Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Researching the Future: NRPA's Revamped PRORAGIS 2.0 Tool and Forthcoming GIS Capabilities Represent the Next Evolution in Research for Our Field

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Researching the Future: NRPA's Revamped PRORAGIS 2.0 Tool and Forthcoming GIS Capabilities Represent the Next Evolution in Research for Our Field

Article excerpt

There is a saying that "information is power." While that phrase can be a cliche, there is much wisdom behind it. Gaining knowledge to better understand the current environment, define best practices and identify opportunities for improvement empowers decision makers to make informed choices for the future.

This is especially true in our field. Few things support park and recreation professionals and citizen advocates more in their leadership role to develop a future vision for parks, recreation services and conservation practices than sharing information and insights with peers. That is where NRPA's research team is your partner.

The good news is that you are just a few mouse clicks away from accessing this information. NRPA is dedicated to collecting, analyzing and communicating data to identify emerging trends, critical insights and key standards to advance parks, recreation facilities and conservation in your communities. Research can span from the compiling and analysis of operational data and benchmarks to the development of findings that support advocacy efforts at the local, state and national level, as well as boost societal welfare.

Data

NRPA's flagship research offering is the profession's most thorough and respected source of critical operational and performance measures. PRORAGIS gives park and recreation agencies the information they need to improve processes, increase efficiencies and support operations. This data provides your agency the credibility it needs when it faces questions on budgeting, staffing and capital investment.

Through the simple investment of your time as you enter your organization's data into PRORAGIS, you gain a wealth of information that allows you to compare and benchmark your organization to its peers across town or on the other side of the country. Whereas in the past, you were reliant on external resources to gain perspective on even the simplest questions about how your agency compares, you now are able to glean critical data on everything from operational and capital budgets and staffing to the scope of and resources needed for your agency's current and future offerings. Whether answering a budget question from your city council or working with a consultant to develop a master plan, PRORAGIS has the critical data to make forward-looking decisions that are based on facts, not speculation.

Earlier this year, we launched PRORAGIS 2.0 to provide park and recreation professionals with an improved interface experience and more relevant reporting tools. But that is not the only enhancement that the system will see in 2015. …

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