Acumen Data and Policy Analyst Reviews | Glassdoor

Acumen Data and Policy Analyst Reviews

Updated April 12, 2017
17 reviews

Filter

Filter

Data and Policy Analyst

2.6
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Thomas MaCurdy
13 Ratings

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

Pros
  • Interesting projects that offer great exposure to the healthcare field through projects that matter and working with big data (in 9 reviews)

  • work-life balance is great if you're the type who likes to work hard on interesting problems but still go home at 6 (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance is a function of the distribution of workload (in 8 reviews)

  • high turnover rate and no bonus incentives (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Nothing to complain about"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Current Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Acumen full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours, chill work environment

    Cons

    Not many perks outside of salary but the salary is competitive.

    Acumen Response

    Apr 24, 2017 – Recruiting Manager

    We appreciate you taking the time to leave us a review, thank you. We are happy to hear everything is working out well for you here.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Believe the good and definitely believe the bad"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Current Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Acumen (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Interesting projects that offer great exposure to the healthcare field through projects that matter and working with big data.
    - Flexible work environment - they seem to let people work remotely all the time.
    - Smart and diverse set of colleagues.
    - Some competent managers, but it really is dumb luck where you end up as analysts do not typically get a say in which teams they are assigned to and once assigned have little mobility within the company.
    - You can progress up the management chain if you prove yourself worthy. This is uneven though as some teams seems to value dynamism and encourage employee growth whereas others have very stringent management styles that stifle growth.

    Cons

    - Massive retention issues and low gross pay that are incompatible to living comfortably in the Bay area.
    - Long work hours and concurrently low hourly wages. More recently, they seem to be having issues attracting strong talent meaning that competent analysts bear a disproportionate burden of work.
    - Turf wars among upper management seem common. This can make for a fairly toxic environment with a lot of back biting that make for lots of negative interactions for junior analysts.
    - Poor management and lack of communication. Managers always seem to be on the defensive, sometimes for no explicable reason.
    - Employees are viewed as disposable, no matter how long they've worked at the company or what they've done for it.
    - Lots of unhappy employees, which makes for a demotivating environment overall. This is not surprising given the issues outlined above.
    - None of these issues are unique to my perspective and have been documented by multiple parties over several years. Take them seriously if you are considering working at the company. Ultimately, the cons outweigh the pros and that does not bode well for the company.

    Advice to Management

    The content is interesting and important, but whatever ongoing management issues there are need to be addressed. It seems like the company is slowly starting to train mid-level managers (effect remains to be seem), but upper management could use training in specific topics, including:
    - Maintaining a positive work environment.
    - Treating employees (even lower level analyst who they may not work with) like humans and with respect. Even acknowledging that they exist would be good start.
    - Genuinely valuing employees; many have contributed in significant ways to the growth of the company.

    Also think about how compensation relative to the Bay Area. This seems to be sticking point across reviews and year-to-year the company seems to get worse while the cost of living in the Bay Area keeps rising.

    All of these factors affect the day to day for employees and the content cannot be the only reason for employees to come in to work and give it their best.

    Acumen Response

    Feb 28, 2017 – HR Director

    Thank you for your thoughtful review. We are developing programs to address many of these specific issues. The company is actively recruiting and hiring more senior management to enable the ... More


  3. Helpful (13)

    "Believe the negative reviews here. DO NOT work here!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data & Policy Analyst Level III in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Data & Policy Analyst Level III in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Acumen (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - reasonably interesting projects
    - opportunity to learn some professional/client management/communication skills

    Stay for at most a year and get what you can out of it

    Cons

    - Terrible leadership that does not care about its employees and views employees as replaceable.
    - Extremely poorly trained managers that are either a hit or miss.
    - Uncompetitive analyst/programmer salaries.
    - Inconvenient location
    - Lack of perks/benefits relative to other Bay Area companies
    - Unhappy workforce that's stuck at the company largely because of Acumen's H1B/foreign visa sponsorship
    - Very unhelpful HR department that cares more about protecting themselves than advocating on behalf of employees.
    - Did I mention severe lack of experienced leadership?

    My starting salary as a data & policy analyst was ~50k/year. A comparable role at most Bay Area startups pays at least 50% more. Don't even get me started on Acumen's programmer salaries, which are truly abysmal by Bay Area standards. Just do your own research and check out the salary ranges offered at healthcare startups on angellist.com before you make a decision! This company is only able to lure fresh college graduates who don't know any better.

    Advice to Management

    - Offer higher salaries
    - Care about your employees
    - Hire experienced leadership, especially for HR department

    Acumen Response

    Jul 19, 2016 – Senior Recruiting Coordinator

    Thank you for your time and feedback. As we constantly evolve and improve, we have made it a priority to hear everyone’s opinion. We are excited to bring on board a new HR Director as of last month.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (12)

    "Decent place to gain experience but not a place to stay long term"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Former Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Acumen hires people from a wide variety of backgrounds and the hiring bar is really low as well. Almost all of the openings are at entry level. If you are looking to transition to a data analysis, research, or policy field, Acumen is a decent place to get that initial experience.

