Build Data Skills
Resources for Working with Your Data
The resources below are intended to help people who are new to data analysis become better acquainted with techniques and tools for accessing, analyzing, and visualizing data. We welcome any suggestions you may have for additions to the guidance and resources on this page. If you are a legal service provider and are willing to share guidance, examples, or templates for the benefit of other programs, we would be interested in featuring that work here. Contact DataTeam@lsc.gov.
Gathering Your Data
Proper insight and planning from data requires having solid data to begin with. These resources are aimed at helping you gather a reliable data foundation which you can analyze. Click on a topic below.
- Watch Accessing Census Data in 2019: The Transition to data.census.gov, the Census Bureau's video on the switch from American FactFinder to the new Census data site (April 10, 2019).
- Watch How to Access Data for a Neighborhood or Service Area, a four minute video from the Census Bureau (October 11, 2018).
- Watch Cracking into Demographic Data, LSC's webinar for the LSC Data Users Group (August 1, 2018).
- Read Stanford University Library's Data Best Practices guidance.
- Watch How to Use Case Management Data, a video from the Urban Institute (July 7, 2016).
- ReadListening to people’s stories: the use of narrative in qualitative interviews, a chapter from the book Using Narrative in Social Research by Jane Elliot (2005).
Analyzing Your Data
Once you have good data you need good analysis practices to draw out meaningful and actionable insights. These resources are aimed at illuminating and illustrating the process of preparing and analyzing data to attain such insights. Click on a topic below.
Descriptive vs. inferential; reliability and validity; estimate vs. margin of error; don't go fishing.
How reliable is your data? Identify outliers, review volatile trends, beware of small cell sizes, create standardized variables
- Watch Power BI Tutorial for Beginners - Basics and Beyond, a video from YouTube's Technocraft channel (February 14, 2019).
- Watch Visualizing Grantee Data with Power BI and Tableau, LSC's webinar for the LSC Data Users Group (September, 2018).
- Watch Excel Formula and Functions, a video from the Legas Services National Technology Assistance Project (April 24, 2018).
- Watch Using Excel with Census American FactFinder Data, a video series by the US Census Bureau (August 31, 2017).
- Watch Getting the most from Excel Tables, a video from the Legas Services National Technology Assistance Project (November 9, 2016).
- Watch Introduction to R and RStudio, a lecture by Hefin Rhys (July 10, 2017).
- Watch Legal Aid Data Analysis Resources, a video from the Legas Services National Technology Assistance Project that introduces mapping poverty and services data via both American FactFinder and the Data Analysis Framework tool (September 19, 2017).
- Watch Exploring GIS: Spatial analysis and decision making, a video from GIS VideosTV (May 31, 2014).
Sharing Your Results
The meaningful insights you've gained after carefully gathering and analyzing your data will need to be communicated to various audiences, especially if action is to follow. The resources below are aimed at explaining best practices and strategies for presenting data. Click on a topic below.
- Read 5 Data Visualization Best Practices, a blog post at gooddata.com.
- Watch What is Spatial Data - An Introduction to Spatial Data and its Applications, a video from Fullstack Academy (March 8, 2017).
- Watch Dashboards for Legal Aid, a video from the Legas Services National Technology Assistance Project (December 15, 2015).