (census tract) variables. Each index value can be interpreted as a percentile rank, from 0-100. For more details, please see the Opportunity360 Index Methodology.  

Neighborhood Pathway scores are calculated for neighborhood characteristics identified by researchers as having a strong impact on the opportunity outcomes of individuals and families:

  • Environment
  • Social capital and cohesion
  • Community institutions
  • Access to jobs, good and services.

These scores are based on normalized census tract variables. They are then factored together using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and converted to a 0-100 percentile ranking. For more details, please see the Opportunity360 Index Methodology.  

How can I interpret the scores?

The scores indicate how a given neighborhood compares to neighborhoods across the country. A score of 50 means the tract is in the 50th percentile – half of all tracts are better off on this dimension and half are worse off. A score above 50 indicates that the tract fares better than the majority of other tracts. Likewise, a value below 50 indicates that the neighborhood scores more poorly than the majority. 

A high score (even a score of 100) does not mean a neighborhood is perfect. It does mean it is among the best neighborhoods in the country on that dimension. A low score does not necessarily mean that a neighborhood is lacking in opportunity, only that most other neighborhoods are stronger on that dimension.

An increase in a score over time would mean that neighborhood has improved relative to other neighborhoods.

For more information about the data sources and descriptions of the data points, please see the Opportunity360 Data Dictionary.

What score would a “high opportunity” area receive?

There is no ideal number that designates a “high” or “low” opportunity area. This is partly because the Opportunity360 index is a relative scale – a score of 100 would mean this neighborhood is the highest scoring existing neighborhood, not that it is perfect.

Opportunity360 uses a multi-faceted approach to measuring opportunity because we recognize that all places can be “communities of opportunity,” each with different assets and challenges to be addressed. We also recognize that opportunity does not look the same to all people. For example, an environment of opportunity for a preschooler may look very different than for a senior with a disability. Opportunity360 should be considered as a set of tools to help identify those needs and assets, and map pathways to opportunity for different communities. 

Where does the data come from?

Opportunity360 blends data hosted by PolicyMap, public data aggregated and processed by Enterprise, and proprietary data purchased from third party providers. The measurement report includes data from the following sources:

  • Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH)
  • American Community Survey
  • Aunt Bertha
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Boxwood Means
  • Census Public School Finance Data
  • Census Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy data (CHAS)
  • Community Development Financial Institutions Fund
  • Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)
  • County Business Plan (CBP) 
  • EJSCREEN: Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • Gallup
  • GreatSchools
  • Harvard/UC Berkeley Equality of Opportunity Project
  • Head Start
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services, Public Libraries Survey
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Location Affordability Index
  • Location Inc.
  • National Center for Education Statistics
  • National Center for Health Statistics
  • Picture of Subsidized Households
  • Streetwyze
  • United States Census Bureau
  • United Stated Department of Agriculture
  • United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • United States Election Atlas
  • WalkScore
How often is the data updated?

Because the data comes from a variety of sources with varied update schedules, we review the data on a quarterly basis to determine what updates need to be completed. We are working with our technology partners on real-time updates where possible.

How can I download the data?

The base datasets currently cannot be exported for public consumption due to license agreements and confidentiality restrictions with proprietary sources.

How can I upload and overlay user data?

The Opportunity360 team provides technical assistance for customized data integration and regional assessments. Please Contact the Opportunity360 team for more information.

How can I engage residents, community members and other stakeholders?

The Opportunity360 platform includes guidance, tools, and case studies for using data and technology to support and expand community engagement efforts in collaboration with our partners at the University of Maryland Center for Smart Growth and PlaceMatters. We also partner with Streetwyze for real-time, resident-generated content. Contact the Opportunity360 team to start a conversation in the community you’re working with.

How do you define a region?

Opportunity360 uses a Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA), a U.S. geographic area defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that consists of one or more counties (or equivalents) anchored by an urban center of at least 10,000 people plus adjacent counties that are socioeconomically tied to the urban center by commuting. For tracts that are not located in a CBSA (primarily rural areas), the region defaults to the surrounding county. 

I'm having technical difficulties. Can you help?

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  • Microsoft Edge

If you are using older browsers such as Internet Explorer version 8, you may experience compatibility issues. 

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