Reframing Data Analysis and Research

Last Updated: January 18, 2024

These resources are useful for considering how we talk about race in our data analysis and services and how we can apply a racial equity perspective throughout a research process.

  • Why Am I Always Being Researched (Chicago Beyond, 2019)
    • This publication seeks to help shift the power dynamic in research and the way community organizations, researchers, and funders uncover knowledge together. It is an equity-based approach to research to restore communities as authors and owners. The publication presents seven inequities standing in the way of impact, and then proceeds with sections for community organizations, researchers and funders. For each group, it presents considerations before participating in research: knowing the role; community and voice in setting up the study; community and voice during the study; equitable numbers for impact; and sharing results.
  • Principles of Equitable Data Practice (Urban Institute, 2020)
    • This brief introduces the Belmont Report’s principles - beneficence, respect for persons, and justice— and provides selected principle-aligned practices and resources to help data experts at all levels integrate the principles into their work and move toward more equitable data practice.
  • How to Embed a Racial and Ethnic Equity Perspective in Research (Child Trends, 2019)
    • This guide offers five guiding principles to help researchers apply a racial and equity lens to the stages of the research process:  landscape assessment; design and data collection; data analysis; and dissemination.
  • Toolkit for Centering Equity throughout Data Integration (Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy, 2020)
    • This toolkit, focused on data sharing and integration, describes positive and problematic practices for centering racial equity in the stages of the data life cycle: planning; collection; access; algorithms; analysis; and reporting and dissemination. It has examples of promising practices from local organizations throughout the guide. Finally, it offers three activity templates for deciding who should be at the table; mapping assets and engaging community; and identifying root causes through factor analysis.
  • Talking About Race Research and Toolkit (Center for Social Inclusion-CSI, various)
    • Talking About Race: A Summary of Findings (2012)
      • CSI conducted communications testing in which they found that it is better to address race in communications strategies versus avoid it. 
    • Let’s Talk About Race (CSI, Lake Research Partners and The Analyst Institute, 2015)
      • This report provides strategies on how racially explicit messaging can advance equity. They found that, “the results from our testing show that race explicit messages move people toward progressive fiscal policies and that people like and agree with messages that have a multiracial cast.” From this research CSI created a model for talking more effectively about race, using three large buckets: Affirm, Counter, and Transform. Within each, CSI provides specific strategies for a total of six strategies.
    • Talking About Race Toolkit
      • This toolkit distills the longer communications testing reports to guide thinking around strategic messaging around race. Page 5 includes questions to walk through as an organization brainstorms messaging. Page 6 includes a glossary of important terms and a link to additional materials.
  • Urban Institute Next50 Catalyst Brief on Structural Racism (Urban Institute, 2019)
    • The brief and supporting webpage respond to the question: What would it take to overcome the damaging effects of structural racism and ensure a more equitable future? This brief provides an example of using structural racism as a frame in policy research.  The authors identify four areas where additional evidence is needed to challenge systemic racial inequities and present potential solutions.



  • White Logic, White Methods (Zuberi and Bonilla-Silva, 2008)
    • In this collection of essays, the authors examine how racial considerations have affected the way social science is conducted; how issues are framed, and data is analyzed. With an assemblage of leading scholars, White Logic, White Methods explores the possibilities and necessary dethroning of current social research practices, and demands a complete overhaul of current methods, towards multicultural and pluralist approach to what we know, think, and question.

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