May 2, 2019 – Data Happy, Happy Hour

Thursday, May 2, 2019


Hopheads Brewpub and Bottle Shop

150 High St. SE

Salem, OR 97301


Hello fans of data and nerds of all flavors,

 The State of Oregon Research Academy has sifted through all of the responses from our annual survey and the focus group discussions.  You guys came up with fantastic suggestions for helping make SORA even better, and we look forward to putting them into action in 2019.

 One of the themes we heard over and over again is the desire for more networking opportunities.  Towards that end, we’d like to introduce you to the first ever Data Happy Happy Hour.*  It’s an informal opportunity to get to know other data nerds just like you.

 Come chat, enjoy a beverage or snack of your choice, and meet your fellow SORA members in lovely downtown Salem.



SORA Fall Event-2018

We were fortunate to have two great speakers at our 2018 fall event.

Michael Kuhn –  Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Oregon – Behavioral Economics in the Workplace

Megan Bolton – Research Analyst, Oregon Housing & Community Services – Statewide Housing Plan/Needs Assessment

If you missed these great seminars or want a refresher, check them out below:

Behavioral Economics in the Workplace

Michael Kuhn –  Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Oregon

Statewide Housing Plan/Needs Assessment

Megan Bolton – Research Analyst, Oregon Housing & Community Services



SORA Summer Event – August 30, 2018

“Let Me Tell You About My Data!”

Thursday, August 30th at 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Hopheads Brewery and Bottle Shop (formerly Capitol Taproom)
150 High St SE in Downtown Salem

2:00-2:15 pm: Presentation I
Becca Bourson
Oregon Department of Transportation
Geographic Information Services (GIS) Analyst

Becca will provide an overview of the work done by the GIS unit, available data, and how you can use it.

2:15-2:30 pm Presentation II
Henry Fields
Oregon Employment Department
Workforce Analyst for Lane County

Henry will discuss the process, results, and findings of the Employment Department’s annual Job Vacancy Survey of Employers. With over 5,000 business responses across the state in 2017, the data show key differences in how difficult it is to fill jobs in different regions, occupations, and industries. He will also share how he uses the data to help employers in Lane county understand the tightening labor market.

2:30-3:30 pm Bingo and Networking
Enjoy a game and time to connect with fellow state employees. Refreshments are provided by SEIU 217 Sub-Local and prepared by Marshall Ryan, Executive Chef at Hopheads Brewery and Bottle Shop.

For questions, contact Will Burchard at

May 24, 2018 SORA Event

Thanks for joining us on May 24. We will post video of the event here soon.

Developing a Common “Language” That Makes Comprehensive Reporting and Data Analysis Possible

Presented by Stuart Long, CIO, Clackamas Education Service District (ESD), DC Brown, Technical Services Director, Willamette ESD and Co-Director CTA, Don Wolff, CIO, Hillsboro School District and Rick Wahlstrom, CIO at Multnomah ESD, Northwest Regional ESD & Co-Director CTA.

Providing Decision Support Tools to Mainstream School and Local Government Leaders

Presented by Jeff Carew, Managing Director, Forecast5.

March 27 Event Video

Research to Inform Statewide Transfer Policy for Community Colleges and Universities
Sean Pollack, University Academic Policy Specialist, Higher Education Coordinating Commission

Mourn for the Dead, Fight for the Living – Workplace Fatalities in Oregon
Tasha Chapman, Research Analyst, Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services
Karen Howard, Research Analyst, Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services
James Burke, Research Analyst, Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services

December 12, 2017 SORA Event. Thanks to all who participated!


Event materials:


Mak it Spatial: Tools, techniques, and tips for incorporating GIS into your research

Presentation Slides

Theresa Burcsu, Oregon GIS Framework Coordinator and Joshua Tanner, GIS Analyst and Web Administrator


Multnomah County’s BI Program

Presentation Slides

Michael Hanna


Data “Free”-dom: Rescue your data from its prison with Tableau Public, all for free!

Presentation Slides

Daniel McKay


Watch SORA’s May 4, 2017 Event

Data Sharing and Collaboration in Oregon State Government: Seamless Agency Services for Citizens
Valerie Stewart, Ph.D., Social Scientist and Administrator, Oregon Department of Human Services
View Slides

Performance Reporting Information SysteM (PRISM): Brenda and Phoebe’s Excellent Data Sharing Adventure (begins at 45:00: mark in video)
Brenda Turner, PRISM Program Coordinator, Oregon Employment Department
Phoebe Colman, Performance, Policy, and Legislative Analyst, Oregon Employment Department
View Slides

Watch SORA’s Latest Presentations

Thanks to all who joined us on February 23, and thanks again to our great presenters!

Habitat Patterns and Predictors of Sage-Grouse in Oregon
Theresa Burcsu, Oregon GIS Framework Coordinator, OSCIO Geospatial Enterprise Office
This session focused on how remote sensing is being used to inform policy decisions in wildlife management.

Report Visuals: Key to Communication
Rebecca Brinkley , Performance Auditor, Oregon Secretary of State Audits Division
Rebecca talked about how visual representations of data are used to enhance communication effectiveness in Audits Division reporting. View Rebecca’s presentation for more details.