We often think of data analysis as being objective. And in many cases, those presenting their analyses to us would prefer it that way. But, no matter how much we hope for it, data analysis is not objective. When we model data, we decide what factors are important to us – this is the subjective part. Using a statistical model is like using a lens to look at the world. The lens you choose directly influences what you see. Acknowledging this from the get-go allows us to use it as a helpful tool in promoting equity and fairness, rather than being steamrolled by it.
Even if you are halfway through a data project and your data is already collected, it’s not too late to use modeling to add an equity lens and get the answers that matter most to all your project’s stakeholders.
So how do we do it? What’s the secret to making data analysis more equitable? Let’s take a look.