Past Projects

2021 DSPG Projects

Iowa’s Integrated Data System for Decision-Making (Early Childhood Iowa)
The purpose of this project is to build an interactive dashboard for Early Childhood Iowa with the capacity to connect with I2D2 and identified national, state, and local sources. We aimed at 22 indicators as our primary data resource of the dashboard, including the data from IDPH, IDSH, CDC, etc. We implemented several tools to scrape the data that we collected from each indicator in a different format, and the dashboard users can pull the data from the dashboard in pdf or CSV file format. Furthermore, we also created various visualization for the dashboard user to analyze the data more directly.   

Final Presentationhttps://datascienceforthepublicgood.org/events/dspg2021/postersessions/iowas-integrated-data-system-decision-making-early-childhood-iowa 

Project Leadership: Todd Abraham 
Graduate Fellow:  Tiancheng Zhou
Summer Interns:  Dylan Mack, Avery Schoen, Sonyta Ung

 

Supporting Eat Greater Des Moines and Food Rescue in Central Iowa
This project looks at the non-profit organization Eat Greater Des Moines (EGDM) and its food rescue efforts. EGDM takes donations of surplus food from grocery and convenience stores, restaurants, and other locations and transports it to food pantries, non-profits, schools, housing locations, and other organizations that can distribute food to those that need it. In the project, the team used data provided by EGDM and other sources to demonstrate where food rescue currently happens, where it can be expanded, and what areas can benefit most from food rescue. The team has also built a data pipeline and dashboard that is sustainable for EGDM and will be used by the organization moving forward to support their food rescue efforts. 

Final Presentationhttps://datascienceforthepublicgood.org/events/dspg2021/postersessions/supporting-eat-greater-des-moines-and-food-rescue-central-iowa

Project Leadership: Adisak Sukul
Graduate FellowMatthew Voss
Summer Interns:  Zachary Johnson, Ellie Uhrhammer, Saul Varshavsky

 

DHR “Just the Facts” on Educational Attainment
The aim of this project is to develop a series of indicators that identify the post-secondary educational attainment of disproportionately impacted communities in Iowa. The team has investigated data related to educational opportunities, attainment and outcomes of the identified population groups. These data has been cleaned and integrated into a data pipeline. To finally be presented as engaging, unbiased infographics and visuals through a publication series titled Just the Facts.  The team has worked closely with the DHR educational attainment and economic and workforce development teams to collaborate on and share general data resources such as population, demographics and languages spoken that are specifically related to the identified disproportionately impacted populations in Iowa. The team has worked closely with the DHR educational attainment and economic and workforce development teams to collaborate with and share general data resources such as population, demographics and languages spoken that specifically related to the identified disproportionately impacted populations in Iowa.   

Final Presentationhttps://datascienceforthepublicgood.org/events/dspg2021/postersessions/just-facts-educational-attainment 

Project Leadership: Bailey Hanson, Christopher Seeger
Graduate Fellow:  Amanda Rae
Summer Interns: Laailah Ali, Max Ruehl, Ellie Uhrhammer

  

DHR “Just the Facts” on Economic and Workforce Development
The mission of the Iowa Department of Human Rights (IDHR) is to empower underrepresented Iowans through advocating for the elimination of economic, social, and cultural barriers to full participation in civic life. To that aim, we analyzed data and created indicators to identify employment and earnings opportunities for disproportionately impacted communities in Iowa. These communities include racial and ethnic minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities. We also developed a web application to explore language usage across the state of Iowa. 

Final Presentationhttps://datascienceforthepublicgood.org/events/dspg2021/postersessions/dhr-just-facts-economic-and-workforce-development 

Project Leadership: Christopher SeegerBailey Hanson
Graduate Fellow:  Joseph Zemmels
Summer Interns:  Zack Johnson, Dylan Mack, Avery Schoen

 

Quality of Life in Small and Shrinking Iowa Cities
This project focuses on factors affecting the perception of quality of life in small and shrinking rural communities in Iowa. The goal is to help communities focus their limited resources on improving quality of life rather than using scarce resources to try to grow (as this is unlikely in most towns). Residents and leaders of small rural towns are collaborators and stakeholders of the umbrella NSF project. The team is building a community information ecosystem that will be available through an online web application. This ecosystem makes use of publicly available data and links it to some proprietary data sets to help communities understand, utilize, and collect new data about their towns and peer communities. The ecosystem will use statistical modeling and cutting-edge visualization strategies to make data more accessible to stakeholders in these communities, including city staff, local leaders, and the public.

Final Presentationhttps://datascienceforthepublicgood.org/events/dspg2021/postersessions/quality-life-small-and-shrinking-cities-iowa

Project LeadershipHeike Hofmann
Graduate Fellow:  Amanda Rae
Summer Interns:  Laailah Ali, Max Ruehle, Jack Studier

 

Assessing the impact of publicly accessible research data: what can repositories tell us about data reuse?
In this project, we aim to understand better what makes a data source reusable to another researcher by focusing on the repository component of the data-sharing ecosystem. We have explored a list of data repositories and looked for the associated metrics that suggest reusing a data source, and analyzed factors associated with higher levels of reuse and potential impact. Our two approaches are getting API requests and HTML scraping, which helped us extract the metrics from the repositories we assigned to, and use correlation plots to analyze the impact of reusability from each metric. Overall, this study is a repository-focused complement to a larger researcher-centered effort to develop a path for accelerating community readiness in creating reusable publicly accessible data products. 

