Danika Brockman '21 Data Analyst, IPUMS

What have you been doing professionally since graduation?

I currently work as a data analyst at IPUMS, which is a part of the Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation (ISRDI) at the University of Minnesota. My job consists of mostly data work, including data cleaning, appending and creating new variables, and more. I also often meet with researchers using IPUMS data and help their research or learn more about what they are studying.

What's the most exciting part of your professional work?

My favorite part of my job is learning about the research that IPUMS data users are performing. I used IPUMS data when I was studying in SOAN classes, so it is exciting to see both sides of the process in research creation.

How did your studies in SOAN at W&L help prepare you for your work?

My SOAN classes taught me a lot with regards to my job, most obviously being my skills with R, IPUMS data, and large datasets in general. More profoundly, I think, my SOAN classes taught me about the process of statistical research, the theory surrounding it and the practice of such research. Of course, simply knowing R and other languages is helpful, but understanding how researchers will use IPUMS data allows me to more intuitively format and troubleshoot such data.