A-Level Coursework: Public Policy Research Quantitative Inquiry

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Public Policy Research Quantitative Inquiry

Summary Problem Set #3

the Urban Institute's National Neighbourhoods Indicators Partnership

The two partners of the National Neighbourhoods Indicators Partnership chosen for the assessment here are: Atlanta Regional Commission and Neighbourhood Nexus. Both of these are situated in Atlanta and work towards building better and more cooperative communities.

After visiting the web domains of both these partners, there are some clear similarities and dissimilarities that one can see. Before we detail these aspects, it is important to note here that both these organizations seem to have taken a different approach to represent them in the online world. We will use the overall viewpoints presented by Tufte (2001) and Miller (2008) to analyze the representation of data and the organization that these two chose to represent them in the online world.

According to Tufte (2001), the visual graphics (in this case the graphics of the community indicators) are usually completed for the attainment of certain significant aspects inclusive of: representation of the data in a pictorial and easy to decipher format; enticing the reader's attention to the information rather than the design; present large amounts of data in a concise format; and serve a specific aim amongst others. Miller (2008) asserts that the representation and use of data graphs mainly depends on the users need and demands. He claims that all data graphs are designed for the better understanding of the audiences and hence have to be designed keeping in mind their overall capabilities and needs.

Keeping these aforementioned aspects in mind, when analyzing the representation of Atlanta Regional Commission, it is safe to day that they have a very structured and delegated format through which they guide the viewer to a specific domain without having much navigational issues. Furthermore, the division of each segment (e.g. environment, land use, local government, resources, workforce, etc.) into separate sections and further dividing the relevant information with minimal texts and links to detailed date graphics and presentations on PDF files allows the user to attain the details of exactly what they want without causing any navigational issues. The overall presentation of graphics and community indicators is very detailed and yet specific to help the users attain the most information in the least amount of time. This representation of all data sets and files with minimum initial texts on the web portals is a very effective format for the website as the user can get exactly what they want in one or links to the files and not have to filter out relevant information from one file or one link. The improvement for this particular approach could be to perhaps make the overall representation a little more vibrant and appealing to the user. Right now, the data graphics fulfil the aim to draw the focus of the user to the information, asserted by Tufte (2001) but in doing so have somewhat ignored the appropriate and dynamic presentation of data graphs that elevates the overall appeal of the data graphs without boring the user or making the representation dry. Nevertheless, bearing in mind the structure of the organization, the Atlanta Regional Commission web portal does offer a complete and inclusive representation of the community indicators with easy navigational links.

For Neighbourhood Nexus, the approach is somewhat less specific. They have primarily limited their community indicators to health, education and housing. They have thus divided the representation of these indicators into two main sections: one, the county profiles and two, the data centre. The former gives detailed accounts of the three indicators in the form of texts, reports, articles etc. The latter offers link to the data graphics of the three indicators and all other relevant aspects like population, mortgage, bank loan structures, etc. The most effective approach for this method is that the users who are looking for detailed texts only will not have to filter out data graphs from the files that they access and those users who want the relevant data graphs can download those directly without irrelevant textual details of what the graphs represent and how they came about to do so. Hence, this structure practically supports the approach taken by Miller (2008) to present data graphs to a targeted audience keeping in minds their basic demands. On the other hand, the one aspect that can be improved here is perhaps the expanse of these texts and data graphs. This simply means that they are focused on three primary community indicators and all relevant data sets that apply to these indicators; they can however expand these to include other aspects like role of the local government, employee/salary breakdowns, vocational opportunities, etc. Nevertheless, bearing in mind the structure of the organization, the Neighbourhood Nexus web portal also offers a complete and inclusive representation of the community indicators with easy navigational links.

Question 2: Community Indicators

The community indicator that I have chosen to focus on here is the healthcare structure. The developed countries have given a significant importance to the service sector of the country. With every passing day the segment of employment is growing and increasing very rapidly. This ultimately gives the members of the society a life with high quality and setting high standards for the members to a live a good life. Service sector contributes as a major portion of the country and without it other sectors cannot also develop. It also faces competition with global world. The main point of this competition is to bring free circulation of the services and products. Getting confidence of the consumers is an essential part and while facing competition they need to provide the best services in order to sustain in the market. The quality of the services being provided is hence the main difference between numerous community organizations and partners and has to be measured; the quality of the service after measurement is then chosen to analyze and include in the data graphs. There are various methods to measure the service quality including statistical methods, benchmarking, servperf and SERVQUAL amongst others (Buyukozkan, 2011).

a) Describe two factors that should be considered when assessing the reliability of the measure.

The factor which distinguishes the similar products and services is the service quality. Hence, service quality is the first factor that has to be considered when focusing on the reliability of the measure of healthcare. It differentiates it from other product and services. So, the companies need to focus on the quality of service they are providing in order to be different and competitive in the market. The service quality has gathered a lot of significance in today's era. However, the service quality of healthcare sector may vary as the health of human may be fluctuating. The health of the individuals is very important and that is why healthcare department is given so much importance. It is also expected that services provided by healthcare should be meeting the expectations of the patients. This sector is taken for implementation in Turkey as it is a growing country with increasing population. The major purpose of this study is to find out the factors which provide quality service by the healthcare sector and then those factors are considered to measure and evaluate the performance of the home healthcare staff (Buyukozkan, 2011).

The second important factor to gauge the reliability of the measure is the abilities and courteous attitude of service providing staff and their competence to send some trustworthy message and confidence. This attitude cannot be created without ensuring job satisfaction and employee retention. For healthcare workers the rate of turnover is very high and it's even further more for healthcare house employees. It is reported by Stonerock (1997) that the turnover is at about 75% between healthcare employees in few parts of country and it is also found that labor prefer other such jobs more enthusiastically rather than health care jobs. That's why most of healthcare centers worry about holding the workforce and are working for its recovery and are also trying to provide more healthy, disagreeable, and supportive work climate so that it help in holding the workforce more easily (NIOSH, 2010).

b) Describe two factors that should be considered when assessing the measure's operational validity.

It is difficult to measure the quality of the services as they are intangible, inseparable and heterogeneous. It cannot be measured easily because there is no proper concrete way to describe its quality. The evaluation is done by the analysis of the evaluator of the linguistic variable so it should be performed in an environment o uncertainty and fuzziness. The fuzzy set theory (Zadeh, 1965) is used in the measurement of performance to prevail over the issue. This theory helps in going through the uncertainty and indistinct perspective of the concepts which are connected with subjective finding of the human being. These days, fields like management sciences have been using fuzzy set theory for decision making (Hsu, Chen, & Tzeng, 2007; Huang, Chu, & Chiang, 2008; Kahraman, Buyukozkan, & Ates, 2007; Liu & Lai, 2009)… [END OF PREVIEW]

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