Leverage big data to inform smarter policy decisions.

Today's decision makers need to understand how to interpret and use data.

Open government data and evidence-based policy making are at the center of improving how governments function and the policies and programs they pursue. But how can open data help transform government? How can governments leverage big data to inform smarter, data-based policy decisions?

Harris Public Policy will prepare you to work at the intersection of data science and public policy.


Supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, this two-day bootcamp brings together academic and government experts to address the components of data-driven government, the steps to get there, and how data can enhance government’s ability to anticipate and react to the needs of the public.

The program will include modules on such topics as:

  • How data science can be applied to the challenges faced by your department

  • The Array of Things – a Chicago urban sensing project that measures air quality, traffic, climate, and more – and its application for urban policy

  • Information technology considerations

  • Cyber security concerns

What You'll Learn

After attending this program, you will:

  • Understand the interplay between technology and public policy

  • Be able to create a data-driven policy environment and define what components to include in a data-based vision and strategy for local policies

  • Understand the challenges and opportunities of fast-cycle, large-volume big data that are available at the block and state-level

  • Weigh the benefits of outsourcing or partnering with startups and the private sector to drive innovation

Who Should Attend?

  • Senior government officials at the city, state, and federal level. 
  • Analysts and policymakers who want to see real-life application of data to policymaking.
  • Anyone who wants to understand what data science can do for governments and non-profit organizations. 


Fees and Logistics


  • 2018 program dates to be announced.

  • The program typically begins at 8:30 a.m. each day and ends by 4:30 p.m.


  • Fee includes tuition, program materials, breakfast, lunch, and coffee breaks. Dinners are on your own.

  • Discounts are available for groups of three or more. For more information about fees and group discounts, please contact Lindsey Berry, Associate Director, Executive Education for more information.


This Executive Education program is sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. 

Brett Goldstein

Senior Fellow; Special Advisor for Urban Science; Senior Advisor to The Pearson Institute

Brett Goldstein

Brett Goldstein is the Senior Fellow in Urban Science at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.
William Howell and Denise Turner Roth

Harnessing the power of data to drive policy – and transforming lives

When data analysis drives public policy, the results can be surprising – and surprisingly effective.