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Full-Text Articles in Urban Studies and Planning

From Data To Decisions In Local Government, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Jul 2019

From Data To Decisions In Local Government, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

Making good decisions is essential to enabling local government to deliver services that improve the lives of constituents. But what is a good decision, and what is necessary to make good decisions? In this presentation, given to fellows of the Lead for America program, I introduce the notion of decision and data analytics, specific to the needs of resource-constrained local governments, provide three examples of analytics & decision opportunities ranging from mostly-qualitative to mostly-quantitative data and analysis, and end with three case studies that I had the Lead for America fellows perform.


Decision Science For Community Development And Social Change, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Feb 2019

Decision Science For Community Development And Social Change, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

Operations research, also known as management science or decision science, is a mathematics-based discipline that draws from engineering, information systems, management, public policy and planning. OR enables individuals and organizations to make better decisions regarding manufacturing and logistics, service provision and strategy design. My particular interest in OR focuses on the needs of mission-driven and resource-constrained organizations that serve urban communities. In my talk I will describe how OR can use qualitative and quantitative analysis through meaningful engagement of communities to enable creative identification, formulation and solution of complex problems for local impact and social justice. Specific applications I'm ...


Emerging Trends And New Frontiers In Community Operational Research, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Gerald Midgley, George Chichirau Jul 2018

Emerging Trends And New Frontiers In Community Operational Research, Michael P. Johnson Jr., Gerald Midgley, George Chichirau

Michael P. Johnson

Community operational research (Community OR), and its disciplinary relation, community-based operations research, has an increasingly high profile within multiple domains that benefit from empirical and analytic approaches to problem solving. These domains are primarily concentrated within nonprofit services and local development. However, there are many other disciplinary and application areas for which novel applications and extensions of COR could generate valuable insights. This paper identifies a number of these, distinguishing between ‘emerging trends’ (mostly in well-studied areas of operations research, management science and analytics) and ‘new frontiers’, which can be found in traditions not commonly oriented towards empirical and analytic ...


Improving Decision-Making Skills Of Nonprofit Professionals, Michael P. Johnson Jr., George Chichirau, Jason Wright Oct 2017

Improving Decision-Making Skills Of Nonprofit Professionals, Michael P. Johnson Jr., George Chichirau, Jason Wright

Michael P. Johnson

Nonprofits face gaps in organizational capacity, including program design and evaluation, but previous research suggests that capacity-building exercises have a positive effect. We describe a data analytics training workshop with staff from Boston-area nonprofits reflecting a wide range of sectors. Through analysis of participant work on case studies provided by the instructor, we examine how participants made sense of training materials, the various strategies employed by participants to solve three case study problems, and participant feedback about the session. Our findings provide a basis for novel interventions in community based operations research. 


An Agenda For Diversity And Inclusion-Related Research Within Or/Ms/Analytics, Michael P. Johnson Jr., George Chichirau Nov 2016

An Agenda For Diversity And Inclusion-Related Research Within Or/Ms/Analytics, Michael P. Johnson Jr., George Chichirau

Michael P. Johnson

Diversity and inclusion have been widely studied and debated, most often within the social sciences. What contributions can operations research, management science and analytics make to this domain of inquiry? This talk will critically examine assumptions and practices within the decision sciences that may support as well impede diversity- and inclusion-related research, and propose a research agenda that can challenge yet enrich our profession.


Data, Analytics And Community-Based Organizations: Transforming Data To Decisions For Community Development, Michael P. Johnson Jr. Dec 2014

Data, Analytics And Community-Based Organizations: Transforming Data To Decisions For Community Development, Michael P. Johnson Jr.

Michael P. Johnson

The past ten years have seen a revolution in two disciplines related to operations and strategy design. “Big Data” has transformed the theory and practice of producing and selling goods and services through methods associated with computer science and information technology. “Analytics” has popularized primarily quantitative models and methods by which organizations and systems can measure multiple aspects of performance. As these fields rely on information technology to collect, store, process and share data, we refer to the collection of knowledge and applications associated with Big Data and analytics as “data analytics and information technology.” The impacts of data analytics ...