A Data(2X) Byte with David Garrison

Data2X January 15, 2020

Meet Data2X’s Finance and Grants Manager, David Garrison.

To give Data2X partners and friends an opportunity to get to know our team, we’re conducting short Q&A’s with each of the Data2X staff members.

What is your role on the team?

As Finance & Grants Manager for Data2X, I help the team fit together the nuts and bolts of our work: the project proposals, results frameworks, budgets, and progress reports. Together, these are the tools we use to draft actionable goals, implement, and measure impact.

I get to be the liaison between our Data2X team and the central contracts and finance teams at the UN Foundation, where Data2X is housed and supported, and I also have external touchpoints with Data2X’s vendors, consultants, and sub-grantees.

What were you doing professionally before you came to Data2X?

Before joining Data2X, I was a business analyst for the journal Science at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. That’s where I cut my teeth on budgeting and data analysis.

Why do you care about gender data and what is one thing you want people to know about it?

Because I care about the welfare of girls and women and equality for everyone. With increased availability of unbiased data, we can understand the world around us better, and we can leverage data insights to discover the most efficient interventions and see faster progress.

I want people to know that it is getting easier to do hands-on work with development data. Even if you’ve never touched STATA, there are open, user-friendly data portals such as the World Bank’s DataBank where you can run queries and generate tables and visuals.

What gender or data-related book should people have on their reading lists?

Cathy O’Neil’s Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy. O’Neil explains algorithms — some very technical and opaque by nature — in a way that non-experts like me can easily understand. She pulls back the curtain on the mathematical models employed around us and makes a clear case for why we should all pay closer attention.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

I like to stay active! I go to a boxing gym here in D.C. and I am also a budding cyclist — this past fall I did my first “century” ride (100+ miles).

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