Roundtable: Data for Program Management and Research: Complements or Alternatives?
(Tools of Analysis: Methods, Data, Informatics and Research Design)

Friday, November 3, 2017: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
McCormick (Hyatt Regency Chicago)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Roundtable Organizers:  Maria Cancian, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Moderators:  Maria Cancian, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Speakers:  Robert Goerge, University of Chicago, David Mancuso, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Jennifer L. Noyes, University of Wisconsin - Madison and Amy O'Hara, U.S. Census Bureau

The growing interest in data-informed decision making, evidence-based policy, and the power of big data for both program management and research, has sparked a wide array of efforts to make the most of administrative data. These data, created in the process of administering public programs, have the potential to inform both practice and research. But, policy practitioners, policy makers, and academic researchers have different priorities when it comes to developing and managing data. The roundtable will feature leaders in developing data resources that inform policy and research, though the structure, funding, and use of each resource varies substantially. • Each roundtable participant will (1) share the key elements of a particular administrative data use effort, (2) discuss whether program management and research goals lead to complementary or alternative priorities, and how any conflicting priorities are resolved, and (3) the implications for future data development at the state and national level. The discussion of future efforts will be framed in the context of related initiatives of the new administration, and the report of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking (CEP). • The roundtable participants are each leaders in their field, and bring a range of perspectives from a variety of institutional contexts. The roundtable will be organized to minimize introductory comments, and address outstanding issues emerging from the CEP and new administration initiatives. Key points of debate include the appropriate prioritization of research, evaluation and program management uses of data and the role of state and federal governments in managing and financing data creation and access. • Participants are from: • Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, an organization whose mission is to provide actionable research to policymakers at all levels of government to improve the well-being of children and families. Chapin Hall has combined data across many systems to monitor, evaluate, and describe the services and outcomes experienced by children and families. • The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, which has developed an integrated analytical data environment linking social and health service, employment, housing, criminal justice, and vital statistics data systems to support a wide range of analytical work, including program evaluation, quality/performance measurement, predictive modeling and clinical decision support. • The Census Bureau, which sponsored development of an Administrative Data Research Facility (ADRF) in partnership with New York University and the University of Chicago, to support discovery and analysis of program data for state, local, and federal evidence building. The platform has been tested in applied data analytics training courses attended by dozens of federal, state, and local government employees and practitioners. • The Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which has developed, in collaboration with its Wisconsin state agency partners, a data system that spans multiple state-administered health and human service programs and is designed to support basic as well as public policy research.