Justice Profiles: Senior Data Analyst Tyler Tran | by Philadelphia DAO | The thread of justice

For Tyler tran, the District Attorney’s Transparency Analysis Laboratory (DATA) Senior Data Analyst, it is not enough to calculate numbers. Figures and analysis must have practical application to improve people’s lives.

“I just really want to be able to see the impacts my work has on people’s lives because so often things like data analytics and data science can quite easily feel removed from the problem you’re studying, which is often. the same problem that people are facing.

The path to DAO began with an interest in environmental science and ecological research. After graduating from the undergraduate University of North Carolina at Chapel HillHe embarked on a series of seasonal field jobs in places like Alaska and Greenland as a Research assistant with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and Pennsylvania State University. He then moved to Philadelphia and in 2016 he started working as Research associate To Temple University.

During his stay in Temple, he was very interested in “the accessibility of green spaces and its link with socio-economic factors. Part of it was that I was cynical about doing climate research and didn’t see much political will to move forward, however. It was a desire to do a job that I could directly see the impact on people’s lives, ”he says. This ultimately led him to a short stint at the University town district like a Data analyst from April 2018. He joined the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) in January 2020 with 10 other analysts. During the pandemic, Tran was promoted Senior Data Analyst.

These two months between his arrival at the office and the attack of the pandemic have been important for him and the DATA team. “I’m glad we had this period to get to know each other and orient ourselves a bit with the office, but it was difficult, the first year of work, because we are learning so much but we are doing it from our homes.

The transition to DAO was also somewhat difficult. “One thing that has been taken care of though, when using DAOs Queer affinity group for example, until recently I only knew all of these people from a distance, had only met them in Zoom meetings and by phone and email. And it wasn’t until recently that I met some in person, which is great because I’ve been working with a lot of them for the last nine months or a year, and just being able to have a face to face conversation. was pretty refreshing, ”Tran says.

One of the most difficult aspects of Tran’s job is translating often complex information for people unfamiliar with data science and analytics. “I think we’re working in a system that’s super confusing and super complicated and it affects the lives of so many people. It’s cool to do fancy things, but these are only useful if you can’t translate and communicate them. And sometimes the simple solution is better than the complicated or sophisticated solution.

Looking to the future, Tran is delighted to have learned so much about the criminal justice system and is also eager to learn more. He’s also very encouraged by Philadelphia’s vaccination rate and can’t wait to get back to pre-pandemic social interactions.

Tyler Tran is a member of DAO’s Queer Affinity Group and in his spare time enjoys fermenting ciders and make miniature foods polymer the size of a penny.

Sean N. Ayres