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

52 Reviews
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Thomas MaCurdy
24 Ratings
  • Intelligent employees and great opportunity to grow as individual. Loved working here!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Burlingame, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Burlingame, CA

    I worked at Acumen full-time (More than 3 years)

    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO


    - Great group of smart, motivated, and oftentimes young individuals who work hard but also have many interests outside of work. Most people are super nice, helpful, and friendly.
    - Company culture is casual, though professional when interacting with clients.
    - Hours are more flexible than most companies.
    - Generally believe meritocracy drives promotions/raises. Hard work and good results are recognized!
    - The company has a lot of potential to improve. For example, work hours have dramatically decreased due to more hiring and better retention than in previous years.
    - Managers are generally helpful and supportive, taking your interests into account with regard to project assignments.
    - Salaries are probably closer to the bottom in terms of starting salaries, but Acumen gives pretty large wage increases during performance review periods, which are every 6 months. Bonuses are also a big plus.


    - Depending on your projects/team, you may end up working a lot more than 40 hours a week. However, as mentioned previously, work hours have decreased a lot and most employees enjoy standard hours.
    - Not a start-up, though perks do include free bagels every Friday and a monthly lunch, in addition to some holiday-themed parties/activities. The company is continuously working on improvement and I think employee satisfaction has gone up as a result.
    - Sink or swim environment, though less so now with better management and more structured trainings. A lot of support is available if needed, but there is an expectation you should be able to figure things out on your own for the most part. This can be a pro or a con, depending on your learning preferences.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to spend time improving the work-life balance of the employees and they will be sure to stay longer, resulting in better managers and hence happier employees all around. Continue to hire smart, motivated individuals! Really enjoyed my time at this company and hope others will too!

Acumen Interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience


Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview


Interview Difficulty


Interview Difficulty




    Summer Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview


    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 5+ weeksinterviewed at Acumen.


    four rounds of one-one interview plus a lunch with two more interviewees. They basically asked about the same questions(your research experience), except one interviewees asked about three very simple SAS programming questions.

    Interview Questions

    • pick one experience from you resume and walk me through it   Answer Question

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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