Supporting data-driven decision making in Myanmar through Advanced Tableau training

From April 24th through 26th, 25 professionals from several government and non-profit organizations in Myanmar convened to participate in an Advanced Tableau training and discuss how data can best be collected, analyzed, and used for decision making. As part of TASCHA’s Data for Democracy (D4D) project, the event was made possible thanks to financial support from the Tableau Foundation, pro bono training conducted by InterWorks, and local organization by the Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation (MBAPF).

The week began with a one-day Tableau Basics refresher conducted by MBAPF. Once all up to speed on Tableau, Robert Curtis of InterWorks spent the following two days covering advanced data analytics skills, such as working with spatial files, merging datasets, creating device responsive dashboards, and telling stories with data. Building off feedback from the Tableau Basics training Cybertrend Intrabuana conducted in Myanmar last year as part of the D4D project, the advanced skills workshop incorporated Myanmar data, local examples, and Burmese assistants to place Tableau data analytic concepts into the Myanmar context. Workshop participants were very engaged, as Mr. Curtis noted, “They were the most dedicated class I’ve ever seen.”

Participants build advanced Tableau skills to enable data-driven decision making in Myanmar

As Myanmar continues its transition from decades of an authoritarian military regime, individuals and organizations throughout the country are adapting their practices to collect and share data in new ways to elevate data and evidence-based decision making for for Myanmar’s people and organizations tackling social challenges. The workshops on Tableau and data visualization support this process by providing new ways of developing and applying data projects to support decision making. As noted by Dr. Thant Thaw Kaung, Executive Director of MBAPF, “Effective use of data in decision making practice is quite new in Myanmar organizations’ culture.  Traditionally, decisions were made based on their bosses’ instruction. We are optimistic to develop data-driven decisions in public, private, and civil society sector through [this project].”

The D4D project has now shifted its attention back to the development of an adaptable learning model designed to support organizations to analyze their data environments, better understand data lifecycle processes, and obtain new resources for working with data and developing data projects. Stemming from priorities outlined in a needs assessment (conducted by the Enlightened Myanmar Research Foundation), the project is creating a learning model from the bottom up through continuous feedback and stakeholder input in Myanmar. The learning model will be piloted this summer and be made available for public feedback and use. Updates forthcoming!

Organizations that participated in the workshop include:

  • Myanmar Ministry of Information
  • Union Civil Service Board
  • Mandalay City Development Committee
  • Center for Diversity & National Harmony
  • Myanmar Information Management Unit
  • Myanmar Book Aid & Preservation Foundation
  • Phandeeyar Data Lab