Aderonmu intends to use the skills she acquired from the Data Analytics Credential program to support policies aimed at global poverty alleviation.
Headshot of Funke Aderonmu
Funke Aderonmu

Funke Aderonmu, a current master’s student at the Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs, has researched poverty alleviation for many years.

Seeking to improve her research and data analysis skills for her career, Aderonmu came across Harris’ Data Analytics Credential (DAC) and thought it sounded like the perfect fit. “I have heard about the University of Chicago and Harris for a long time. Its quantitative curriculum appealed to me as a great resource to improve my analytical skills and help better understand research methodologies.”

Aderonmu’s research journey in poverty alleviation began during her undergraduate career. She earned her bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Economics from the University of California, Davis, where she first learned about public policy. “After taking that class, I wanted to tackle issues of poverty and inequality.”

After graduation, she became a policy analyst  at Georgetown Center on Poverty & Inequality. There, she researched anti-poverty policies, studying social groups that live below the poverty line. Her work focused on designing more equitable policies and supporting workers at the lower end of the income distribution. In offering insights to reform US tax policies, she aimed to reduce the economic burdens low income people carried due to unequal taxation and design tax codes that better support disadvantaged groups.

“After working at the Georgetown Center for two years, my research interest extended from reducing poverty in the US to alleviating poverty around the world.” Aderonmu then entered the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support projects on global poverty alleviation, particularly in Eastern Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia. Her work focused on communicating the impact of USAID nutrition and agricultural development programs. In approaching the data used to report the outcomes of USAID funding, she began to feel the need to supplement her skillset with more quantitative tools.

“I’ve been thinking about exploring data analysis, coding, and programming skills for some time. Working policy-related jobs, I have seen how data is being used. As a result, I started looking into different programs and getting myself more exposure to data analysis. I was interested in UChicago Harris in general, and I encountered the Data Analytics Credential. I really liked the flexibility of the program: the self-paced learning and virtual instruction allowed me to balance work and learning while working full-time.”

In the DAC, Aderonmu gained hands-on experience working with R and other data visualization software. “It was helpful to have the optional final project during the last week of the program as an opportunity to test our knowledge. The assignment was to look at the traffic data in Chicago over a period of time and examine trends in where traffic violations and accidents occurred. We aimed to get insights that help policymakers better design the traffic system."

Combining data analysis and statistics with DAC, she began to see how coding languages can help to explain data. “Coding in R is useful for my career as a policy analyst. With this foundational training, I will be able to make a deeper impact in global poverty alleviation.”