    Cons

    Don't stay at Acumen for more than a year or two. It is an extremely mismanaged company. Depending on who your manager is, you will either be underworked and bored or so overworked that working on weekends and late nights becomes the norm. The pay is low and Acumen has been coming up with new ways and excuses (such as delaying annual promotions and bonuses, etc) for not giving employees a raise/bonus. As people reach higher positions, Acumen will overwork employees to the point of quitting so that they can be replaced with cheaper fresh out of school graduates. Bonuses range from 0 to 2% of salary which is pretty much the same as non existent. Benefits suck.

    Advice to Management

    Make some effort to retain employees. Treating experienced, hard working employees as disposable will hurt the company in the long run. The hiring bar is getting lower and lower because people who are smart and talented do not want to come and work for a company like Acumen which does not treat its employees well.

    Acumen Response

    Jul 7, 2016 – Senior Recruiting Coordinator

    We are sincerely sorry that you have such an impression. We feel that it does not represent who we are as a company. Despite your perception, we are taking the comments left here into consideration ... More


  6. Helpful (14)

    "Not a Good Place to Work in the Long Term"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Current Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Acumen full-time

    Pros

    nice view
    decent place to start your career right after college

    Cons

    salary is just ok;
    no work/life balance;
    people are leaving at a rapid rate;
    many people are stuck at Acumen because the H1B visa Acumen sponsors is a non-profit H1B. and it is hard to ask them to sponsor green card for you even though you have been working there for more than three years!

    Acumen Response

    May 16, 2016 – Senior Recruiting Coordinator

    Please feel free to reach out to our HR department or stop by during their open hours to discuss this in person.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Acumen Review"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Former Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good job to get right after graduation to start your career. The location is amazing. Friendly people in this organization

    Cons

    The jobs at Acumen LLC are not so well paid. There is not much scope for growth in this company.

    Advice to Management

    My advice to the management is to increase the salaries of the employees working at Acumeen LLC. Provide more opportunities

    Acumen Response

    Mar 14, 2016 – Senior Recruiting Coordinator

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.


  8. Helpful (5)

    "It's okay."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Current Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good place to learn SAS and get started learning to work with large datasets.
    Projects are sometimes interesting.
    Raises seem fairly meritocratic at the lower levels, but don't expect any big jumps.

    Cons

    Upper management seems rather nespotic and political.
    The quality of the job and the amount of work there is varies a lot by team.
    The company culture is weirdly stingy sometimes, but they've been getting better about this more recently.
    Compensation is about average or below for what you'd expect.

    Acumen Response

    Nov 18, 2015 – Senior Recruiting Coordinator

    Thank you for taking time to review Acumen, LLC. We appreciate your comments.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Data Analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Millbrae, CA
    Current Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Millbrae, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Acumen (More than a year)

    Pros

    Working with smart and talented people

    Cons

    Most employees are young and do not have much experience

    Acumen Response

    Sep 28, 2015 – Senior Recruiting Coordinator

    Thanks for the review.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "A good place to start working"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Millbrae, CA
    Current Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Millbrae, CA
    Recommends

    I have been working at Acumen full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Laid back environment and cool people.

    Cons

    Work can be mundane if you work on just one project and it can get overwhelming if you're working on multiple.

    Acumen Response

    Aug 13, 2015 – Senior Recruiting Coordinator

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review.


  11. Helpful (6)

    "Strong Potential Held Back By Management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Current Employee - Data and Policy Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Acumen full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I have been able to do a wide array of different tasks, learn a bunch of different skills, and try different things. Acumen is definitely a great job to have right out of college. They allow you to take on as much work as you would like so long as you prove you can handle it. The office atmosphere is extremely casual and there are weekly breakfasts, monthly lunches, and periodic holiday parties.

    Cons

    While I mentioned I got to do a lot of things, I got lucky. Others are dreadfully bored from doing the same thing. It is a coin flip.

    Management is hit or miss. Some managers are great, others are not. This is usually because managers are just analysts that have been there long enough, typically.

    Workloads can be very volatile. Some weeks you are wondering how to fill 8 hours with work and others you are finding yourself wishing for sweet relief after 12+ hours.

    There is an incredible lack of communication between branches of the company that can lead to issues. This would not be as much of an issue if certain tasks did not take several parts of the company to do.

    Salaries are low if you look at it from a tech company perspective but high if you look at it from a public policy perspective.

    There is very high turnover. Sometimes this is because people go on to higher education. The end result is less overall experience.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage openness and communication between groups and branches of the company, especially groups that rely on one another. Make sure interests are aligned.

    Allocate resources better. No team should have to be work themselves to death because of an unreasonable timeline.

    Improve transparency. If you are going to limit raises when they were previously more generous, explain why.

    Acumen Response

    May 4, 2015 – Senior Recruiting Coordinator

    Thank you for your time, we review all feedback and take it into consideration as Acumen continues to grow and change.