Using Data Analytics for Early Childhood Public Policy Analysis

By Michelle Thomas, MSW, TCC Senior Policy Advisor and Client Engagement Manager

The federal Health and Human Services Agency (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Child Care (OCC) oversee the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF).  Over $8 billion is distributed amongst all 50 states and 6 US territories.  The objective of these grants is to support low-income working families by promoting access to affordable, high-quality early care and afterschool programs. 

OCC requires that each state and territory provide reporting (ACF-800–Annual Aggregate Child Care Data Report and ACF-801—Monthly Child Care Data Report) through a standardized electronic data collection process.  OCC compiles this data and publishes it to their publicly accessible website at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/resource/ccdf-statistics.

Using the CODE Methodology (Heurich, 2020), state early care and education policy makers can analyze this data to find the best ways to run high quality child care programs.

The CODE methodology consists of four steps:

  1. Collect the Data.

a. Determine the data source.

b. Review the data source footnotes and qualifiers.

2. Organize the Data.

a. Decide hypothesis vs. data exploration project.

b. Determine data storage approach.

c. Transform the data.

3. Distill the Data.

a. Define the data problem type.

b. Join the data.

4. Express the Data.

a. Select analysis type.

b. Use analytics tool.

c. Write analysis narrative.

This type of analysis can be very valuable as state government agencies research how grant funding helps to improve high quality child care programs in their communities.

REFERENCES

Heurich, Kyle (2020, September 3). Technology research and use of data analytics. Module 1.1.    

     Purdue University.

Heurich, Kyle (2020, October 1). Technology research and use of data analytics.  Module 1.5. 

     Purdue University. 

To find out more about TCC’s work in the early childhood field please visit our website https://www.e-tcc.com/early-childhood.

Using Data Analytics for Early Childhood Public Policy Analysis

By Michelle Thomas, MSW, TCC Senior Policy Advisor and Client Engagement Manager

The federal Health and Human Services Agency (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Child Care (OCC) oversee the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF).  Over $8 billion is distributed amongst all 50 states and 6 US territories.  The objective of these grants is to support low-income working families by promoting access to affordable, high-quality early care and afterschool programs. 

OCC requires that each state and territory provide reporting (ACF-800–Annual Aggregate Child Care Data Report and ACF-801—Monthly Child Care Data Report) through a standardized electronic data collection process.  OCC compiles this data and publishes it to their publicly accessible website at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/occ/resource/ccdf-statistics.

Using the CODE Methodology (Heurich, 2020), state early care and education policy makers can analyze this data to find the best ways to run high quality child care programs.

The CODE methodology consists of four steps:

  1. Collect the Data.

a. Determine the data source.

b. Review the data source footnotes and qualifiers.

2. Organize the Data.

a. Decide hypothesis vs. data exploration project.

b. Determine data storage approach.

c. Transform the data.

3. Distill the Data.

a. Define the data problem type.

b. Join the data.

4. Express the Data.

a. Select analysis type.

b. Use analytics tool.

c. Write analysis narrative.

This type of analysis can be very valuable as state government agencies research how grant funding helps to improve high quality child care programs in their communities.

REFERENCES

Heurich, Kyle (2020, September 3). Technology research and use of data analytics. Module 1.1.    

     Purdue University.

Heurich, Kyle (2020, October 1). Technology research and use of data analytics.  Module 1.5. 

     Purdue University. 

To find out more about TCC’s work in the early childhood field please visit our website https://www.e-tcc.com/early-childhood.

Fastest Growing IT Salaries – 2021 -Cybersecurity Tops the List

Posted by Kelly Grant, Senior Technical Recruiter

The Dice 2021 Tech Salary Report showed some very interesting trends. https://marketing.dice.com/pdf/2021/Dice_2021_Tech_Salary_Report.pdf

It may have expected that salaries remained flat or even lowered a bit amid the pandemic.  However, this report indicates that even in a time of unprecedented change, the principles that drive salary growth, particularly in the tech sector, remain in place.

The report states “Overall, technologist salaries in the U.S. increased 3.6 percent between 2019 and 2020, reaching an average of $97,859, despite many businesses tightening their budgets in order to weather COVID-19. These organizations needed skilled technologists capable of everything from digital transformation (including moving on-premises tech stacks to the cloud) to ensuring that infrastructure was secure against a rising number of cyberattacks. That demand, combined with a comparatively low tech unemployment rate (standing at 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2020* for example, far lower than the national average), led to rising salaries as companies competed for talent.”

Also of interest is the occupations that had the fastest growth in salary.  Not surprisingly with the shift to remote work, Cybersecurity Analyst tops the chart.

The report notes that the increase in remote work led to increased security vulnerabilities, as employees use their personal laptops and phones.  Cybersecurity Analysts are needed to identify and plug the security holes and prevent hackers from attacking and breaching defenses.

This report also points out that the more senior level Cybersecurity Engineer role only saw an increase of 4.3%, indicating that the shortage of skilled workers in cybersecurity led employers to employ more junior-level technologists.

This is the first in a series of posts.  Next, we will look at the programming skills that garner the highest average salaries.

To learn more about TCC please visit our website https://e-tcc.com/.

Five Tech Trends for Government in 2021

Mike Boyle, TCC Director of Business Development

Most people would agree that 2020 was a tough year.  The pandemic forced businesses to change many of the ways they conducted their daily operations.  The same is definitely true for government agencies that had to rapidly adjust to a changing business climate.

I came across an article on the GCN website that summed up the top five trends affecting government agencies in 2021. https://gcn.com/articles/2021/02/12/5-tech-trends.aspx

  1. “Automation moves out of the back office and into citizen-facing applications.”

The article states that the pandemic forced government employees to work remotely, which kept employees safe, and is also driving an increase in the use of automation not only for back-office tasks, but also for citizen-facing applications. 

2. “AI (not just machine learning) establishes a true foothold in government.”

Artificial Intelligence (AI) gives automation the decision making ability required to keep up with increasing volumes of data utilized by government agencies.  During the pandemic government agencies built the infrastructure required to utilize AI for automating and machine learning.  The article states “Government adoption of AI is vital to both maintaining the nation’s geopolitical position and augmenting human-based processes in the wake of multiplying data volumes.”

3. “Remote-access technologies become the hottest security tech for the government.”

The article states that the pandemic forced IT professionals to get remote employees connected and back to business as quickly as possible.  “In 2021, they’ll have to go back and secure the many applications and networks spun up in the cloud over the last year. The attack surface widened dramatically in a very short time, and ransomware evolved to take advantage of the opportunity. This year, agencies must implement zero trust for remote users and then apply those settings to on-site employees, as opposed to the other way around.”

4. “Government’s data analytics capabilities will mature and move toward predictive analytics.”

Government agencies can now utilize the infrastructure built during the pandemic to increase the use of predictive analytics into their workflows.  The article cites the following examples of the use of predictive analytics: “The Department of Agriculture, for instance, has turned to predictive analytics to help farm, forest and ranch managers make sustainable decisions. Additionally, predictive analytics are helping the Department of Defense anticipate when machine parts need to be replaced, which helps vehicles maintain a higher level of uptime.”

5. “CMMC will drive continuous monitoring.”

The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is recognized as the security standard for many government agencies, including the Department of Defense.  The article states “Continuous monitoring requires a mindset shift as much as a technological one, and it allows for a greater understanding of any given contractor’s data, systems and network footprints. Additionally, continuous monitoring gives agencies the ability to establish a baseline on a company-by-company basis.”

As the article notes, the transformation of government IT services that began in 2020 will continue in 2021 and beyond.

To learn more about TCC and our work with government agencies please visit our website www.e-tcc.com.