Forward Analytics to Provide Quality, Non-Political Research with Ultimate Goal of Good Public Policy

Forward Analytics to Provide Quality, Non-Political Research with Ultimate Goal of Good Public Policy

New Research Division of Wisconsin Counties Association Led by Dale Knapp

Changing demographics. Millennials. The state’s fiscal health. Birth rates. Job creation. The list of issues that impact the direction and trajectory of our state is seemingly endless.

To filter the noise and assemble the chaos into usable information, the Wisconsin Counties Association is proud to introduce their new research division, Forward Analytics.

“We created this new component of WCA to provide our state and local policy makers with nonpartisan analysis of issues affecting the state,” said WCA Executive Director Mark D. O’Connell. “Our mission is a simple one: to use the very best data available to highlight challenges facing Wisconsin; then share this information to assist our policymakers in understanding that data so they can make informed policy decisions which could help position us for future success.”

Forward Analytics is led by WCA Director of Research and Analytics Dale Knapp, who brings more than two decades of research experience in economics and public policy to the Association. Prior to helping create Forward Analytics, Knapp spent 18 years with the nonpartisan and well-respected Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, including 15 years as Research Director.

He has been nationally recognized, including a “Most Distinguished Research Award” from the Governmental Research Association for his work on the methods Wisconsin used to calculate prevailing wage.

“Dale is recognized as a leader not only in Wisconsin but nationally as well for his insightful research, data analysis, and ability to put complex ideas and concepts into understandable terms,” said O’Connell. “We are excited to have him at the helm of Forward Analytics. His perspective is visionary, and his work is widely respected in the field of data. He has the ability to present straightforward information culled from complicated sources and has been a wonderful addition to the WCA team.”

The goal of Forward Analytics is to use many components to paint a clear picture of Wisconsin as it is today and what we will likely look like in the future.

“The fiscal health of state government is something that is often misunderstood,” said Knapp. “This is one area we will address, as well as the somewhat nebulous world of job creation. When it comes to quality, objective, nonpartisan research on a variety of topics affecting Wisconsin, Forward Analytics is your go-to source.”

Forward Analytics is also creating a “data lab,” which is a repository for a variety of data public officials and citizens often seek.

For more information, visit

Today's #WisCounties second Summit on Opioid Epidemic Abatement in Stevens Point brought together over 100 local officials and service providers to discuss how to work together to maximize abatement efforts. @NACoTweets @Knapp_D13 @chelsfibert

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