In the public service the role of a policy analyst is to provide unbiased information to a decision-maker to ensure decisions made in the public interest reflect public needs which are moral and ethical. This means focusing on statistical facts attained through analyzing data. There are two approaches which could be used to deliver this information to a decision-maker. The first is considered an ethical and moral approach, also known as persuasive presentation. The second approach would be to manipulate the data so it is presented in a format which the decision-maker finds appealing, but is ethically and morally corrupt.
To achieve persuasive presentation one must know who their audience is, what their goals are, what motivates them and what they value. The main difference between information being presented as persuasive or as manipulative is on whether the representation of facts is neutral or influencing. To be neutral, a policy analyst must ensure the facts are represented as an expression of the goals of the audience with obstacles stated and explored.
Manipulation, on the other hand, is the act of influencing an audience to change their behaviour or their perception of others or situations, through direct, deceptive, or underhanded tactics; all for your own, or their own, personal gain. This approach by a policy analyst would be seen as unethical and immoral as the best interests of the public are not being considered. As it is not the role of a policy analyst to respond to the needs and wants of the public, policy analysts should present all facts and information in a neutral manner. The interpretation of the facts should remain in the hands of the decision-maker voted for by the public.