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SWO 6343 - Data Research Methods for Social Work: Home

Sinai Wood

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Sinai Wood

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Data Research Methods

"We live in a complex world where social problems arise because of many interrelated factors. As a result, addressing social problems requires multifaceted solutions driven by research, experience, and an adaptive understanding of factors affecting people, institutions, communities, and systems. The divide between social workers and data, as well as between data scientists and work for social good hinders our ability to bridge the gap between the fields and inform interdisciplinary methodologies for developing and creating interventions for these social problems."
Data Science for Social Good, Columbia University

"Data science is an interdisciplinary field that uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms and systems to extract knowledge and insights from noisy, structured and unstructured data, and apply knowledge and actionable insights from data across a broad range of application domains.", Wikipedia.

We will walk through examples focusing on both structured and unstructured data.

Structured Data Unstructured Data
  • Crowd sourced
  • HR Data
  • Freedom Narratives & KJV Bible
  • Social Media

We will explore two data platforms: Microsoft Power BI and Google Colab

Our favorite places and our favorite foods!

Fill out the following Excel file

We will build from scratch a data-driven dashboard using this structured data. We will use Microsoft Power BI to design the dashboard.

Power Query M (Preprocess Data):

  • Add Index column
  • For Foods and Locations:
    • Split by semicolon
    • Unpivot
    • Remove attribute column
    • Rename value column
    • Trim

Power BI Visuals:

  • Map
  • Column chart of foods by frequency
  • Wordcloud of foods
  • Slicer of number of times ate out
  • Sankey Chart of foods to locations



Social Work Community Asset Map

Unstructured Data: Freedom Narratives to KJV Fuzzy Matches





Open Source Tool on Colab:

Example of building data analytics into the tool itself

Mine Tweets Mentioning Baylor


Tool to Collect Tweets: Chrome browser extension NCapture

  • Install NCapture
  • Log into Twitter
  • Search for Baylor
  • Download Tweets as Dataset

Tool to Mine Tweets: NVivo

  • Import downloaded NCapture file
  • View structured table
  • View interactive map
  • Column chart of tweets by username
  • View wordcloud

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