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Making data make sense

Resume: Robin E. Wolfson

e-mail: rwolfson@datastep.com

Education and training

B.A., English, Sonoma State College, 1968. Additional coursework in Economics, Statistics, French, and German, and graduate work in English and Education.

Experience with computer programming languages, data analysis or other software packages is more or less a history of personal computers:

Mainframe systems

SAS, SPSS, Basic, COBOL; Minitab; Spires (Database); Script/Syspub (Document formatting).

MS-DOS/Windows systems

Word processing: WordStar, WordPerfect, Dragonfly Nota Bene, Lotus Manuscript, Lotus AmiPro, Microsoft Word, Adobe FrameMaker; Page layout: Aldus PageMaker; Adobe InDesign; Spreadsheets: Lotus 1-2-3, Microsoft Excel; Databases: Microsoft Access 2.0, Borland Delphi, Ashton-Tate dBASE II, dBASE III+, Microsoft FoxPro, Claris FileMaker Pro; Statistical analysis: SAS-PC, SPSS-Windows; Presentation software: Microsoft PowerPoint, Aldus Persuasion; Project management: Microsoft Project; Internet site development: Adobe GoLive, Microsoft Front Page; numerous others.

Macintosh systems

Word processing: Microsoft Word, WordPerfect Mac, Adobe FrameMaker, Ashton-Tate Full-Write; Page layout: Aldus PageMaker, Quark XPress; Spreadsheets: Microsoft Excel, Ashton-Tate Full-Impact, Claris Resolve; Graphics: Adobe Photoshop, DeltaPoint DeltaGraph Professional, Aldus Intellidraw, Claris SmartForm, Aldus SuperPaint, Shana Informed Designer; Programming: HyperCard, Supercard; Databases: Claris FileMaker Pro, 4th Dimension, Helix, FoxBase+; Statistical analysis: SPSS-Mac; Presentation software: Microsoft PowerPoint, Aldus Persuasion; Project management: Microsoft Project, Claris MacProject; numerous others.

Professional Experience

DataStep Development, 1993 to date, President

Systems analysis; user-interface design; systems development in Access and Excel; EIS designer; documentation writer.

Recent development projects:

  • LOS2000: Level of service software for evaluating maintenance and condition of roadway, landscaping, rest areas, vista points, and park & ride lots.
  • Visitor Satisfaction Survey: software for managing and displaying survey data.
  • MCFI: Museum Condition Facility Index reporting application.
  • Licensing and Enforcment Application for managing licensing and complaint information.
  • Analysis of Sasketchewan Health data.
  • Analysis of customer survey data, EndoSonics, Inc.
  • Excel market analysis system for health care marketing firm to provide predesigned reports on projected and actual revenues, and variance and allow for "what-if..." analysis by novice computer users; export data to Excel 4.0 and 5.0 spreadsheets.
  • Access database application for a California high school district; preparation of five-year follow-up study among high school students entering a community college district; preparation of 1994-95 student performance report for a high school district.
  • Parameter-driven market analysis system in Excel for health care marketing firm. The system provides a series of command-button menu screens, allowing users to select parameters to be changed and then recalculating projected enrollments and revenues. Optimized for low-memory environments, the system consists of multiple, linked spreadsheets that include calculated tables, forms, parameter screens, navigation buttons, charts, and custom reports. All calculations are automatically updated across all spreadsheets and charts upon leaving any parameter screen.
  • Linked spreadsheets and autoformatting macros to produce charts of small multiples to track performance of community college students and compare performance across course type and high schools.

California Department of Education, 1974-1995:

Database Systems

Developed Access-based Executive Information System for Director of the Child Development Division. The system interfaced with the Division's Clipper .dbf files and produced custom reports, tables, graphs, and drill-down capability for nearly 2,000 contracts and assignments for approximately twenty consultants. The system calculated "fair-share" funding allocation algorithms and graphed agency variance from "fair share" funding levels.
Developed Access database to track damage to child care centers resulting from the Northridge earthquake in Southern California. The database provided query and data-entry screens, printed data collection forms, and produced easily customizable reports for submission to Department management and Legislative committees.

Spreadsheet Systems

Automated state family fee schedule for half-billion dollar child development program. Developed in Excel 5.0, and driven by four parameter fields, the program allows users to change fees or median income and calculate fee and income levels for all family sizes.

GIS Systems (Atlas GIS for Windows and Atlas Pro for Mac)

  • Geocoding of publicly funded child development sites in Los Angeles county
  • Preparation of language distribution maps of California school-age children, by county and language density.
  • Preparation of funding distribution maps of California counties by variance from "fair-share" funding allocation algorithm.

    Technical writing

    Wrote all user documentation, including user guide, system manager's guide, and tutorial, for the California's Family and Children Enrollment System (FACES), a FoxPro cross-platform application distributed to 700 agencies statewide.

