Describe how the data analytics lifecycle can be applied to the selected problem.

Problem Identification and Model Planning

Introduction

The first step of the data analytics lifecycle is to identify the problem. For this assignment, you, along with your project group, will identify a specific issue to look at for your course project and plan how you will use data to examine it.

Scenario

Return to the scenario of the Homeless Teen Program run by the Riverbend City Community Action Center (CAC), presented in the course project overview. The main goal of the Homeless Teen Program is to help the teens find stable and secure housing (whether that is with their families or in the child welfare system). The program is successful: 83 percent of the teens have stable housing in less than one year of coming to the program. However, the director and staff of the Homeless Teen Program feel their success lies in their approach of addressing the underlying problems that led to homelessness in the first place, especially family problems.

The family intervention programs are expensive, so it is important to justify their expense (while they consider expanding them). The CAC would like the teens who cannot be reunited with their families to have their own residential program rather than rely on Riverbend City’s overburdened foster care system, but that is also expensive. There is no question the CAC would like to receive another grant from Helping Hands, so they want to demonstrate that their focus on family intervention is important, but also consider funding their own residence for homeless teens. This means they need to provide more information than just establishing the percentage of teens who find stable housing.

The Homeless Teen Program staff has collected various types of data on the teen clients, including:

  • Demographic data (such as race, gender, and sexual orientation).
  • Problems they are experiencing (including family conflict, academic problems, juvenile justice involvement, sex trafficking involvement, mental health problems, and substance use problems).
  • Services offered (for example, family counseling, individual mental health counseling, and legal support).
  • The outcome of the services offered after six months (such as rated levels of family conflict and scores on mental health evaluations) as well as housing status (for example, stable with family, stable with child welfare, or homeless).

Note that this data is provided within the Riverbend City multimedia presentation.

Problem and Data Selection

The main problem that the Homeless Teen Program is addressing is homelessness, but your focus should be more specific. For example, you might choose to look at housing rates for a specific group of teens (such as LGBT teens, teens who have been victimized in sex trafficking, or suicidal teens) or look at the housing rates for teens who participate in specific programs (for example, family reunification programs, mental health treatment programs, or substance abuse treatment programs).

With your group, select one of the problem areas listed below to examine for your course project:

  1. Is there a relationship between reported levels of family tension before and after participating in the Homeless Teen Program family intervention program?
  2. Is there a relationship between reported levels of family conflict and the type of housing (with the family or another type of housing situation) that teens are in, after a year of participating in the program?
  3. There is concern that LGBT teens are more likely to be rejected by their families and kicked out of their homes compared to other groups of teens. Is there a difference between LGBT teens and other teens in terms of reported levels of family conflict after participating in the family treatment program?
  4. For teens involved in the juvenile justice system, was there a difference in levels of family conflict for those who received legal support, compared to those who did not?
  5. Is there a relationship between the mental health scores after participating in treatment and housing status (whether or not the teen has stable housing)?
  6. Is there a relationship between participation in individual mental health treatment and family tension?

After you have identified a question (a problem), identify the data provided in the scenario that you will use to learn more about the problem. You need at least one type of qualitative data and one type of quantitative data.

Note: You may think of another question to ask, as long as sufficient qualitative and quantitative data is provided by the Riverbend City scenario to address it. See if the data is available, and, if it is, contact your instructor to get feedback on whether or not your proposed question can be answered given the data available. Remember that you will need both qualitative and quantitative data.

Instructions

After you and your group have identified the problem and the data that you will utilize, each of you must write your assignment individually. The assignment should be presented in three sections:

  1. Identification of the Problem:
    • Identify your problem, explain it, and provide a rationale for why it is important to learn more about, in light of the scenario. Why would Helping Hands want to know about this issue?
    • Describe how the data analytics lifecycle can be applied to the selected problem.
  2. Identification of Data Needed:
    • Identify the quantitative data. What variables will you use? Why are those variables appropriate? What type of statistical analysis will you conduct, and why is that analysis appropriate?
    • Identify the qualitative data. Why is that data appropriate? Explain how you will conduct a content analysis and why a content analysis is appropriate.
  3. Group Collaboration:
    • Briefly describe your group collaboration process and how it contributed to your understanding of the problem as well as the data needed.

This assignment should be 2–4 pages long. It should be well organized, free of mechanical writing errors, and in APA format.

Examine the assignment scoring guide to be sure you have addressed all of the evaluation criteria.

Submit your assignment in the assignment area.

Resources

  • Problem Identification and Model Planning Scoring Guide.
  • APA Style and Format.
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