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Acumen Reviews

Updated July 24, 2017
89 reviews

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2.9
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Thomas MaCurdy
49 Ratings

89 Employee Reviews

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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
More Pros and Cons

  1. "Acumen - DC Office former employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Acumen full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The Acumen DC office is full of highly intelligent staff. The dress code is very casual and the office is state of the art. There are bagels and fruit every Friday and a monthly lunch. The activities team does an excellent job of scheduling extra curricular activities.

    Cons

    Unfortunately, the building does not have a large parking garage so the employees are not offered the option to drive to work.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on keeping on! The future certainly looks bright!!! All the best.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Your experience depends on your team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Intelligent people working at the company
    - Impactful work
    - Interesting clients if you are interested in health policy
    - Room to grow and learn if you are lucky enough to be on a good team with a good manager (this is my case, others are not so lucky)
    - Yoga classes on Fridays
    - Introduction of Town Halls to address changes and other things that affect employees
    - The lagoon is great to walk around
    - Relaxed dress code
    - Pet-friendly
    - Compensation is relatively competitive

    Cons

    - Anti-social co-workers. At company lunches most people just grab a plate of food and eat at their desk. Many older employees are not welcoming to new employees. This could also be a function of high turnover rate (another con), resulting in people not knowing who is new or not.
    - Hypocrisy of upper level management. They preach communication and transparency, but changes to the structure of the company are made regularly with little to no notice. Most recently, one person found out their team was being split, and 10 minutes later she had her first meeting with her new team.
    - Some managers are very checked out, and do not care to support their teams, instead becoming a source of frustration
    - Inconsistency of HR rules. Although there are strict rules about promotions/management opportunities, these seem to be disregarded if you know the right people
    - Hypocrisy regarding work/life balance. For example, Acumen offers Yoga classes (great!). At yoga class, someone from HR will remind you that you need to go back to work if you haven't completed your hours for the day! (not so great). Additionally, during new hire orientation HR stresses reporting your hours on your timesheet, preferably keeping track of each 15 minute increment. Work/life balanace is a product of your manager/team. Although my team believes in work/life balance, other teams work 12 hour days regularly.
    - Social events are hit or miss. An event advertised as a "summer party" was essentially a snack vendor promotion event.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on creating a work place that people want to stay at. The company culture could definitely use improvements, particularly at the Burlingame location. Be consistent with what is said, and what is done. Evaluate managers frequently.

  3. Helpful (6)

    "Believe the bad reviews"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 (More than a year)

    Pros

    They literally hire anyone. A lot of people use working at Acumen as a way to make money while applying for better jobs. So I guess the pro is that it's not difficult to get hired?

    Cons

    Lack of communication and transparency - there are constant "reorganizations" that are sprung on teams with little to no notice, but management preaches transparency.

    No one to talk to - I once mentioned something to HR about a negative experience I had with a manager. There was no plan offered other than "I'll let him/her know that you feel that way". I don't need to play telephone about my feelings, there needs be be better ways to provide feedback about your manager.

    Stagnant upper management - A lot of the people who have been here for a long time are checked out. It is incredibly uninspiring to work for and with such people.

    Inconsistency - Your success/privileges here are dependent only on your manager. Managers are trained internally and generally don't have a lot of management skills or people skills, for that matter.

    Work/life balance - Lots of teams work 12 hour days regularly. A very unhealthy workplace in that regard.

    Anti-social office - People here tend to range from ignoring you to being actively unfriendly.

    High turnover - This is quite obvious once you experience the office environment, but something needs to be done. It's really demoralizing.

    Advice to Management

    Change the culture here. I want to be inspired by my colleagues. I want to feel respected and get equal treatment regardless of my manager. I want to want to stay here at this job and I want others to feel the same.

    Acumen Response

    Jun 26, 2017 – HR Director

    Thank you for your thoughtful review. I am very disheartened to hear that you felt HR was dismissive of your management issue. If you feel comfortable, I would like to hear more about that.
    On... More


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Great learning experience"

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

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

    Pros

    For data analysts, Acumen provides a wonderful opportunity to work with very rich healthcare data (clinical, provider, demographic, financial, etc.), to learn from smart and experienced economists and policy researchers, and to design, implement, and present analyses to clients, even for entry-level programmer analysts.

    Analysts are encouraged/pushed to recommend ideas for new analyses and to implement them, and are recognized for going above and beyond on project work, so you can get a lot of hands-on learning in analytical approaches, statistical tools, programming, etc. There is typically time to work on more than just the specific problems outlined in project plans and to work on long-term projects that will be beneficial for Acumen’s project teams down the road and will serve as a learning experience.

    Cons

    Acumen hires college grads in waves, and analysts sometimes are brought onto a team without a clear immediate role assignment.

