Hello and Introduction from Research Associate Jason Olson

Hi, everyone. I’m very excited to be working as Woodstock Institute’s new Research Associate. Woodstock has a lot of exciting projects coming up, and I look forward to an interesting and inspiring experience providing research and technical assistance on behalf of Woodstock (please contact me with your questions). I am responsible for Cook County Foreclosure Remediation Program reports, updating the Data Portal, and offering analytical support for Woodstock’s reports and other projects.

Identifying the right data sources, accurately analyzing data, and clearly and effectively communicating the findings is one of the most important challenges faced by policy institutes.  I frequently call upon a few resources for technical and theoretical insight into data-driven public policy analysis:

I frequently call upon the Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder to download the most-recent official statistics on people, where they live, and what they do. American Fact Finder shares data from the Census, the American Community Survey, population estimates, and surveys and statistics of bureaus and industries.

Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) offers a simple and easy way to download, graph, and track economic data regarding banking, finance, employment, pricing, and housing.  You can also view the FRED data via mobile apps for Android and iPhone.

For inspiration in data reporting practices, I look to the New York Times’ Upshot, which has great infographics, data visualizations, and data analyses on public policy issues and more.

Similarly, the Tableau community is a fantastic resource for data visualizations for nonprofits, politics, journalists, and more. I visit daily to see the new “Viz of the Day.”

I hope that you find these links helpful! If you have any questions or require technical assistance with your work, please contact me by e-mail or phone.