The Value of Brevity

I’ve been reading Seth Godin’s wonderful little blog posts after hearing him interviewed by Krista Tippett. It’s made me re-evaluate how I blog (particularly today’s blogpost), which is very time-intensive and dense. I’m assuming from the lack of engagement that people just don’t have the time to read them or find the content as fascinating […]

Data Driven Government Mini-Lesson

I get asked a lot in my classes what it means to be data driven. And while there are plenty of examples, here’s a little mini-example I hope will demonstrate something of what it means to be data-driven in government. The Guardian recently had an interesting feature piece on the issue of walkability. A key […]

Building Empathy with Data

I recently taught several classes with managers from the NYC Administration for Children’s Services. These folks are near and dear to my heart. Coming from a social sciences background and having experience as a social worker, I have sympathy for their hard and often thankless work. I also appreciate the unique perspective those in the […]

In Praise of Documentation

Too often we do great analysis but it’s a flash in the pan, a snowflake of inspiration that is almost impossible to recapture. That’s why I’d like to offer a few basic thoughts on documenting analytical work, particularly if you’re using a tool like Microsoft Excel: Save a clean copy of the data. Note the source […]

The Challenge of Innovation in Government

In my experience, innovation in government is something everyone wants but few actually understand. And doing the work of bringing innovation to government is hard. By design, government is meant to be dependable for the basic essential services that make life possible, collecting trash, educating kids, and enforcing the laws. This stability creates a culture […]