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Brian BlackwellSenior Data Scientist, Los Angeles

Headshot of Brian Blackwell

Brian leads CPL’s data science research on a wide range of projects related to homelessness in Los Angeles, with a particular focus on predictive analytics, program evaluation , and data architecture. Originally from Brisbane, Australia, Brian started his undergraduate computer science degree with the intention of pursuing a straightforward career path in IT. World events soon intervened, however, with 9/11 and the ensuing violence, conflicts, and policy responses of the US and Australia awakened a desire to obtain a deeper understanding of social structures and the operations of power. He subsequently pursued degrees in English and Philosophy before returning to IT and data analytics, where he worked in the cinema exhibition and insurance industries before joining the California Policy Lab.

Brian is especially proud of leading CPL’s data science research for the Homeless Prevention Unit (HPU) pilot program, which combines predictive analytics with an innovative proactive outreach strategy to provide homeless prevention services to high-risk utilizers of LA County health services. Brian is the co-author of several CPL reports focused on addressing homelessness in Los Angeles.

Brian also believes passionately in the importance of incorporating data ethnography into his data science work. Data ethnography is the methodical study of the human dimension of data collection and the impact institutional and political factors have on how data gets collected and for whom. Outside of work, Brian plays classical piano and violin.

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