Blog Post

The Results are in: Data Academy Makes a Big Impact!

Data Academy started in 2014 with a handful of workshops on data visualization and has grown to more than 15 courses (for more history see this article). During that time, we gained anecdotal evidence of Data Academy’s effect on the City and how its employees work, but we wanted to more precisely gauge Data Academy’s impact.  So we gathered some data!

A data driven approach

Since Data Academy is about increasing smart use of data via training, we try to exemplify a data driven approach to how we manage it.  We have been using data to drive course creation and course improvement, so we are happy to introduce the Data Academy Impact Report.

Until now we lacked a systematic way of tracking the return on investment of classes. How has it impacted analysts’ day-to-day work? How much time (if any) are they saving?

How we measure impact

The Controller’s Office closed our impact measurement gap by instituting a three month lag impact survey. We survey Data Academy attendees three months after their workshop about how the course impacted (or didn’t) their work. Since many city employees have gone through workshops already, the Controller’s office fielded a ‘catch up’ survey to gauge how those courses have affected analyst’s work. DataSF and Controller’s office are proud to present the results of this initial survey today.

The results: Estimate of 1.7 million in annual savings

Check out the infographic below to dig into how we are measuring impact.

Join the fun

We are super excited about these results. We couldn’t have done it without the instructors who donated their time to train their fellow city and county employees. If you are interested in teaching please reach out. If you are a City and County employee you can sign up to be notified of the next data academy offering here.