Final Presentationhttps://datascienceforthepublicgood.org/events/dspg2021/postersessions/assessing-impact-publicly-accessible-research-data-what-can-repositories-tell-us-about-data-reuse

Project Leadership: Adisak Sukul
Graduate Fellow:  Tiancheng Zhou
Summer Interns: Jack Studier, Sonyta Ung, Saul Varshavsky

 

2020 DSPG Projects

Enlarge ISU Extension Community Helpline Services
Iowa’s Extension and Outreach program provides resources for communities, businesses, and nonprofits via six help and support hotlines. The use of hotlines has increased dramatically with the onset of COVID-19.  Our team partnered with hotline managers to understand the system architecture, data structure and quality, and past uses of the data generated by the hotlines. Using this information, we piloted interactive dashboards on call topics, outcomes, and emotional content (via sentiment scoring of generated transcripts) to support improved customer service, monitor success, and auto-generate reports so hotline workers can spend more time helping citizens and less time filling out paperwork.

Final Presentationhttps://datascienceforthepublicgood.org/events/symposium2020/poster-sessions/isu-helpline

Project Leadership: Adusak SukulShawn Dorius 
Graduate Fellow: George Thomas
Summer Interns: Kok Kent Chong, Andrew Maloney, Xinyi Zhu

 

Identify Communities in Greatest Need of Excessive Alcohol Prevention Efforts
Iowa ranks in the top 10 among U.S. states for binge drinking, costing roughly $635 per person in Iowa.  Understanding who is at risk for excessive alcohol use and where they reside can help Iowa’s Substance Use Bureau better target prevention resources to manage alcohol-related problems. This project identified and spatially mapped the characteristics of heavy daily alcohol users, forecasted alcohol sales by county, and analyzed the prevalence of people who have been involved in car crashes after using alcohol or drugs. Interactive data tools were generated to facilitate decision making by policymakers, public health officials, and extension specialists. 

Final Presentationhttps://datascienceforthepublicgood.org/events/symposium2020/poster-sessions/isu-alcohol-prevention

Project Leadership: Christopher Seeger, Heike Hofman, Shawn Dorius
Graduate Fellow: George Thomas
Summer Interns: Kok Kent Chong, Kathleen M Thompson, Xinyi Zhu, Ilma Jahic

 

Pilot a ‘Systems of Care’ Data Infrastructure to Support State Prevention, Treatment and Safety Response  
Government programs often develop within agency silos, making it difficult to support ‘whole community’ responses to pressing problems. To combat this issue, the Iowa Linkage to Care Advisory Board was created to embrace cross-agency evidence-based policymaking in statewide prevention, treatment, and public safety response efforts. This project identified, web-scraped, and spatially mapped publicly available data reflecting formal and informal ‘Systems of Care’ that support resilience related to mental health, physical health, education, workforce development, and child care. Interactive data tools and insights catalog and improve awareness of state resources in support of the Board’s ongoing efforts to address systemic change. The goal of the project is to describe the services and resources, that when present in a community, provide the necessary elements to promote the successful recovery process of individuals living and engaging within that community. 

Final Presentationhttps://datascienceforthepublicgood.org/events/symposium2020/poster-sessions/isu-systems-of-care

Project Leadership: Heike Hofman, Shawn Dorius
Graduate Fellow: Kishor Kumar Sridhar
Summer Interns: Andrew Maloney, Joel Von Behren, Matthew Voss

 

Develop a Community Capitals Data Infrastructure to Support Community Economic Mobility   
Iowa’s Extension and Outreach leadership identified the need for a statewide community data infrastructure to support precision funding and targeted education in response to COVID-19. This project utilized the Community Capitals Framework to identify, collect, and spatially map county-level indicators of human, financial, natural, and social assets related to upward economic mobility. Interactive data tools were designed to support Extension leadership in identifying and monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on rural community recovery. Dashboards are intended to be paired with CES administrative files, so leaders can visually identify opportunities to more effectively match resource/programming supports with community needs. 

Final Presentationhttps://datascienceforthepublicgood.org/events/symposium2020/poster-sessions/isu-economic-mobility 

Project Leadership: Cass Dorius, Todd Abraham, Christopher Seeger
Graduate Fellow:  
Summer Interns

 

Identifying Communities Ready and Able to Support Substance Use Recovery Centers   
Government programs often develop within agency silos, making it difficult to support ‘whole community’ responses to pressing problems. To combat this issue, the Iowa Linkage to Care Advisory Board was created to embrace cross-agency evidence-based policymaking in statewide prevention, treatment, and public safety response efforts. This project identified, web-scraped, and spatially mapped publicly available data reflecting formal and informal ‘Systems of Care’ that support resilience related to mental health, physical health, education, workforce development, and child care. Interactive data tools and insights catalog and improve awareness of state resources in support of the Board’s ongoing efforts to address systemic change. The goal of the project is to describe the services and resources, that when present in a community, provide the necessary elements to promote the successful recovery process of individuals living and engaging within that community. 

Final Presentationhttps://datascienceforthepublicgood.org/events/symposium2020/poster-sessions/isu-recovery-centers

Project LeadershipShawn Dorius, Cass Dorius
Graduate Fellow: Atefeh Rajabalizadeh
Summer Interns: Jessie Bustin, Grant David Durbahn, Vikram Magal