Socrata Launches Socrata Data Academy to Provide Government Knowledge Workers Critical Data Analysis Training

November 14, 2017 9:23 am PST

SEATTLE, WA (November 14, 2017) — Socrata — the market leader in cloud-based solutions that enable governments to use data effectively to design, manage, deliver, and improve programs — today announced the Socrata Data Academy, a new initiative to teach government program leaders and government information workers how to analyze data and use modern data analysis technologies like Excel, Tableau, AWS QuickSight, and R.

Socrata has been working in the government data space for more than 10 years and, according to CEO Kevin Merritt, “data analysis education is a critical next step to enabling government employees to have a positive impact in their communities.”

A 2015 GovLoop study showed that 96% of respondents believe they are in need of data analysis education, and the problem has only increased as society has become more digital and governments are amassing data at an ever faster pace. Furthermore, the impending retirement of around 30% of the public sector information workers in many organizations makes the efficient delivery of programs using data even more mission critical. With this environment in mind, Socrata created the Socrata Data Academy to prepare public servants to be more efficient and nimble with data in their day-to-day work.

Over the past few weeks Socrata conducted Socrata Data Academy workshops in Nashville and San Mateo County, California. “Socrata’s Data Academy for Metro Nashville was an exciting and fun way to develop new skills that promote collaborative data use across Metro for problem-solving and process improvement,” says Robyn R. Mace, Chief Data Officer for the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. "We’re already looking forward to our next Academy!”

The program consists of in-person learning from data analysis experts and private classroom trainings designed for each organization’s specific needs. It also includes free online, on-demand courses on key data analysis topics, such as “Visualization and Communication” and “Data Culture, Teams, and Projects," as prerequisites for on-site collaboration.

The classroom experience focuses on group projects for participants. “The Socrata Data Academy was a unique opportunity to collaborate with local government staff from different backgrounds. Working together on hands-on data analysis projects helped us to connect with new ways of approaching problems we currently face in our County,” says John Ridener, Open Data Liaison for San Mateo County, California.

Attendees can also earn certifications for successful course completion and demonstrating data analysis fluency. After their initial training, students receive digital resources and frameworks for future reference. And, program sponsors get an in-depth report highlighting the impact and ROI of course participation after the event.

"I experienced so many positive things during the Socrata Data Academy,” says Rusty Lacy, Metro Nashville Fire Department IT Manager. “The 'How to Frame a Data Analysis Project' approach is excellent for narrowing one’s scope to keep from getting overwhelmed."

Numerous workshops are planned for 2018, including an in-person learning session taking place in partnership with the City of Dallas.

“Socrata’s goal is to enable a data-smart government workforce to fully benefit from their data. It’s the most abundant and valuable resource available to government knowledge workers for accelerating and increasing the impact of their program missions. The Socrata Data Academy will provide government knowledge workers with the data analysis skills that are essential to thriving in the digital world which they find themselves called to operate and lead,” says Kevin Merritt, CEO of Socrata.

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About Socrata

Socrata is the market leader in making existing government data discoverable, usable, and actionable for government workers and the people they serve. Socrata provides a data-as-a-service platform and cloud applications exclusively for city, county, state, and federal government organizations. Socrata delivers unprecedented, data-driven innovation and cost-savings by bringing together disparate systems and leveraging the cloud to dramatically enhance the effectiveness of government programs, to improve quality of life for residents, positively impact local economies, and achieve excellence in government operations. Socrata solutions are designed and developed to meet strict government standards and is the first company of its size to achieve Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) Authority to Operate. The technology is optimized on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Public Sector cloud and delivered using the exclusive Socrata Blueprint Methodology.

Media Contact: 

Elise Oras