Since the fall, we’ve seen surprising spikes in traffic to our Sensitivity Analysis tool, which discusses techniques that can be used to examine the degree of uncertainty in a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and how that affects a study’s results. We published the tool in early September, and that month the tool attracted 105 unique page views. That jumped to 293 in November, 777 in January, and 884 last month. Those are big numbers for our modest website.
We’re surprised and fascinated by this uptick in interest about a relatively technical subject and would love to get some feedback from our readers, particularly those who work in criminal justice. (We assume that some visitors interested in the tool come from the financial sector, the physical sciences, and other disciplines.) What about this subject interests you? Did you get the information you needed? Are you seeking more detailed information or related information? Please share your thoughts with us via the comments section below or by e-mailing us.
If you haven’t seen the tool and your curiosity is piqued, sensitivity analysis can show how a cost-benefit study’s results would be affected—and how responsive or sensitive those results would be—to changes in the values of specific variables. Watch our webinar on the topic (our thanks go to co-presenter Ben Bryant of the Millennium Challenge Corporation) and read these blog posts for more information:
- “Risk and uncertainty in cost-benefit studies”
- “Addressing uncertainty as a part of cost-benefit studies”
- “Investing is risky. How can cost-benefit analysis help?”
- “Monte Carlo analysis: Handle with care”
- “An interview with Professor David Weimer on cost-benefit methods and justice policy”
We will also publish a white paper later this year—with input from the members of CBKB’s Cost-Benefit Methods Working Group—that includes a discussion of sensitivity analysis and its use in cost-benefit studies. As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas.