Putting a Data Leader in their Place

I’ve been interested a lot recently in what it means to be a data leader. I had the opportunity this week to have a wonderful class with the participants in the recent cohort of the Leadership Institute, sponsored by the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services. Called Leveraging Analytics, we were intentionally provocative in asking […]

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 […]

My 6 Key Takeaways from the Summit on Data-Smart Government

I just finished a day and a half in the company of some of the most interesting people in government, chief data officers and their performance management peers. The occasion was the first Summit on Data-Smart Government, sponsored by the Civic Analytics Network. While there were many great and interesting discussions, here is a short […]

Data-Driven Government

I think like most people, I often use the adjective “data-driven” without having really thought about what it means. I often use it in my data analytics classes as shorthand for how government can be led by data without stopping to discuss the concept or even explain the term. A recent webcast with Carl Anderson changed that. He was talking […]