Dr. Anirudh Ruhil refers to himself as a social scientist who believes in the power of data analytics to improve programs and policies in the public sector. Ruhil says the use of data to answer practical questions serves citizens better, and leads to better overall outcomes. He notes this practice is more prevalent in the private sector than the public sector, and hence there is a gap that needs to be filled.
“My goal is to eventually build an analytics group that works with poor, rural local governments that do not have deep pockets to hire expensive private sector analytics corporations,” Ruhil says.
Some clients include Battelle for Kids, OhioHealth, the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.
Upon his arrival in 2005, Ruhil began focusing on evaluations of value-added pilot programs in Ohio and since then he has worked closely with Battelle for Kids and the Ohio Department of Education to evaluate Ohio’s value-added data and the new teacher and principal accountability systems that use these data. Ruhil is co-leading a study of student growth measures, which are an integral component of the teaching evaluation system in Ohio.
After years of heavy emphasis on education programs, Ruhil is expanding his value-added data analysis into the health and human services fields. He recently began working with OhioHealth and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. He also serves as the lead quantitative methodologist on a health analytics/predictive modeling collaborative venture with OhioHealth.
Ruhil has also performed a significant amount of work with colleagues from other universities on questions of minority representation in cities and how the Voting Rights Act (VRA) shapes representation. Ruhil and his team noted that the VRA is best understood at the state and congressional level, but lacks quality data and research at the city level, leading the team to build unique datasets that helped them study where and why African Americans and Latinos gain seats in City Hall, and how this phenomenon has changed over time. This has led to the compilation of a novel database of local elections (currently in development) that will hopefully change not only how we study local elections but also, in the bargain, our understanding of the dynamics surrounding local elections.
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