OFN Recap #1: Capitalization, Public Policy, and Financing

11/30/20 9:48 AM

Summit’s mission-oriented finance team recently attended the annual Opportunity Finance Network conference from November 9 to November 12, 2020. Due to ongoing concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was held in a virtual format for the first time in its history. In total, the Summit team attended 41 breakout sessions over the four-day conference. These sessions covered different aspects of the community development financial institution (CDFI) industry related to the conference’s overall theme of finance justice. This three-part blog series discusses the highlights and key takeaways from the conference’s main themes:

Part 1: Capitalization, public policy, and financing 
Part 2: Racial equity and native CDFIs (coming soon)
Part 3: CDFI sustainability and resilience (coming soon)

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Topics: Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), 2020 OFN recap

Mechanical Turk Use in Psychological Experiments and the Courts

11/18/20 1:27 PM

With contributions by Teresa Kline

In this post, we’ll look at some examples of how Mechanical Turk (“MTurk”) has been used in academia and litigation. In the academic realm, MTurk has often been used for surveys, psychological experiments, and behavioral experiments.

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Topics: mechanical turk

What Is Mechanical Turk? A Summit Series on Amazon’s MTurk

11/13/20 10:29 AM

With contributions by Teresa Kline

In this three-part series, we’ll explore Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (“MTurk”) and its use for researchers. In the first installment, we’ll cover what MTurk is and how it works. Next week, we’ll look into specific examples of how MTurk has been used in academia and in litigation. Finally, we’ll wrap up with a discussion of the potential concerns with data collection via MTurk and how to mitigate these issues so they don’t negatively influence the data.

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Topics: mechanical turk

Summit’s Program Evaluators on the Future of U.S. Apprenticeship Programs

11/12/20 10:46 AM

This post discusses:

  • the current underutilization of U.S. apprenticeship programs;
  • renewed support for expanding apprenticeship programs in response to a changing work landscape; and
  • the need for policy makers and relevant stakeholders to recognize program components that can be leveraged to ensure the future is powered by people.
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Topics: program evaluation, recruiting, apprenticeship

Three must-haves in pay equity analyses

11/5/20 11:18 AM

In this two part pay equity blog series Summit Consulting Senior Manager Corey West (who leads Summit's internal pay equity analyses) and Salt Hill's Alan Salzberg discuss the must haves for conducting a comprehensive and reliable pay equity study. The second release in the series will be a brief case study highlighting the implementation of the must haves.

Pay equity is good business because companies with pay equity protocols attract and retain top talent. To be successful in this area, companies should proactively assess their performance on a regularly basis using quantitative and qualitative data.

In this blog post, we describe three must-haves for comprehensive, cost-effective pay equity assessments: descriptive employee data, an appropriate statistical model, and subgroup analyses.

Companies that apply these must-have elements will have robust statistical evidence of pay equity (or inequity). If the organization detects pays inequities, they can readily identify and remedy the disparity in a focused and efficient manner (i.e., without a complete salary restructuring).

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Topics: 2020 Pay Equity

Summit partners with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) to conduct data analysis and policy investigations for our clients

10/27/20 11:20 AM

Summit Consulting has partnered with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) to conduct data analysis and policy investigations for our clients. Our partnership with Virginia Tech is multifaceted and includes teaming up with expert staff for proposals, providing curricula direction, and driving student recruitment.

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Topics: Summit Blog, recruiting, statistical applications, Virginia Tech, curriculum guidance

Economist’s Corner: Indicators to watch this fall

10/23/20 10:33 AM

Back in March, I posted about how Summit is approaching our forecasts for the U.S. economy during the COVID-19 pandemic and how we are creating reactive and flexible models that overweight new or recent data compared to traditional models. In the six and a half months since then, the volatility in many economic measures proven remarkably persistent. Or, to put it more bluntly: the economy is still a wild ride. As such, I am sharing a few notes on the key factors that are driving the current state of the economy, as well as the indicators that I am watching closely to understand what might come next.

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Topics: Summit Blog

Summit releases new white paper: Applying Cost Estimation to Federal IT Modernization: A Quick Guide for Federal Project Managers

10/21/20 1:33 PM

Estimating costs is a fundamental step in conducting successful federal projects. Poorly conducted cost estimations can lead to project delays, wasted money, and lost trust.

To avoid the pitfalls of poor estimations, some federal projects will benefit from using an Independent Government Cost Estimate (IGCE). The risks of ad-hoc analysis and the benefits of a robust IGCE are contrasted in the below graphic from Summit Consulting's "Applying Cost Estimation to Federal IT Modernization" white paper.

IGCE Process Comparison: Robust IGCE vs Ad-Hoc Analysis

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Complexity Simpified: Summit Founder Albert Lee holds a panel discussion with Valligent Technologies on available models and valuation techniques to support default management

10/20/20 2:50 PM

COVID-19 has injected uncertainty into the mortgage industry. Reflecting on previous crises can provide guidance on the trajectory of the industry.

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Topics: data analytics, Complexity Simplified (podcasts), COVID-19, Summit Blog, models and valuation techniques

Summit releases new white paper: Summit's Approach to Mitigating Unforeseen Risks

9/9/20 10:02 AM

The COVID-19 outbreak reminds us that low-probability, high-risk events are inevitable. Therefore, responsible organizations must be prepared for any event, even if their form is hard to predict.

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Topics: data analytics, white paper, COVID-19, Summit Blog, unforeseen risks

About the Summit Blog

Complexity simplified.

Summit is a specialized analytics advisory firm that guides clients as they decode their most complex analytical challenges. Our blog highlights the strategies and techniques we use, as well as relevant topics in current events.

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