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

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41 Reviews
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    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Data and Policy Analyst  in  Burlingame, CA
    Current Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA

    I have been working at Acumen full-time for less than a year


    I just attended our all-employee meeting and it was great. There were lots of different project teams presenting what they work on and the impact of their work. Happy hour afterward was great too!


    I wish I could have attended more of the presentations! I have been here for 4 months and this was the first opportunity to learn about what other groups work on, I wish this event had happened sooner.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep encouraging group collaboration and providing opportunities to learn about what other groups work on.

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

Acumen Interviews

Updated Sep 2, 2014
Updated Sep 2, 2014

Interview Experience

Interview Experience


Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview


Interview Difficulty


Interview Difficulty




    Data and Policy Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Acumen.

    Interview Details

    I submitted my materials online after seeing their advertisement on my college job board. Within a week, I was contacted for a phone interview the week after. After the phone interview, within a week I was contacted for an in-person interview at the headquarters in Burlingame. The in-person interview was scheduled for the subsequent week and consisted of four 30 minute interviews. The questions were in-depth about the work I have done and how I work in teams followed by a discussion of the work that the interviewers performed. A week after my in-person interview I was given an offer.

    Interview Questions
    • If I had had access to different data for my thesis, how would I have modified my model to predict a different outcome.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    I did not negotiate.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Acumen Response

    Sep 19, 2014Senior Recruiting Coordinator

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment describing our application process.

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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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