After joining the Data Strategy Mentorship Program, the first thing we needed to figure out is what topic we want to explore with data. Many of us have been influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement and decided that we want to use data to explore the police funding issues in the U.S. and evaluate the claims made in the Defund the Police movement.
For our data analysis part, we mainly used Excel and Tableau to make graphs to provide us with clear visualizations on some patterns that might be interesting. Through the visualizations, we found interesting correlations between police funding, crime rate, and demographics.
We collected relevant data regarding variables such as police expenditure, race, ethnicity, income, arrest rate, and crime rate. We collected most of our data mainly from online databases including Tax Policy Center, Statista, Bureau of Justice Statistics, FBI, USGovernmentSpending, and etc.
After data analysis, we needed to see what kind of insights we could get out of these correlations. We focused on answering two main questions: 1. Does more police expenditure mean less crime? 2. Is there a correlation between police funding and demographics?
We started to make some simple graphs and regressions. The results really gave us a lot of interesting insights, and we start to see some correlation between the variables. We decided that our focus would be to explore if more police expenditure really helps to decrease crime rate and what role demographics plays.
After organizing and finalizing our insights, we wanted to spread them through different platforms. We chose to write articles on Medium and create a website that demonstrates the results of our project. We also presented our project to almost two hundred people from different organizations during the final conference.