Acumen – Why Work For Us?

undefinedAcumen, LLC was established by scholars from Stanford University in 1996. In conjunction with its affiliated nonprofit firm, the SPHERE Institute, Acumen offers practitioners a powerful policy analysis capability, providing specific, impartial advice and context for policy debates.

We are committed to the improvement of public policy through information management, and we have worked with several agencies to develop resources to build their internal databases and self-evaluation capacity. To supplement internal sources of information, our team has created and utilized all forms of administrative and survey data to produce outcomes relevant for both service providers and funding organizations.

Our team of professionals includes economists, analysts, and programmers who are skilled in the use of large-scale administrative data sources to formulate concrete solutions to complicated problems. By basing our research and forecasts on sound empirical foundations, we provide our public and private sector clients a data-driven view of their business.

Acumen members have experience conveying information and research findings to broad audiences of policymakers, program operators, and other stakeholders. With these interrelated goals and expertise, Acumen, LLC serves the interests of the public, government, business and the research community.

Policy Areas

Acumen’s research focuses on the areas of health, labor and social policy. In particular, Acumen has developed an expertise in topics such as: comparative effectiveness research, value-based purchasing, drug safety, drug pricing, expenditure forecasting, and outcomes measurement for various health, welfare, education and labor programs.


Acumen provides consulting and research services to national, state, and local governments, as well as to non-profits. We cater primarily to federal agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services.

Mission Statement

To improve the information available to policymakers who design health, welfare, education, and labor programs at all levels of government.

undefinedBenefits at Acumen

Healthcare/Disability/Life Benefits
Acumen’s cafeteria plan enables employees to select the medical, dental and vision plans that best suits their needs. Employees are able to utilize Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). We also provide supplemental accident insurance, and short- and long-term disability coverage. Other programs available to Acumen employees include the Employee Assistance Program and group term life insurance.

401k Retirement Plans
Acumen offers both a traditional 401k and a Roth 401k plan for employees. After one year of service, the company automatically contributes 5% of an employee’s salary to the traditional 401k, regardless of whether that employee make contributions.

Paid Time Off/Sick Leave
Staff members accrue personal time off for vacation, personal business, and short-term illness. Accrual rates are based on years of service, beginning with three weeks per year, increasing to a maximum of five weeks per year.

Designated Holidays & Personal Floating Holidays
Acumen offers ten paid holidays per year, which are New Year's Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and two "floating" holidays.

Other benefits:
Subsidized child care;
Subsidized fitness club access;
Commuter Checks.

Project Leaders

Acumen’s project leaders are representative of our firm’s distinct technical skills and are responsible for overseeing the completion of project objectives. Our project leaders are dedicated in providing high quality products, working against time and resource constraints. Listed below are Acumen’s senior project leaders, their title, and their e-mail address.

Thomas MaCurdy, Ph.D. Managing Member /
Senior Research Associate
Jay Bhattacharya, Ph.D. Senior Research Associate

Acumen Reviews

47 Reviews
47 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Thomas MaCurdy
23 Ratings

    cool, smart coworkers + interesting work + great growth opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Acumen


    you can start at the bottom and be leading a project in a few years
    coworkers are smart and (for the most part) cooperative and sweet people
    work-life balance is great if you're the type who likes to work hard on interesting problems but still go home at 6


    compensation varies greatly among different job descriptions and even sometimes among the same job description - you may get a very competitive salary or be offered a much lower salary than expected (although this has been remedied a bit recently)
    depending on the team you are placed on, your manager may have more or less experience managing and developing people
    work increases exponentially on some projects - most are just right, some are 100 hours/week

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    even out compensation for some starting employees,
    work on raising the prestige/outside presence of the company - SUCH a great place to work and yet people don't really know about it outside of health policy experts!

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Acumen Interviews

Updated Jan 18, 2015
Updated Jan 18, 2015

Interview Experience

Interview Experience


Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview


Interview Difficulty


Interview Difficulty




    Data and Policy Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Interview Details

    Prior to the interview, candidates have to complete a quantitative exercise. The main purpose is to demonstrate your analytical and problem-solving skills.

    The interview began with a 30 minute test that is similar in format to the GRE. I then interviewed with three different pairs of people. One of the interviewers reviewed the quantitative exercise that I had completed prior to the exam. Everyone was very nice and demonstrated a strong aptitude in the field. Some of the work sounded very interesting (e.g., machine learning).

    Interview Questions
    • No one particular question stood out as especially difficult.   Answer Question
    Declined Offer

Acumen Awards & Accolades

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Additional Info

Headquarters Burlingame, CA
Size 150 to 499 Employees
Founded 1996
Type Company - Private
Industry Government
Revenue $10 to $25 million (USD) per year
Competitors Acumen

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