Our vision is a world that is increasingly data-informed, whether applied to personal choices, organizational strategy, or public policy. Our mission is to identify current social, cultural, organizational or public policy issues for which we have the expertise, to develop data-informed insights regarding those issues, and to share those insights through speaking engagements and by hosting events, publishing our work, and advocating for reforms.  Our strategy is to link data to issues, then employ R software to derive insights.

In short, the sisuDataPlatteR “serves data-informed food for thought”.

Our homepage addressed basic questions [What, Why, and Who] for The Sisu Advantage.  The remaining questions [Where, When, and How] are addressed below for our Center, based on personal experiences during my  formative years, and lessons learned from that distant past to the present.

Jerry Platt, Ph.D., Executive Director

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From Where … does this Center find its passion?

“The genesis for this Center traces back half a century, to my hometown of Detroit.  I was attending public high school during the early ‘60s when the local automobile industry dominated the local economy and was the acknowledged global leader.  My town was hailed across America as the “model city”, lauded for its booming economy and strong labor unions, its interracial civic communities and antipoverty measures, and of course its “Motown” music.  Then came the Detroit race riot of 1967. I barely escaped harm, watched from our porch as military tanks rolled down our street and smoke filled the air, and listened as white news commentators assigned blamed.  Some attributed the chaos to disgruntled blacks who lacked education or jobs and resented those more fortunate, while others cited the social disruption from leaving behind supportive southern communities to chase prosperity in impersonal northern factories.  These explanations seemed plausible and were accepted as fact — until a local newspaper commissioned a data-driven survey of stated motivations for choosing whether of not to riot. Based on this Pulitzer Prize reporting, primary blame was transferred to built-up resentment among black male youths toward pervasive, systemic racial bigotry by white Detroit policemen.

That sounded right to me.  More important, these data-informed results derived from the very social science methods I was studying in college at the time (survey sampling, control groups, graphs and tables, statistical tests, and correlations that are at least suggestive of causation).  I returned to campus with a determination to learn these methods well and rely on them rather than news opinions. Two years later I was in the MBA program at the local university in the shadows of General Motors headquarters. From age 16 I had worked on assembly lines during summers, and assumed my formal education was mostly a pathway to transition from blue collar to white collar.  Professors invariably used auto industry classroom examples and homework assignments, but I requested and was granted permission to study the auto industry more broadly, more globally, based on data.  Neither they nor I liked the ominous trends for Detroit, but the data spoke and I listened.  Upon graduation I left the auto industry and my hometown, never to return.  I went on to earn a doctorate in public policy at The Ohio State University and a post-doctorate in statistical computing at Stanford University.  

In the years since I have worked at a “silicon valley” startup and a Fortune 500 firm, been a professor in the U.S. and Japan, been a consultant to multiple government agencies and major companies, and served on both publicly-traded and not-for-profit boards.  It’s been a great ride, and one constant throughout has been the lessons learned from my hometown, about data-informed insights, and how bad news can inspire good insights. The purpose of the The Data PlatteR is to explore and share data-informed insights on social, political and financial issues, and to inspire others to do the same.

Jerry

When … can I attend an EVENT?

  • We offer occasional events open for the public.  See the current schedule at the Events tab.  We also offer private events for organizations and groups, upon request.
  • We welcome suggestions regarding creation or participation in other events.

How … can we mutually BENEFIT? 

  • We offer consulting expertise to organizations, agencies, groups and individuals
  • We offer events open to the public, and arrange private events upon request:
    • Conferences
    • Seminars
    • Workshops
  • Almost all our data analytics uses R software.  Feel free to explore the Resources tab, a plattfoRm with links to many external R resources:
    • Accessing R
    • R Tutorials
    • R On-line Books & Videos
    • R Packages
    • R Blogs
    • R Applied To Social Issues & Public Policies
    • R Applied To Business, Finance & Investing
    • R Applied To Sports Analytics
    • Public Datasets, accessible through R.
  • We share original content through our “beyond-plattitudes initiative”, with substantive discussions at the Blog tab and more comprehensive R Markdown documents at the Research tab, to:
    • Address a topic of interest involving a financial, social or political issue
    • Include access to any underlying data and R code
    • Add at least one new entry each week
    • Include a public feedback link
    • Offer a private link for you to suggest data we should analyze and present in a future blog.
  • You support our efforts by becoming engaged with the materials and joining us at our events.
  • You could support our cause by making a tax-deductible contribution HERE.