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You are here: Home / MPRC People / Frauke Kreuter, Ph.D. / Frauke Kreuter Publications / Change Through Data: A Data Analytics Training Program for Government Employees

Frauke Kreuter, Rayid Ghani, and Julia Lane (2019)

Change Through Data: A Data Analytics Training Program for Government Employees

Harvard Data Science Review, 1(2).

From education to health to criminal justice, government regulation and policy decisions have important effects on social and individual experiences. New data science tools applied to data created by government agencies have the potential to enhance these meaningful decisions. However, certain institutional barriers limit the realization of this potential. First, we need to provide systematic training of government employees in data analytics. Second we need a careful rethinking of the rules and technical systems that protect data in order to expand access to linked individual-level data across agencies and jurisdictions, while maintaining privacy. Here, we describe a program that has been run for the last three years by the University of Maryland, New York University, and the University of Chicago, with partners such as Ohio State University, Indiana University/Purdue University, Indianapolis, and the University of Missouri. The program—which trains government employees on how to perform applied data analysis with confidential individual-level data generated through administrative processes, and extensive project-focused work—provides both online and onsite training components. Training takes place in a secure environment. The aim is to help agencies tackle important policy problems by using modern computational and data analysis methods and tools. We have found that this program accelerates the technical and analytical development of public sector employees. As such, it demonstrates the potential value of working with individual-level data across agency and jurisdictional lines. We plan to build on this initial success by creating a larger community of academic institutions, government agencies, and foundations that can work together to increase the capacity of governments to make more efficient and effective decisions.

Evidence-based Policy, Social and Economic Inequality, Data, Data Science, Data Collection, Kreuter
evidence-based policy, training programs, administrative data research facility government data, confidential data
Published online: November 1st, 2019

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