What we do

Provide strategic planning services for mission-driven organizations.

Are you looking to roll out a new project or program? Do you want to grow your business and build greater capacity? Do you know you need something different, but you're not sure how or where to start? Let us help you make a plan for your organization.

Conduct research, analysis, and reporting.

Gathering information is often the most time-consuming part of implementing new projects or programs. Then once you have the information that you need, it must be analyzed, organized, and formmatted. We simplify this work by sourcing information for you, whether by conducting community engagement workshops, developing neighborhood surveys, performing primary source research, or parsing quantitative data. Our approach focuses on deriving content from research that is both actionable and meaningful.

Visualize information.

A famous philosopher once noted that "the world is a picture" -- an observation never truer than in our current time. Translating information about the world into visual forms is critical to achieving goals. We storify data by using maps, charts, diagrams, and interactive web content to analyze and share information.

Design and build interactive web-based applications.

Making actionable outcomes of data analysis available to public audiences is key to building public awareness and trust in the work you do. We translate research findings into easily-digestible interactive content and invite cross-constituency interactions through creative digital interfaces. This is how we make big data meaningful.

Develop workshops and trainings on spatial data research, design, and visualization.

We love to share our knowledge, especially by bringing together technologists, humanists, and designers to discuss how we can make our cities better places to work and live. We also offer private workshops on data visualization, spatial research, and application design.

Projects + Resources


PARCi is the Public Archive of Architecture and the City, a digital historical atlas of global urbanism. Architects, planners, preservationists, and researchers can use PARCi's fully-vectorized historical base maps and its analytical tools to generate qualitative and quantitative analyses of architectures and cities without having any GIS training.

Urban Open Data

UOD gathers the open data sites of cities and countries around the world into a single interactive map. The project grew out of our commitment to information sharing and reflects our contribution to making publicly generated data publicly accessible.

Chicago Architects Project

Chicago Architects Project is an ongoing research project by the Society of Architectural Historians that serves to illustrate relationships among and between architects in the Chicago area. We are contributing to CAP by transforming a static genealogical tree into a dynamic web-based application that allows users to trace the lineage of Chicagoland architects and architectural firms.

Data Humanism by Design

We bring together humanists, technologists, and designers through our Data Humanism by Design (DHxD) workshops, public talks, and community events. The next DHxD workshop focuses on how to translate and visualize research questions for broad public audiences. Workshop participants can choose to attend either a single introductory session or an in-depth two-week module to learn interactive visualizations for qualitative research using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. No previous coding or design experience necessary.


J Cephas, Ph.D.

Dr. Cephas works with organizations to bring their impact capacity in alignment with their mission, vision, and goals. Dr. Cephas holds a Ph.D. in Architecture and Urban Planning from Harvard University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Detroit Mercy.

Get in touch

We'd love to hear from you.