How a Government Agency Uses Research to Understand Public Priorities – Part Two

Washington State Capitol Building

In my last post, I told the story of how the Washington State Transportation Commission used an online panel of Washington State Ferries riders to collect feedback from citizens and report the results to the state legislature. “The light bulb went off for all of us,” Griffith added, “ Since then, we’ve continued to grow […]

How a Government Agency Uses Research to Understand Public Priorities – Part One

Washington State Ferries

Government agencies that want to use technology to listen to their citizens would do well to follow the model of the Washington State Transportation Commission. Like all government agencies, WSTC has a lot of responsibilities. One of those is to do the mundane tasks required of any transportation agency, including setting toll rates and ferry […]

The Trouble with Gerson’s Sanctimony

Data Analysts are Snakes

I’m fed up with the professional political class’ bashing of data analysis and its practitioners. In the run-up to today’s U.S. national election, the data-haters have been focused on statistician Nate Silver, author of the FiveThirtyEight blog in the New York Times. The most recent example is an op-ed article dripping with sanctimony by Michael […]

Data Lovers Unite!


When a wild dog is threatened, its pack members fiercely rally behind it and rip the enemy to shreds. So what happens in the case of a data nerd? Do his or her fellow number-crunchers take out their slide rules, circle around the challenger and assume the attack position? One of our own is being […]

Online Poll: Debate Has Little Impact on Florida Voters

Rudly Raphael

Only two percent of survey participants believe the October 22 showdown changed how they will vote on November 6th, according to a survey conducted with Florida Voter’s Voice, an online research panel of likely voters developed and managed by qSample. This unique survey was deployed immediately after the debate and indicates the state’s voters are […]

Canaries in a Data Mine


Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are united in one respect – together they are making history. Data history, that is. The two major-party campaigns for the U.S. Presidency this year are the proverbial canaries in a coal mine – canaries in a data mine, if you will – of our big data future. Charles Duhigg […]

The Federal Exit from U.S. Public Education

Exit Sign

Editor’s Note: As summer winds down, Research Access will be getting you ready to go “back to school” with two weeks of posts on the topic of education. Between August 20 and 31 we will be doing a series of posts that will have you ready to put on those new clothes, pack your lunch box […]

The Medicare Election

Medicare Application

In Rep. Paul Ryan’s very first week as presumptive GOP vice-presidential nominee, the distinct change in President Obama’s campaign rhetoric—along with an explosion of media debate over Medicare restructuring that Ryan championed last year in the US House of Representatives—made it hard to doubt that the 2012 presidential race has now been cast as “the […]

Electoral College Blues – and Reds


Every polling statistic I’ve seen about the 2012 US presidential election—whether emphasizing national popular opinion, demographic trends, or likely results in individual states—tells me the final vote will be very close. All three of these polling categories, along with strategic responses to all three by both campaigns, are of critical importance, especially if this election […]

Political Marketing in 2012

Obama and Romney 150

Editor’s Note: I am very pleased to introduce a new contributor to Research Access – Matt Simon. Matt will be writing regularly for Research Access about political marketing and research topics. He worked in Washington, DC, for 23 years as a political writer, magazine editor, and producer, including eight years as producer of “Face-Off,” a […]