Advanced Data Analysis Training for Government Workers

Following the 2-day “Data Reporting for SDGs” training program which was organized 2 weeks ago, Mobile Web Ghana’s team of facilitators again facilitated a 5-day advanced training program in data analysis for staff of the same institutions. These 2 government institutions are the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD). On this occasion, the participants were a select few whose work involved data analysis and report writing hence the training was specifically designed to build their capacity in this regard. 

Since this was an advanced class, the topics and software tools that were taught were different from what we normally include in our data analysis and visualization training programs. In this program, the participants were introduced to new data analysis tools and also there was a continuation of the module used in the previous sessions. The new tools the participants were introduced to included QGIS and R. The session on QGIS was facilitated by Enock Seth Nyamador, a GIS Analyst and a volunteer and co-founder of Openstreetmap Ghana. His session was very informative as he introduced the participants to the various features of QGIS. At the end of the day, they were all able to analyse geospatial data using QGIS and also produce shape files. 

The trainees were broken into two 2 groups based on their preference to either be part of the data analysis class in Microsoft Excel or R. Most of them chose to be part of the Microsoft Excel class where they learnt a number of functions of the software to help them work more efficiently and effectively. The session was facilitated by Nunya Afari, who is a tech entrepreneur and a Microsoft Excel Trainer. He is also the Managing Director of Amagold Technologies and the lead software developer and training consultant of FINXL Business Solutions. Afari took the participants through a number of functions, including: 3d formulas, what if analysis, pivot tables, absolute referencing, if functions etc. The feedback from the participants indicated that they found the session really helpful and insightful. 

The few participants who joined the R class were also very enthused about using the software to make sense of data. It was their first time using the programming language hence they had to be introduced to it from scratch. Dr. Nana Baah Gyan, a computer scientist and lecturer at Central University, led this session. As already stated, he introduced them to R by explaining its history, what it can be used for and how people use it in their fields of endeavour. Then he went on to teach the participants about some simple functions of R. By the end of the session, the participants had learnt and practiced data wrangling, data cleaning and data visualization using the packages under the tidyverse package. We were glad to hear that all the participants in the R class, who happened to be staff members of NDPC, had decided to start an R group in their office to practice what they learnt and also learn new things. 

On the last day of the program, the participants were taken through a session in developing data dashboards with Tableau. This session was facilitated by Elikplim Sabblah, a Data Analyst and Assistant Project Coordinator at Mobile Web Ghana. This was a build up on the session which was held 2 weeks prior to this very session. All the participants, save two, were present at the previous session, so they already had a foreknowledge of what Tableau is and its basic functions. Elikplim, therefore took them through the process of developing data dashboards with Tableau and how to use filters in the process. This session was also very much appreciated by the participants as most of them registered their gratitude and appreciation to the facilitator. Florence Toffa, Director of Mobile Web Ghana and the team lead, also took some time to introduce the participants to MOOVLY a simple web application that can be useful in video editing. 

In all, our team was very pleased to lead these sessions and engage with these professionals during the program. They are an enlightened group of people who showed so much interest and enthusiasm during the course of the training. This was very much appreciated by us since it made our work easier to execute. Once again, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to  Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) for partnering with us and giving us the opportunity to share our knowledge and experience with the participants.