Omaha – The 29th Annual Nebraska Data Users Conference was hosted by the Center for Public Affairs Research on Aug. 15, 2018. The event was a great success with over 275 participants from around the great State of Nebraska in attendance and over 15 joining from around the globe via webcast, facilitated by the CPACS Technology Center staff. Checkout the map of conference attendees and conference materials on the conference webpage.
The purpose of the annual event is threefold. First, as the lead agency of the Nebraska State Data Center, a partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau and 20 affiliate agencies around the State, it is CPAR’s goal to be a resource on demographic, economic, and social data produced by the U.S. Census Bureau. The annual conference provides a platform to share information about the U.S. Census Bureau and the State Data Center program, and to increase awareness of available data and tools via the Census Bureau. For instance, this year the conference included a plenary session with the Blanca Ramirez-Salazar, a partnership specialist with the Census Bureau, about preparations for the 2020 Census. In addition, Dave Schuler of the Census Bureau led two sessions about finding and using data on the Census Bureau's website and CPAR’s very own Jerry Deichert provided a Census overview session.
Second, the conference seeks to provide a space to learn about and discuss demographic trends in Nebraska. CPAR’s David Drozd participated in two panel discussions on salient topics in Omaha: brain drain, persons leaving after receiving an education in Nebraska, and Black and Hispanic demographic trends in Omaha. David was joined by experts from around Nebraska, including, Jill Heese, Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education; Jennifer Zarek, Greater Omaha Chamber; Lissette Aliaga-Linares, UNO Center for Public Affairs Research and Department of Sociology; and Willie Barney, Empowerment Network. Both panels spurred lively conversation about the current and future policy issues facing Omaha, as did four facilitated lunch discussions with CPACS faculty on: aging (Julie Masters, UNO Department of Gerontology); crime (Robert Meier, UNO School of Criminology and Criminal Justice); crime data (Maja Kotlaja, UNO School of Criminology and Criminal Justice); and ethical aspects of data used and (Lisa Sample, UNO School of Criminology and Criminal Justice). Drozd also presented the annual analysis of stata and local population trends.”
Third, the conference seeks to develop the capacity or Nebraska public and non-profit agencies to use data. CPAR’s Melanie Kiper provided two hands-on computer trainings, one in Excel and one in Tableau, to facilitate data users’ ability to report on and visualize data. This year also had Katie Springer from Indiana State Library discuss data tools for grant writers. Several presenters also offered insights into tools and means for using data to inform decision making throughout the day.
Feedback from the day was exemplary and CPAR looks forward to another successful event next year on August 14, 2019. Mark your calendars.
CPAR thanks all its partners in CPACS for helping them make the day a success.
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