From Policy Priorities to Practice: False Precision: why 73% of the data you use to make decisions is misleading and misinterpreted…and how you can detect it and fight back.

Time: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Date: Sunday, March 8, 2020

Theatre: Virginia A, B & C, Washington Marriott Wardman Park

08-03-2020 10:30 08-03-2020 12:00 America/New_York From Policy Priorities to Practice: False Precision: why 73% of the data you use to make decisions is misleading and misinterpreted…and how you can detect it and fight back.

We are deluged with data; even simple decisions require mountains of information. Much of it is helpful, providing needed context for complex issues, and 94.7% is accurate. But we too rarely step back and ask if the data is truly relevant and responds to the questions being asked, even if we sense that something isn’t… Read more »

NLC Congressional City Conference

Synopsis

We are deluged with data; even simple decisions require mountains of information. Much of it is helpful, providing needed context for complex issues, and 94.7% is accurate. But we too rarely step back and ask if the data is truly relevant and responds to the questions being asked, even if we sense that something isn’t quite right. And so we are regularly and unknowingly misled and misdirected by our misunderstanding and misuse of data.

Using numerous examples from communities like yours, we’ll try to find insights into how to better question, detect, and challenge “bad data,” and provide policymakers with the information they really need to formulate policy choices. Topics that would likely be visited might include: census data, budgeting, revenue calculation, transportation analyses, public safety and policing, income distribution, homelessness and poverty, housing affordability, performance metrics, false precision, how polling and surveys work and when they don’t, how data graphs can be accidentally or purposely misleading, measuring climate-change mitigation efforts, the endless collection of “best of” lists and why they’re almost always meaningless, a bit of fun with probability and statistics (no math needed here, just some curiosity), and a look at a wide variety of news articles that rely on seemingly precise numbers.

Attendees are encouraged to bring examples from their communities to this fast-paced and very interactive session, where together we’ll puzzle out the ways that seemingly accurate data can still be so misleading. Oh…and if you didn’t immediately recognize the two percentages noted above as examples of our problem: this class is for you.

Learning Objectives

  • Ability to detect questionable data, and determine if it might not be relevant to the policy issue
  • Ability to formulate questions about data that can help illuminate its relevance
  • Ability to investigate other data sources to improve/replace misleading information
  • Greater comfort using, understanding, and questioning data

NLC University Credits: 2
Individual seminar cost: $100

Cost savings! Register for the full “From Policy Priorities to Practice” package: $285

What’s included in the package?

*NLC University seminars are not included in the standard conference fee. Add seminars to your basket during registration to enroll. Already registered for the conference?  Log in to your profile and simply add seminars to your account.

Trainer

« Back