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Essential Statistical Training for Effective Program Management

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.


Statistically based performance measurement can be a powerful tool for managers to cost-effectively understand the performance of large groups of regulated entities. Yet many policymakers are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with using statistical approaches to gather and analyze more meaningful performance data. To address these uncertainties, EPA's National Center for Environmental Innovation (NCEI) offers hands-on statistical training workshops that help take statistics out of the "black box." Participants develop an understanding of how basic random sampling approaches are implemented, and explore how to interpret statistical results through hands-on, collaborative exercises.

The basic statistical principles taught in NCEI's workshops are the same ones utilized by more than 20 states (in 8 EPA Regions) when implementing the Environmental Results Program (ERP) and the Common Measures Project. The concepts can be used for:

  • Performance snapshots, showing where agency attention is needed;
  • Follow-up assessments, showing how group performance has changed; and/or
  • Benchmarking, comparing the performance of groups in different areas, to understand when new policy approaches may be useful.

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