    Communication between research/analyst teams and IT/Data Support is sometimes lacking.

    Some government clients can be disorganized at times (not Acumen’s fault, but can still be a bit demoralizing). Clients are still typically very appreciative of Acumen's efforts.

    Advice to Management

    Just as there is effort to develop strong people managers at Acumen, I would recommend putting more effort into developing stronger analysts and technical managers and into establishing/evaluating standards for quality and verification of work.

    Acumen Response

    Jun 1, 2017 – HR Director

    Thank you for your thoughtful review. I am very pleased that you had a good experience with Acumen. We are aware of the challenge between research/analyst teams and IT/Data Support and are... More


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Just a hodge podge mess"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Acumen full-time

    Pros

    Relaxed environment
    Nice location
    Decent opportunities for growth

    Cons

    Lack of communication and coordination between internal teams (no one ever knows what's going on)
    Disorganized
    Failing infrastructure

    Advice to Management

    Please spend less time protecting your jobs and more time actually working on improving the company

    Acumen Response

    Jul 13, 2017 – Director of Business Operations

    Whether we agree with your assessment isn't as important as our learning from it. This certainly isn't the impression we intend to portray and are sorry that it was your perception. We'll most... More


  6. "Nothing to complain about"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "BEWARE. *Don't waste your time here.*"

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

    I worked at Acumen full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I wanted to say something good, but it's hard to find any.
    -SAS training for those who don't have background in it.
    -Employees are good here.

    Cons

    Please be aware of all the negative reviews here, they are ALL TRUE.
    -Not a good starting point for your career if you are not interested in the policy aspect.
    -There is no such thing as data analytics here. You won't have a say to make improvements and make better contributions since they don't value you.
    -The salary is insanely low for a programmer in the Bay Area.
    -people are leaving at a rapid rate
    -They either give you a lot of work to do, or they will let you leave all of a sudden without any prior notifications. They will take your badge right away and watch you leave. It's even not right for you to wander around in the lobby when you are notified for the termination all of a sudden.
    -The company culture is weirdly stingy.
    -Neither the management nor the HR care about you.
    -they prefer hiring their close-knits for advanced positions instead of investing in excellent current staff for promotions
    -They are finding whatever "reason" to lay off good people to avoid the cost and "justify" themselves.
    -There is no such thing as big data here. They are ruining the definition of big data. It's only basic data ANALYSIS, even not analytics.

    Advice to Management

    Please be humane to employees and treat them as humans.
    Stop lying, be open and honest - if you have to make an unpopular decision explain it and do not veil it with empty words.

    Acumen Response

    May 11, 2017 – HR Director

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We am truly sorry you had a bad experience with our company. It sounds like you had very different expectations of the position before you started... More

  8. "Wonderful place for recent graduates (masters and undergrad)"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Acumen full-time

    Pros

    Hardworking, talented, and compassionate workers who will teach you a lot

    Cons

    pay might be slightly less than you would like - but still great for recent graduates!

    Advice to Management

    keep up the great work!

    Acumen Response

    Mar 27, 2017 – Recruiting Manager

    It is great working alongside with so many hardworking, talented and compassionate coworkers.

    Performance reviews occur every six months (strong raises the first 2 years for new hires each review... More


  9. Helpful (10)

    "Visas: Beware!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Programmer Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Current Employee - Programmer Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Diverse projects
    Huge impact (federal policy)
    Very good entry-level job our of school (they train you in SAS well)
    Flexible schedules
    My manager and project(s) are both rewarding

    Cons

    VISA BEWARE: You have to stick with them for three years (and they exploit this by paying you less and working you harder)
    I (as a US citizen) make more than my visa counterparts and I am not trapped for 3+ years needing Acu-sphere's sponsorship
    Every team and manager is diverse in how they handle issues, projects, feedback, transparency, and expectations so ask a lot of questions when you get hired!
    Health benefits are not very good
    Pay is 20-30% lower than other jobs in the Bay Area (this is a killer, seriously)

    Advice to Management

    Bump up starting salary as well as raises and offer more competitive benefits
    Pay equally across employees (Visa or not)

    Acumen Response

    Feb 28, 2017 – HR Director

    Thank you for your review. It looks like you have had a good experience with Acumen! To address the VISA issue - We don't have a time requirement to work for the company after sponsorship and we... More


  10. "Great Opportunity to Start Career!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Acumen full-time

    Pros

    You will be working hard and will be rewarded for your hard work. Good potential to grow. Very interesting projects and you can learn a lot.

    Cons

    Favoritism amongst managers. Top-management could be better but there is a lot trying to change

    Acumen Response

    Mar 27, 2017 – Recruiting Manager

    We appreciate you leaving us a review!

    Hard work is definitely rewarded here. I'm consistently noticing changes among our management structure and notice a lot of positive changes.


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