May 24th, 2024

Community Data Analysts (CDAs) Cornell Student Interns

Community collaborations bring together academic knowledge with civic expertise creating environments of expanded learning. Community Data Analysts (CDAs) worked closely with Amy LeViere, Chief Philanthropic Services & Systems Officer, supporting data management and analysis of the foundation’s operations, including research projects, data integration and expanded implementation of fund growth and impact, in accordance with best practices in the field and the foundation’s strategic plan.  Find out more about our Community Data Analysts and their experiences as interns at Community Foundation.


Kevin Huang:  During my time as a CDA, I immersed myself in the intricate world of data integration and profile completeness. Each day brought new challenges and opportunities to refine my skills. From cleaning and organizing datasets to ensuring the completeness and accuracy of profiles, I gained invaluable experience in handling large volumes of data with precision and efficiency. One of the most rewarding aspects of this role was witnessing the transformation of raw data into actionable insights, empowering decision-makers to make informed choices. Moreover, I honed my communication and collaboration skills by working closely with cross-functional teams to ensure data integrity and alignment with organizational objectives. Looking ahead, I recognize the significance of these experiences in shaping my future endeavors. Whether it’s in the realm of business analytics, data engineering, or even academia, the lessons learned as a CDA will undoubtedly serve as a solid foundation for navigating complex data landscapes and driving meaningful outcomes.

Gabriella Prantl:  As a community data analyst at the Community Foundation of Tompkins County, my role involved diving deep into the data related to social justice grants and transforming it into meaningful insights. I was responsible for compiling a vast array of information, from grant allocation and recipient demographics to outcomes and impact metrics. This required a meticulous approach to data analysis, as well as a strong understanding of the broader context of social justice issues. I frequently collaborated with various people, including community leaders, and other analysts, to ensure the data was accurate, relevant, and reflective of the community’s needs. Presenting this information was equally crucial—I prepared detailed reports and visual presentations to communicate our findings to the board and community members. This role not only enhanced my technical skills but also deepened my commitment to social justice and community development.

Ying Lin Zhao:  Upon joining the Community Foundation during my freshman year, I brought with me a background in computational data analytics and data management. I was eager to engage in more hands-on projects and to learn from others. My tenure as a community data analyst not only ignited my passion for data analytics but also facilitated the development of my problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. Throughout my time in this role, I found myself constantly challenged by Amy to explore new avenues for providing valuable insights about the foundation and approaching problems that I faced.

For example, the Community Data Analysts (CDAs) had a project to streamline operations by integrating data and consolidating duplicate profiles twice this year. In the fall semester, I initially tackled this task by extracting all profiles from the database and employing various Excel commands to identify similar entries. However, given the sheer volume of profiles—tens of thousands in total—the project proved overwhelming. Determined to succeed, and with Amy’s encouragement, I revisited the project in the spring semester, opting to tackle a smaller segment of the dataset first. By extracting reports of historical records spanning the past five years, I narrowed the dataset and successfully completed the integration project—with the invaluable assistance of Amy and Kevin—on a smaller dataset. This ensured that more active profiles had primary contact information and duplicates could be merged to avoid confusion in the database.

Overall, this experience provided me with invaluable insights into tackling large-scale problems and further honed my analytical skills.


Thank you Community Data Analysts (CDAs) Cornell Interns!  We wish you well.

Cornell’s Community Work Study Program: 50 years of mutual benefit

Select Projects:

Community Foundation’s commitment to DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) includes evaluation of our grantmaking and our funds. Click for report: Community Foundation Social Justice Dashboard and Infographics

Community Foundation of Tompkins County participated in a national study by DAF Research Collaborative.  Click for report: 2024 National Study on Donor Advised Funds

Annual Fund Advisor Briefing was held on May 1, 2024. Click for slide deck: 2024 Annual Fund Advisors Briefing Slides