Meet Conor Hanson! Conor joined ACET in 2022 supporting efforts to process, program, and develop data protocols and systems. He works with ACET staff and clients, as the Data & Information Systems Coordinator, to tell meaningful stories with data, always looking for ways that data can support client goals and improve organizational systems.
While much of his time is spent immersed in Python or other programming languages, Conor says one of his favorite roles is getting to know clients and their goals. “Data can seem magical,” he says. “So learning about what a client is looking for, what they want to know from the data, is critical. Then I can harness data tools, processes, and systems to achieve those goals.” One area he’s appreciated exploring is how data goals can still be met while meeting cultural needs.
Once he understands the client’s goals, Conor gets to work tailoring and developing the programs and systems that will best meet their needs. Often, he’ll build a personalized data pipeline to automatically clean data and prepare it for analysis. At the other end, he may build an interactive dashboard that allows clients or the public to explore data themselves and develop their own insights from what they see. Among other uses, a dashboard can combine various sources of data—for instance, public data and client-collected data—to offer a fresh look at a program or issue.
Conor brings a unique background to his work, holding both a B.A. in Philosophy and a certificate in Data Analysis & Visualization. While the connection to data analysis and visualization is direct, he says he finds himself using his training in philosophy nearly every day. “Thinking through the cultural, communication, and ethical issues related to how we utilize data to understand our world is central to working with data,” he says.