8.3.2 The Analyst

The urban analyst assists in the technical details of model selection and development, data collection, computer implementation and usage, and most important-is responsible for training the user(s). His or her attributes are just as important as the user's. Concerns with educational and experiential background, commitment, and so on, parallel directly those of the user.

Administratively, the analyst is typically under contract to the user's agency or is utilized as a consultant on an "as-needed" basis.

Is an analyst needed in a model transfer situation? The user may be tempted to "go it alone" when attempting to implement a model transferred from another jurisdiction. Can the user play the role of analyst in such cases? Eventually, this may become standard procedure. However, given the current state of urban modeling and implementation, we feel that such a user should have available one or more persons ("analysts") to provide technical assistance. The assistance may come from the original model builder, a local university, or even a professional consultant. Whatever the source, it is clear that any user will probably encounter a number of problems that have to be dealt with in novel ways, ranging from computer compatibility with the original program, to statistical data-collection issues, to questions pertaining to operational complexities of his or her own system. Rare is the model that survives (and thrives) in a public institution without the presence of technical assistance.