Meet Benjamin Maloney, Demographer/Data Analyst

Author: Kent Martin Published: April 16, 2020

Benjamin Maloney, Demographer/Data Analyst at FLO AnalyticsWhere are you from and where do you live now? 

Originally, I’m from Louisiana, but I’ve lived in enough cities that I feel I can certifiably say that I’m from nowhere and/or everywhere. I’ve spent just enough time in northern Illinois that I normally just say I’m from Chicago these days.

What do you do at FLO?

I’m a Demographer/Data Analyst in the school district sector. I’m responsible for creating student enrollment forecasts and projections (there’s a difference! Email me if you want to hear my perspective) for our school district clients.

What’s rewarding about your job?

Every forecast is a puzzle. Yes, the process is generally the same, but each and every district is different. Small districts can have wild increases in students if a significant amount of single or multi-family housing developments are on the horizon. Large districts can have a wide range of issues, from under-enrollment to overcrowding and everything in between. Population changes, housing changes, birth rates, and amenities all play a role in influencing the student population. Properly estimating how they all interact with one another to create a forecast that a school district can use is always rewarding.

Why is what you do important?

Having an accurate forecast allows a school district to plan for issues that could potentially affect the students. Staffing, temporary buildings, closures, class size, new openings, and future boundary changes are all influenced by a forecast. If I’m interpreting the data correctly and producing an accurate forecast, I know that I’m doing something beneficial for the present as well as the future.

What skills do you bring to your work?

I don’t settle easy. If I think that a process or result can be improved, then it should be improved. I’m constantly digging into the demographics literature for ideas to potentially improve our ability to forecast fertility, grade progression ratios, and student enrollment in general.

What do you like to do off the clock?

Ha! I generally wait out the clock until I’m tired enough to go to bed. If I’m not doing that, I can be found in my home gym, walking around town, or at a brewery. Eating at new places is also very high on my list. And baking. Always baking. I would like to thank my coworkers for being willing participants in taste testing my creations.

If you were not a demographer/data analyst, what would you be? 

I keep thinking that I need to drop everything and open my own bakery/coffee shop/used bookstore. I like doing things that make others happy. If something I made brightens someone’s day, from a simple cup of coffee to a crinkle cookie, my own day is a little better.

What’s on your bucket list?

My goals are simple. I’m up for anything, but I’d love to learn how to properly frost a cake. I’ll either need more patience or an endless appetite. Riding a bike cross country always seems like fun and hiking the entirety of the Appalachian Trail has been at the back of my mind for at least the past decade.

Learn More About Benjamin

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