Get the Data’s 10th Anniversary – a Look Back on Our First Decade

This month we celebrate the tenth anniversary of Get the Data. It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years already, it sometimes feels like we’re just getting started. Anniversaries are a time for celebration and we want to celebrate what Get the Data have achieved in our first decade, and we want to thank our clients and partners for their work and for allowing us to contribute to their success.

With our background in criminal justice research and evaluation it’s not surprising that our first project was with the UK Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Working with NatCen Social Research we produced the Offender Management Cohort Study for the MoJ. Our contribution was managing and analyzing the probation records of 145,000 offenders who were sentenced to a probation order in a 14 month period.

Having “got the data” for the cohort study, we have continued working with the MoJ ever since. Commissions from the MoJ and the Youth Justice Board for England & Wales have been central to our business. Researching and evaluating contemporary issues within criminal justice, these projects have given us an opportunity to showcase our cutting-edge statistical techniques. These projects have included analysing first time entrants to the youth justice system, an evaluation of the Asset Plus assessment tool, an evaluation of reforms to the youth estate following Charlie Taylor’s review, and an examination of police use of out of court disposals.

Our work has played a part in changing approaches to reducing offending. Over the last ten years the UK government and its agencies have moved away from a “what works?” approach, which assumes reducing reoffending is simply intervening to address an individual’s risk factors, and towards a more nuanced approach that articulates an offender’s needs and identifies deficits in their health, education, housing, and general wellbeing so those can be improved. This holistic approach to offenders and offending means we can better understand why people offend and how they can be helped to desist from offending.

Being a part of this change has led us to work with other organizations, often smaller charities, that are also committed to meeting the needs of individuals, whether or not they are offenders or at risk of offending. We have worked with St. Martin’s-in-the Fields and Housing Justice in their work to reduce homelessness and rough sleeping; the rightrack on meeting the needs of young people in need of education, training, and employment; and Ground Works North Wales, who are improving the economic, social, environmental, and cultural wellbeing of individuals and communities vulnerable to economic uncertainty.

But we don’t just work in the UK. On the other side of the Atlantic our US practice is growing through a similar coalition of partners.

Our on-going relationships with Gideon’s Promise and Georgia Appleseed are based on the measurement of the quality of representation for, respectively, indigent defendants in the criminal courts and children in foster care.

Ensuring their clients have high quality representation is central to the mission of these organizations, but just as important are the wider impacts of their work: giving a voice to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in society, working with them to overcome lack of provision, and to ensure their needs are met.

That drive to ensure that the needs of vulnerable people are recognized and provided for also underpins our work with Georgia Primary Care Association and Georgia Rural Health Connections. Our innovative approaches to data analysis and evaluation are helping to overcome the lack of adequate and sufficient health care for those who live in rural Georgia.

Over the last ten years we have worked with a wide variety of organizations. What all of our clients share is their commitment to finding solutions to the deep-rooted problems facing the people they work with, the problems that keep them at a disadvantage: having a criminal record, being unemployed, not receiving the education they need, or being denied the rights to which they are entitled. Our clients our motivated by a desire to improve life for everyone and we share that desire. That is what motivates us.

Looking back we see that Get the Data have achieved many things in just ten years. We’re excited to think of what we can do in the next ten years.

With everything that we have learned in the past ten years we can help your organization make sense of the numbers that matter to you. Whether you want to improve outcomes for your existing projects or to measure the effectiveness of a new policy we have the experience and the knowledge to help you. To find out more about how Get the Data can help you and your organization contact us.