CA Data Analyst Workflow and Roundtable Presentation


PPP – Data Analyst Workflow and Roundtable. The Workflow is a set of tasks you need to complete to produce part of your Presentation. While the Roundtable is a submitted Discussion where you check in with your classmates and the professor about the workflow.

Data Analysis “is the process of systematically applying statistical and/or logical techniques to describe and illustrate, condense and recap, and evaluate data.” Data analysts work with spreadsheets, collections of spreadsheets (also called databases), and data analysis software. We typically use software by “pointing and clicking”. However, software can be “programmed” as well.

Estimated Time

An estimated 4 hours is needed to complete this activity.

Learning Objectives

By the completion of this learning unit, you will be able to:

Remember what data analysis is.

Understand the utility of causal models.

Apply causal models to your public problem.

Analyze data for patterns related to your public problem’s causes or effects.

Evaluate the utility of data analysis in explaining a public problem.

Create a “Data Analyst Highlight” slide.

Assignment: Data Analyst Workflow

The purpose of the following tasks is to: learn about 2 data analysis software; read about causal models; create three causal models related to your public problem; and create a presentation slide.

Step 1: Overview of data analysis software

The purpose of this step is to introduce yourself to two industry-leading software for data analysis. You are not expected to use this software for this workflow, I just want you to know that it exists so in the future when you hear about data analysis, you will recall: “Hey, I remember there is data analysis software called R Studio and/or STATA!”


As an alternative to watching the video, visit  to read about the R Studio interface.


As an alternative to watching the video, visit  to read about the STATA interface.

Step 2: Explore Causal Models

  • The purpose of this step is to read two short articles that explain causal models and the causal modeling process. This is important for you to read so that you can complete the next step of drawing or creating your own causal models related to your specific public problem.
  • Read Youngblut, J. M. 1994.  Journal of pediatric nursing 9(4): 268–71.
  • Read Youngblut, J. M. 1994.  Journal of pediatric nursing 9(6): 409–13.
  • Step 3: Identify your unit of observation
  • The purpose of this step is to consider what you are observing, before clarifying the relationship between cause and effect.
  • You need to think about the unit of observation your public problem affects. Units of observation are the objects that are affected by the public problem, which can be people, school districts, cities, counties, states, or countries.

What is your unit of observation?

I want to reiterate that your unit of observation should be people, school districts, cities, counties, states, or countries, unless you have a logical argument for it to be some other unit.

Step 4: Draw/Create three Causal Models related to your Public Problem

The purpose of this step is to apply your knowledge of causal models to your specific public problem. The way you apply your knowledge is by drawing three causal models using pen and paper, or creating three causal models using software, such as Microsoft Word SmartArt or Google Draw.

Draw using pen and paper or design using art/draw in document editor (ex. Microsoft Word SmartArt or ) three causal models related to your public problem.

Causal model #1 drawing.

Causal model #2 drawing.

  1. Causal model #3 drawing.

While we are using the language of “causes” and “effects”, there are other terms that are more appropriately use in analyzing causal relations. Causes can also be known as “independent variables” or “treatments”. Effects can also be known as “dependent variables” or “outcomes”.

Step 5: Create your “Data Analyst’s Highlight” Presentation Slide for your Presentation

The purpose of this step is to reflect on these steps by explaining what you liked or disliked about the process, place one or more of your drawn/created causal models in a presentation slide, and find a data table, chart, or graph related public problem and placing it a presentation slide.

A  is available to assist you in preparing this slide and your presentation.

Assignment: Write a Roundtable “Checking In” Post

As you progress through your Public Policy Project and the Analyst Workflows, please check in with me and your peers at our virtual roundtable.

Post any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions that you’d like to share with me and your classmates.

  1. If you don’t have any questions, comments, concerns or suggestions, then feel free to post that as well.
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