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Data Analytics for Public Policy and Social Good

Typically associated with business and tech, analytics is quickly being adopted as a vital tool for government and nonprofit organizations to maximize their impact while dealing with small teams and constrained budgets. This course will show how organizations produce or procure meaningful data, as well as teach how the tools and methods of data analytics are used to inform decision-making in the public sector. It will identify the ways in which data can be used to drive decisions related to spending, organizational efficiency, and reporting.   
Along with sections of the course centered on policy-making and nonprofit work, the class will take a focused look at performance management in local government, which has received a lot of attention as we deal with issues of crime and policing in our communities. The collection and release of data on law enforcement and other essential government activities will be evaluated, and students will learn how to build visualizations of trends in government service delivery to help evaluate outcomes.   
This class will help students understand how organizations and analysts should leverage data––including what kind of measurements they should focus on or ignore––in order to help transform society for the better.

  • Applied statistics, including descriptive analysis related to impact assessment
  • Common analytical techniques (e.g., percentiles) deployed in the social sciences
  • Understanding different dimensions of data and differentiating between cross-sectional and longitudinal studies
  • Data visualization and presentation techniques (histograms, column/row charts, tables, etc)
  • Quality assurance approaches (e.g., PDSA and CQI)
  • Testing and assessment design

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • An understanding of the ways in which organizations and governments set out to quantify social measures and policy outcomes through various modes of assessment
  • The ability to use statistics to understand and explain complex issues and drive decision making
  • Examples of data-driven decision-making in the public sector
  • Exposure to broadly used technologies as well as industry-specific methods for gathering, cleaning, analyzing, and reporting data
  • A special focus on performance management and evaluation and how it informs decision-making in public administration and policymaking
  • An understanding of best practices to mitigate errors, omissions, biases, and unintended consequences in the application of data and evidence to policymaking and administrative decision-making

Ideal for

  • Professionals working in the fields of public policy, public administration, social science research, and other related fields
  • Students seeking career opportunities in research, public policy, public administration, and related fields
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.

    • Section

    • Semester

      Summer 2024
    • Date

      May 21 - Aug 6
    • Day

    • Time

      • Online
    • Format

      • Online
    • Sessions

    • Faculty

      Dunks, Richard
    • Location

      Instructor Led
    Tuition $995