NLPES Webinar on Data Analysis Hurdles and Solutions


webinar imageNCSL webinars allow attendees to participate in meetings taking place around the world from the comfort of their desk. They are collaborative, interactive and easy to use.

Most webinars will be recorded for those who are unable to attend the live meeting.


Drugs and Money: The Data Analysis Hurdles and Solutions Involved in Measuring Participant Outcomes and Cost Savings Generated by Expansion Drug Courts


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This training will explain the rationale and use of the methodological techniques featured in OPPAGA Report 14-02, which won the 2015 NLPES Excellence in Research Methods Award.

The data revolution provides many new opportunities for program evaluators to empirically measure and analyze the real world outcomes of the programs we study, but it also brings a new set of challenges. One of the major challenges is how to properly compare the outcomes of groups participating in a program to nonparticipants.  

Groups differ in characteristics that could affect outcomes and these measurement challenges are exacerbated when the outcomes being measured are affected by exposure time.  For example, criminal recidivism rates can differ drastically, when measured over the period of six months versus 18 months.

This e-Learning webinar provides an example of how to deal with these types of data challenges using a technique called matched pair survival analysis, which can be performed in many commonly used statistical software packages.


  • Katrin Osterhaus, principal auditor, Legislative Division of Post Audit, Kansas


  • Mark West, staff director for methodology and quality assurance, Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability