Data Management & Analytic Computing

Abt Associates securely stores, manages, and analyzes an enormous variety of quantitative data for a wide range of clients. Abt’s Data Management & Analytic Computing (DMAC) Methods Center works across the company to strengthen and expand staff expertise in managing and analyzing data.

The DMAC Methods Center ensures that Abt staff absorbs lessons from our projects and incorporates them into existing and future work. The center also is focused on stimulating the development of new data management and analysis methods.

Abt has experience in carrying out a range of significant data projects, such as: 

  • Developing the Five-Star Quality Rating System for nursing homes for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Designing the system involved extensive data analysis to develop and test potential approaches, reviews of rating systems used by some states, soliciting and responding to feedback from providers and stakeholders, and ongoing collaboration with CMS and the project's technical expert panel;
  • Implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of the Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND) project, designed to encourage people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance to return to work or increase their earnings. Abt is leading the creation of a data system that maintains 1.2 million sensitive beneficiary records, generates random assignment results, and interfaces daily with SSA mainframe computers to modify monthly benefit checks. Additional linked systems support surveys, counseling services used by study members, project-specific email, and document libraries. BOND also required that Abt roll out backend data exchanges that complied with the Federal Information Security Management Act’s (FISMA) Moderate standard;
  • Developing mobile data collection systems to gather agricultural market information for the Abt-led Food, Agribusiness and Rural Markets (FARM) Project in South Sudan. The systems allowed the project to better understand the country’s agriculture communities and encourage their growth. Abt developed the survey, prepared mobile devices, and trained the project’s agriculture extension workers to do data collection. The survey now calculates the price per kilogram automatically, converting units and averaging prices across the several vendors that the extension workers interviewed. We also developed a market information website, using Tableau, a data visualization tool, so that stakeholders in South Sudan can monitor prices over time and compare prices between markets.
  • Evaluating the impact of USDA’s Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children program, administered in fourteen sites during summer 2012. Abt processed complex daily transaction-level electronic benefit transfer data for every day the benefit was authorized in each site. This required in-depth knowledge of each site’s EBT systems and transaction codes, which differed across sites.
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Center Directors

Elizabeth AxelrodElizabeth Axelrod is a lead programmer analyst in Abt’s U.S. Health division.

Axelrod has a bachelor’s in Psychology from Clark University and a certification from Keefe Technical Computer Training Program.
Daniel GubitsDaniel Gubits is a senior associate in Abt’s Social and Economic Policy division, where he conducts research in the areas of healthy marriage, economic self-sufficiency, housing, and homelessness. He specializes in the design and analysis of random assignment evaluations.
Gubits has a bachelor’s in anthropology from Brown University, an MBA and a master’s of public affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, and a doctorate in economics from Johns Hopkins University.
Louise HaddenLouise Hadden is a lead programmer analyst for Abt’s U.S. Health division and has more than 34 years of experience in data processing and social science research to support socio-economic, health-care related, nutritional intake, and utilization analyses in a variety of areas.
Hadden has a bachelor’s in English Literature from McGill University.

Ryan KlingRyan Kling is an associate in Abt’s U.S. Health division.
Kling has a bachelor’s and a master’s in Economics from Boston College.

MaierAndreas Maier is a lead programmer analyst for Abt’s Environment and Resources division. He has more than ten years of professional experience in software development, database design, numerical analysis, and communications tools and has a special interest in the area of reproducibility and quality assurance.
Maier has a minor degree qualification (equivalent of a bachelor’s) in Computer Science and a Diplom-Physiker, (equivalent of a master’s) in Physics from Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, Germany.