Creating a More Just and Merciful World
Where is data analytics at work in Western Pennsylvania?
The short answer, it is everywhere. Data analytics has become ubiquitous – being used in technology innovation spaces, of course, but also in neighborhoods, health care and more. Pittsburgh has become a technology hotbed and is utilizing data analytics everywhere you look, even some surprising places. Here are a few places data analysis is helping us understand our region better and consequently our world.
Allegheny County Understanding Populations Through its Data Analytics Portal
Just this June, Allegheny County re-launched its own data analytics portal online that describes various population data related to homelessness, community wellbeing, children, youth and families, crime and justice, among others. The site is a public information portal created for the general public and researchers to be able to easily access ongoing analysis, research and population data around Allegheny County public services and systems. It is maintained by the Office of Analytics, Technology and Planning (ATP) under Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services.
“Data is critical to good decision making. We recognize that it is part of our duty to give back the information collected through our various programs and services in a way that can help craft good policies or better inform people as to how their public dollars are making an impact,” said DHS Director Erin Dalton in a press release announcing the website’s launch.
One example of research on the site is the County-commissioned needs assessment of the local Latinx population. According to the latest Census, the Latinx population grew by 80% between 2010 to 2020 in Allegheny County. The portal provides access to the full report from this data analysis and qualitative research, as well as infographics in Spanish and English.
Amplifying Healthcare Data to Promote Better Patient Outcomes
Data analyses are used in health care in a number of ways to both bolster health-centric businesses and promote better patient outcomes. One example in Pittsburgh is at Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network (AHN) where the organization became a leading innovator in using data analytics to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Highmark and AHN was able to track and respond to certain outbreaks, work to equitably and efficiently deploy vaccinations, and used the CDC Social Vulnerability Index to target underserved groups.
UPMC is also utilizing data analytics specialists to make use of big health data in a way that connects patient providers, such as at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, where cardiologists and other heart specialists are able to connect data insights to improve health care at both the individual and population-level.
Joining the Growth in Data Analytics
Carlow University’s bachelor’s degree in Data Analytics program amplifies opportunities for data thinkers across the Western Pennsylvania region by building hard and soft skills that are transferable in a wide-range of industries.