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Praise for Advanced Analytics

Advanced Analytics creates a completely different mindset for both data professionals and child welfare leadership—it gave our agency a completely different perspective on how our data could be used. As a result, we have been able to turn data collected in our system into usable information that actually has the capacity to impact practice and directly change people’s lives. The longitudinal model taught in Advanced Analytics is virtually data agnostic in that it is not necessarily tied to any specific measurements, data elements, or CQI-related questions. Therefore, it lends itself to usage across a wide range of business functions. I would definitely recommend this class to other child welfare professionals. It would be most beneficial to data professionals such as senior analysts, program administrators, CQI leadership, and even partnered university data analysts and researchers.”

Marvin L. Smith
Programs Administrator, Technology & Governance Unit – KIDS (SACWIS)
Child Welfare Services, Oklahoma Department of Human Services

“The value of Advanced Analytics is that it improves participants’ understanding of the underlying structure of how we look at and use administrative data in child welfare. What I really valued was that the coursework gave me a new perspective on the federal Child and Family Service Review (CSFR) metrics. When you’re looking at those outcomes, you have to have a good understanding of how they are being generated and how that ultimately affects the findings that you’re looking at. The knowledge I gained from Advanced Analytics absolutely, positively helped me to understand the CSFR outcomes, what it was that we had control over and what we didn’t have control over, and how I can best inform my agency in terms of where we wanted to spend our limited energy and resources. That, to me, was extraordinarily helpful. As a private child welfare agency, I have to understand this.”

Lynn Castrianno
Director, CQI and Data Management
Nebraska Families Collaborative

“Participating in Advanced Analytics was an invaluable professional development experience. The course opened my eyes to how I was looking at data. I am now much more critical of information presented to me and I can make more informed decisions from available information. For example, during Advanced Analytics, I became acutely aware of my agency’s dependence on ‘point-in-time’ data and the limitations of those types of analyses. I also became more aware of our focus on improving task compliance and the fact that we often don’t spend enough time looking at the big picture of permanency outcomes. While we still have a tremendous amount of ‘point-in-time’ information, we are now examining entry cohort data and setting baselines and targets for performance to learn about the effectiveness of our new interventions under the IV-E waiver. Advanced Analytics help me build those skills. Increasing leadership knowledge on analyzing child welfare data is essential to effective decision making. I definitely recommend Advanced Analytics to all senior managers and quality managers in child welfare. It is absolutely essential to understanding child welfare data.”

Christina M. Fly
Director of Policy and Continuous Quality Improvement
Tennessee Department of Children’s Services

Advanced Analytics was, simply put, one of the most valuable courses I have ever taken in my professional development. After taking the class, I feel more prepared for being a one person CQI department at my agency. I feel that I am able to better help my agency choose what to measure, who to measure, and how to measure what it is we want to know about the children and families we serve. Ultimately, I am now prepared to tell a better story about what we do that helps children and families. I think other CQI professionals—whether they are at a public or private agency—can benefit from this course. I would love to see some of my colleagues at my agency be able to take it, particularly our CEO and agency leadership team. I really think VPs and Directors of Foster Care programs would especially benefit since the course focuses specifically on that type of program.”

Melissa Curtis
Manager, Performance and Quality Improvement
Lawrence Hall

“If nothing else, having the two mantras of ‘What’s your question?’ and ‘What’s your denominator?’ paired with the understanding of what data set to use to get the information you need made the experience worthwhile. These techniques, along with discussions with peers around how to engage staff back in our organizations with this approach to problem solving, will definitely influence how I use data to do my job going forward. Advanced Analytics offered a solid foundation, but participation in this class was only the beginning of an ongoing process of working with and further understanding and appreciating the concepts covered. I would, most definitely, recommend Advanced Analytics to others. Those involved in Performance and Quality Improvement, Evidence-Based Planning, and Executives responsible for administration of child welfare organizations would all benefit from this experience.”

Michael Wojcik
Associate Executive Director, CQI and Regulatory Compliance
Lutheran Social Services of Illinois

“There were so many ‘ah-ha’ moments for me during the course. I never realized the extreme importance of choosing the correct denominator and what an impact it can have on the outcomes we report. Another game changer for me was idea that because ‘the process of improvement starts with the question,’ you have to have a question in mind before you set out to analyze your data. It made me realize that much of our data reporting has little to do with answering a specific question. This concept really helps define what is important to measure because it helps you get clear on what you actually want to know. I would absolutely recommend this class to others. It was definitely worth the time. I wish I had attended years ago.”

Jennifer Cox
Quality Improvement Coordinator
Hoyleton Youth and Family Services

“As a social worker, I am trained and inclined to work with people—not numbers—and am very interested in and curious about having evidence to assess the effectiveness of our work. For a long time, I have been in need of structured education and training on data and evidence use. Few opportunities can be directly applied to my organizational setting. However, Advanced Analytics is aimed at the specific work our agency does a lot of—child welfare. The course was set at my level of understanding, and since more than one person from my agency was able to attend, we now have the benefit of shared language and understanding of the material; together we will be able to make changes in how we present evidence. The course deepened my capacity to understand the reports that come cross my desk every day. I have a context for reading these documents I didn’t have before. This course was truly illuminating! And it hasn’t even been a week since the course was over!”

Susan Stephens
Vice President & Chief Organizational Development and Support Officer
Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois