Data Analysis Framework Origins

The Data Analysis Framework grew out of a Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Technology Initiatives Grant (TIG) project conducted October, 2013 through September, 2015. The project was a partnership between The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, Montana Legal Services Association, Strategic Data Analytics, the Northeast Ohio Data Collaborative, and Cleveland State University to develop data analysis technology strategies to increase client service effectiveness and organizational efficiencies. The analyses conducted during the project revealed patterns, some of which were expected and other which piqued interest, raised questions, and generated discussion regarding what the data revealed and how that new information could improve effectiveness and efficiency. This collaborative process culminated in the generation of ideas and tools that are helping Cleveland Legal Aid and Montana Legal Services improve their service to vulnerable populations.

One of the products of this TIG project was the design for this Data Analysis Framework, intended to help any legal aid interested in proactively and strategically using data to better serve their clients in the same ways that Cleveland and Montana are now doing.

The Data Analysis Framework is organized around a set of data questions and provides guidance on how to answer those data questions through several types of analyses – snapshots, comparisons, trend analysis, geographic distribution analyses, and geographic concentration analyses. It provides instructions and templates for both high-level questions related to counts and trends, and for more detailed questions about data relationships and patterns. The instructions also include guidance on what data are required in order to be able to answer the data questions and undertake the analyses.

It is simple to use so that even organizations just beginning to look at their data will find it helpful. But it also offers a level of detail that will make it useful for data-savvy organizations interested in more sophisticated analyses.

To learn more about this TIG project: “Data Analysis Strategies to Maximize Impact” as presented by the project partners at the TIG Conference on January 14, 2015.