    Systems analysis

    Conducted numerous JAD sessions with Department of Education and local agency staff to identify functional requirements and interface standards for new computer system. Sessions ranged in size from four to thirty participants over two to four day periods. Conduct of larger review sessions at annual child development sessions involved as many as 150 participants.

    Statistical analysis (SAS and SPSS)

  • Analyzed California demographic data for selection of pilot county for $5 million study of child care use and delivery systems. (IBM mainframe)
  • Developed "fair-share" funding algorithm for California Child Development Program (SAS, IBM mainframe and Windows).
  • Developed iterative funding allocation algorithm for distribution of multi-million dollar child care contracts (SAS, IBM mainframe and Windows).
  • Conducted comparative analysis of salaries of child care workers for use in union negotiation (SAS Windows).
  • Analyzed community college performance data for five-year follow-up study (SPSS Windows and SPSS Mac).
  • Analyzed 1994-95 student performance data for a high school district (SPSS Windows).

    Computer Systems Project Director

  • Project Director for California's Family and Children Enrollment System (FACES), a statewide automated system for the state's half-billion dollar child development program. (1990-95)
  • Automation of annual family fee schedule for publicly funded child care programs (Excel). (1985-92)
  • Development of Automated Child Development funding allocation system (SAS). (1988-89)
  • Development of KWIK, Child Development Contracts database (dBASE and Clipper). (1984-87)
  • Revision of funding allocation system for Child Development Division (dBASE). (1987-88)
  • Development of automated allocation programs for over $300 million of public child care funds (SAS). (1985-86)

    Research Projects Director

  • Statewide survey of AFDC children in subsidized child care programs. (1992)
  • Survey of children enrolled in new Federal Block Grant program. (1992)
  • Statewide survey of child care waiting lists. (1992-92))
  • Survey of state-subsidized child care services in California (1989-90)
  • Child Development Triennial Report: data collection and analysis: detailed demographic survey of 150,000 children and their families receiving publicly-funded child care services. (1984-86 )
  • Cost analysis of statewide high school proficiency testing conferences. (1981)
  • Computerized unit cost analysis for State Board of Control Study of proficiency testing. (1981)
  • Annual survey of state-subsidized child care services in California (1978-79 )
  • Survey of fee-paying families, analysis and projection of state revenue from family child care fees. (1978)
  • Development of system for projecting changes in revenue to state and effects on families of proposed changes in family fee schedule for Child Development Division. (1978)

    Computer purchasing

    Apple Technical Coordinator; official Department of Education Macintosh guru; purchasing agent for Research Evaluation and Technology Division and Child Development Division responsible for evaluating and designing computer configurations for both Macintosh and DOS/Windows systems, including approximately $500,000 of computer equipment.


  • User Guides and Tutorials, "LOS2000: Level of Service Maintenance Evaluation System," California Department of Transportation, 1998-1999.
  • User Guide and Tutorial, "Visitor's Satisfaction Survey, Gatekeeper's Application," California Department of Parks and Recreation.
  • User Guide and Tutorial, "Visitor's Satisfaction Survey, Analysis Application,"  California Deparrment of Parks and Recreation.
  • User Guide, "Safety Education Application," California Department of Boating and Waterways
  • User Guides and Tutorials, "LOS98: Level of Service Maintenance Evaluation System," California Department of Transportation, 1998-1999.
  • User Guide and Tutorial, "Licensing and Enforcement System," California Department of Boating and Waterways, 1998-1999.
  • User Guide, "Membership Database," California Association of Psychiatric Technicians, Sacramento, 1997.
  • User Guide, "Customer Inquiry Database," Level One, Sacramento, 1997.
  • "Tamalpais Union High School District: Student Performance Report, 1994-95," Sacramento, 1995.
  • "Five-Year College Follow-up Study: East Side Union High School District, Report on Community Colleges, 1985-89," Sacramento, 1995, with Helene Belz and David Billings.
  • "FACES User Guide," a user manual for the California Family and Children Enrollment System, Sacramento, 1994.
  • "FACES System Manager's Guide," a manual for installation and maintenance of the California Family and Children Enrollment System, Sacramento, 1994.
  • "FACES Tutorial," a step-by-step tutorial for the California Family and Children Enrollment System, Sacramento, 1994.
  • "Waiting Their Turn, A Survey of Waiting Lists for Publicly Funded Child Development Services in California," California Department of Education, Sacramento, 1991.
  • "In Our Care, A Report on Publicly Funded Child Development Services, 1989-90," California Department of Education, Sacramento, 1990.
  • "Triennial Report on Publicly Funded Child Development Programs, 1985-86," California Department of Education, Sacramento, 1988.
  • "Annual Report on Publicly Subsidized Child Care Services, 1979-80," with D. Ramirez, California Department of Education, Sacramento, 1982.
e-mail: rwolfson@datastep.com
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