Meet Alex Brasch, Senior Population Geographer/Data Analyst
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I’m from the small town (population ~2,000) of Winneconne, Wisconsin. I moved to Portland in 2015.
What do you do at FLO?
Generally, I categorize my work as population geography—applied studies of population with an emphasis on spatial patterns of population characteristics. In other words, I do spatial data analysis/mapping and demographic studies for public K-12 school districts (e.g., enrollment forecasts, attendance area boundary modeling) and local government (e.g., electoral redistricting).
What’s rewarding about your job?
Enabling others to visualize and use data in ways that were previously unavailable to them, hopefully leading to a better understanding and more reliable results. I also really enjoy providing colleagues and clients with solutions that help make them more efficient, such as creating workflows to complete a repetitive/tedious task.
Why is what you do important?
Our work supports data-driven decision making that positively influences the education system and fosters fair elections, and I find that very rewarding.
What skills do you bring to your work?
The full spectrum of analytics—from data wrangling to modeling and visualization—through the use of a variety of software and coding languages, including Alteryx, Esri ArcGIS, R, and Tableau.
What’s the best advice you’ve received from a work colleague?
Have pride in your work and do something that’s fulfilling to you.
If you were not a population geographer/data analyst, what would you be?
An environmental lawyer or an owner of a combination brewery‒bike shop.
What’s on your bucket list?
Cycling-focused trips around the world, including the French/Italian/Slovenian Alps, Pyrenees, etc.
What was your favorite childhood movie/TV show?
All the James Bond movies.