This course is designed for public entrepreneurs — passionate and innovative people who wish to take advantage of new technology to do good in the world. It is designed for public entrepreneurs inside and outside of government who want to build their capacity to use data and evidence for policy and decision-making.
The explosion in the availability of new sources of data and the emergence of new data science technologies for making use of such data are expected to have a significant impact on public institutions and how they solve problems and make decisions.
Whether the goal is improved outcomes and equities, reduced cost and inefficiency, more evidence about what works or the identification of new operational solutions, the ability to use data is becoming essential to governing well in the 21st century.
Much of the promise of such data-driven and evidence-based decisionmaking has failed to materialize because those in public institutions lack the experience needed for turning data into actionable insights. Even those with quantitative skills often confront legal or technical impediments making it difficult to know how to collect, analyze, use, share, and store data responsibly and ethically.
Solving Public Problems with Data examines how data can be used to improve decisionmaking and problem solving in the public sector. Through real world examples and case studies, we discuss the fundamental principles of data science to help foster a data analytic mindset. The goal is to enable you to define and leverage the value of data to achieve your public mission. No prior experience with computer science or statistics is necessary or assumed.