Coleridge Initiative

Training

Overview

The Applied Data Analytics programs are targeted at government agency staff and public policy analysts. Over 500 people from over 100 agencies have been trained over the past three years.

For more detailed information about the vision behind our training programs, check out Change Through Data: A Data Analytics Training Program for Government Employees in the Harvard Data Science Review.

Course Curriculum

The Applied Data Analytics curriculum has been developed in conjunction with federal, state and local agencies.   The curriculum is designed to train government employees and public policy analysts how to tackle important policy problems.  The project-focused learning approach shows participants how to apply modern computational and data analysis methods and tools to actual confidential data.  Much of the hands-on learning involves working on pre-defined projects that are built around pre-built Jupyter notebooks which provide project “recipes” that can be customized for specific use cases as well as applied to later projects in participants’ agencies.

All work takes place in a secure environment – the Coleridge Initiative’s Administrative Data Research Facility. 

The class is taught using the second edition of the textbook Big Data and Social Science: A Practical Guide to Methods and Tools, edited by three of the Coleridge Initiative directors (Rayid Ghani, Frauke Kreuter and Julia Lane).

Module-Based Course Delivery

Source: Chapter 1.7 of the Second Edition of the textbook Big Data and Social Science: A Practical Guide to Methods and Tools

Module 1: Asynchronous self-paced learning (videos) weekly for 4 weeks; weekly 1 hour chat with instructor

Modules 2 and 3: Partially asynchronous self-paced learning (videos); partially synchronous online meeting 4 days a week 11am-1pm Eastern for 2 weeks per module; 1 hour lecture and discussion followed by 1 hour group project work with instructors. The time commitment for each module is equivalent to a 3-day in-person course.

Final presentations: Approximately 4 weeks after the end of Module 3

Upcoming Training Programs

Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration - Winter 2021

The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration is facilitating an Applied Data Analytics training program for state teams. The particular focus of this training series will be on using example data from the state of Illinois, training provider, and wage record data to examine the unemployment to reemployment trajectories of UI benefit claimants and visualize them in a dashboard.   The results will be to provide participants with (i) an understanding of how to work with similar data in their own state and (ii) the code necessary to produce a portal similar to the Illinois portal highlighted here. There will be an informational Zoom webinar describing the class on Wednesday, October 21 from 12-1pm Eastern. Registration for the webinar is available on the right-hand panel.

Schedule

Application: Open
Introduction to SQL & R: Begins December 14th (online)
Module 2: January 25-26, January 28-29, February 1-2, & February 4-5 (online, 11am-1pm Eastern)
Module 3: February 25-26 & March 1-2 (online, 11am-1pm Eastern)
Remote Presentations: April 2 (online)

California - Spring 2021

Online

There will be a 2020 Applied Data Analytics workshop in California. Participants will work in teams with state child welfare, education, and employment agency data. The specific focus of the workshop will be on connecting child welfare data with education, housing, and workforce outcomes. The program will provide instruction on using big data tools including SQL and R. Participants will receive training on core data tools such as record linkage and data visualization as well as cutting-edge training in machine learning.

Schedule

Application: Coming Soon!
Introduction to SQL & R: Begins February 1st (online)
Module 2: March 1-2, March 4-5, March 8-9, & March 11-12 (online)
Module 3: April 21-23 (potentially online)
Remote Presentations: TBD (online)

NCSES - Alexandria, VA - Fall 2020

Online

In this Applied Data Analytics training program, participants will work in teams to define and complete a project related to career pathways for doctoral recipients. The program will provide up-to-date perspectives and hands-on instruction on using micro data in SQL and R for tasks such as data management, record linkage, data visualization, and machine learning. We are hosting an informational webinar July 28th at 12pm Eastern. The link to register can be accessed here.

Schedule

Application: Closed
Introduction to SQL & R: Begins September 14 (online)
Module 2: October 14 – 16, October 19-20, & October 22-23 (online)
Module 3: November 16-17, November 19-20, & November 30 (online)
Remote Presentations: December 16 (online)

TDC - Washington, DC - Spring 2020

Online

In this Applied Data Analytics training program, participants invited from the TDI-Pilot Initiative will work in teams to complete an analytics project using confidential TANF recipient and wage record data. The program will provide instruction on using tools including SQL and R. Participants will receive training on core data analysis techniques such as data exploration, record linkage and data visualization. Registration is only for participants invited by the TDC program.

Schedule

Application: Closed
Introduction to SQL & R: Begins May 11 (online)
Online & in-person training in Washington, DC
   Module 2: June 8 – June 19 (online)
   Module 2.5: July 22 (online)
   Module 3: September 20 – 23 (online)
Remote Presentations: October 23

Kentucky - Summer 2020

Online

There will be a 2020 Applied Data Analytics workshop in Kentucky. Participants will work in teams with state education and employment agency data. The specific focus of the workshop will be on connecting education and job training data with workforce outcomes. The program will provide instruction on using big data tools including SQL and R. Participants will receive training on core data tools such as record linkage and data visualization as well as cutting edge training in machine learning. The program will consist of two remote modules, each spanning a two-week period divided into two-hour training intervals covering the various topics. For more information, please click here.

Schedule

Application: Closed
Introduction to SQL & R: Begins May 28 (online)
Online & in-person training in KY
   Module 2: June 22 – 23, June 25 – 26, & June 29 – July 2 (online)
   Module 2.5: July 29 (online)
   Module 3: September 16 – 18 (online)
Remote Presentations: October 16

Highlights From Previous Programs

The first six programs were partially sponsored by the US Census Bureau, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Overdeck Family Foundation, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The thematic focus of each program was: Criminal Justice, Welfare programs, High Need Populations, and Economic Development. Over 250 government agency staff and researchers participated in these four training programs. Here is what they had to say:

“…knowing what’s possible has helped tremendously in influencing the reality of our projects”

“I also co-authored a journal article on predicting farms that would need to apply for new loans which wouldn’t have happened without the machine learning skills I learned in the class.”

“My colleague and I have found several ways to use Python to make our work processes more efficient.”

“…hearing the topics in the class taught by experts felt as though a veil was lifted.”

“I’ve been able to use tools to help streamline my work and to identify opportunities to utilize machine learning in the City.”

Sample Projects

Addressing Recidivism: Technical Violations
Mommy Don't Go: Recidivism of Mothers
From Prosecuted to Job Recruited: Employment after Prison

Previous Programs

Introduction to Big Data for Social Science - Short Course 2020

The Coleridge Initiative’s Introduction to Big Data for Social Science training program focused on presenting key big data tools to social and data scientists. Held online.

Applied Data Analytics - OSU 2020

The Coleridge Initiative’s Applied Data Analytics training program focused on connecting education and job training data with workforce outcomes. Held in Columbus, OH.

Applied Data Analytics - NCSES 2019

The Coleridge Initiative’s Applied Data Analytics training program focused on employment outcomes for doctoral recipients. Held in Washington, DC.

Applied Data Analytics - USDA 2019

The Coleridge Initiative’s Applied Data Analytics training program focused on food purchasing patterns of households participating in the WIC program. Held in Washington, DC.

Applied Data Analytics - TANF Data Collaborative 2019

The Coleridge Initiative’s Applied Data Analytics training program focused on employment outcomes of TANF recipients. Held in College Park, MD.

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