Introduction to Data Analysis for Government

Introduction to Data Analysis for Government


  • You should be able to open Excel and be a government employee.


Data has exploded in the last few years, but educational resources for government information workers to take advantage of that data to improve program outcomes haven’t kept up. This first course in the series Fundamentals of Data Analysis for Government focuses on the key components of setting up and executing a data analysis project.

What You’ll Learn in this Course

  • How to frame a data analysis project
  • The power of simple descriptive statistics to guide decision making
  • Examples of data being effectively used in the public sector
  • Methods to download, evaluate, clean, and analyze data using Excel
  • How you can be influenced by biases, and can unintentionally introduce them into your analysis
  • The difference between structured, machine-readable data and unstructured, human-readable data

Contents and Overview

This course is ideal for government employees who have a strong qualitative understanding of their work but have yet to master the quantitative skills needed to leverage data in their day-to-day responsibilities. Through ~25 lectures and ~2 hours worth of content, you’ll learn all of the fundamentals of government data analysis and establish a strong understanding of the concepts behind using data. Each chapter contains proficiency quizzes and hands-on exercises to practice while you’re learning.

Starting with a high-level overview of a data analysis project framework, this course will take you through identifying the actual problem to solve, exploring and defining a conceptual model around the problem, analyzing data to support or reject that model, then communicating insights found from the data analysis to address the problem at hand. Students will see all steps of the framework completed through the lens of a real-world data project done in the City of New Orleans.

Students completing the course will have the knowledge to analyze data and utilize it to improve government program delivery.

With these basics mastered, students are able to continue their learning through the Socrata Data Academy courses online.

Who this course is for:

  • Government employees who work with data in their day-to-day job.