All posts by Brendan Buff

APDU Welcomes New Directors

The Association of Public Data Users (APDU) is excited to announce the election and re-election of four outstanding individuals to its Board of Directors. Congratulations are due to President Cliff Cook, Vice President Kevin McAvey, and At-Large Directors Elizabeth Nash and Mary Jo Hoeksema for their election. Cliff Cook was our past Vice President, while Elizabeth Nash has been elected to a second term as an At-Large Director. Kevin McAvey and Mary Jo Hoeksema are new additions to the Board of Directors. Warren Brown retains his seat on the Board of Directors as Immediate Past President.

Below is the new Board of Directors:

APDU Officers:

  • President: Cliff Cook, City of Cambridge
  • Vice President: Kevin McAvey, Manatt Health
  • Secretary: Sarah Burgoyne, Nielsen
  • Treasurer: Mauricio Ortiz, Bureau of Economic Analysis

At-Large Directors:

  • At-Large Board member: Elizabeth Nash, PolicyMap
  • At-Large Board member: Mary Jo Hoeksema, Population Association of America/Association of Population Centers
  • At-Large Board member: Kathryn Pettit, Urban Institute
  • At-Large Board member: Erin Holve, Department of Health Care Finance, the Government of the District of Columbia

Immediate Past President

  • Warren Brown, Cornell University

APDU would like to thank former Immediate Past President Bob Scardamalia of RLS Demographics and At-Large Director Steve Pierson of the American Statistical Association for their service, as they have completed their two terms on the Board following several years of excellent leadership. While we will miss their contributions, we look forward to continuing to work with them as members.  APDU is excited about the direction our new board leadership will take us in 2017 and beyond. To hear more about our new president’s vision, we encourage you to listen to Cliff Cook’s presentation at the recent APDU business meeting, archived here.

2016 APDU Accomplishments

Over the past 12 months, the Association of Public Data Users (APDU) has been busy providing members with the information, training, and advocacy that supports your important work. Our Annual Conference in Alexandria, VA was bigger than ever, we held our first ever training course, and our webinar series educated hundreds of attendees on a variety of topics. We are pleased to present to you APDU’s accomplishments from the past year.

Conference

  • Gathered over 180 attendees and speakers in Alexandria, VA to for a two-day conference on statistical policy; data collection, production, and delivery; emerging data issues; relevant data dissemination technologies; and more.
  • Held the inaugural APDU Data Viz Awards, given to exemplary data visualizations from seven organizations across the country that use public data.

Communication

  • Produced 48 APDU Weekly newsletters, informing APDU members about developments in federal data programs, novel data visualizations, data publications, and other data initiatives.
  • Introduced the APDU Job Board, updating members on opportunities in federal data agencies and the organizations that make use of publicly available data.

Training

  • Developed APDU’s first ever training course, the well-attended Data Viz Made Simple event. Held in Arlington, VA on September 15-16 immediately following the 2016 APDU Annual Conference, the training was at full capacity and received exceedingly positive reviews.
  • Produced 14 webinars on topics including the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking, Current Population Survey, and the underreporting of young children in federal statistical programs.

Data Advocacy

  • Provided opportunities for comment on nearly 200 federal actions in the Federal Register through the APDU Weekly.
  • Produced a webinar in collaboration with the Census Project on the Census Data Advocacy Toolkit to help state and local organizations build coalitions in support of an accurate census and comprehensive, reliable ACS.
  • Collaborated with Friends of BLS, the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS), and the Census Project in advocacy efforts.
  • Participated in several Capitol Hill visits to Congressional staff representing the interests of statistical data users.
  • Signed on to several letters advocating for proper funding for Census, BLS, and BEA and supporting efforts to ensure the ACS remains mandatory.

The Commission on Evidence-Based Policy Wants to Hear from You!

The Commission on Evidence-Based Policy wants to hear from you. The Commission is soliciting input from stakeholders on issues relevant to the Commission’s charge, established in Public Law 114-140. They are interested in hearing about data access issues, barriers to research, issues related to the capacity of states to engage in data and evidence building and issues related to privacy and confidentiality.

There are two ways to provide your input to the Commission:

Request for Comments – The Commission has an open Request for Comments published in the Federal Register on September 14, 2016, and will continue to accept comments through December 14, 2016. To submit your comments, please visit see the full request here or linked from www.cep.gov.

Public Hearings – The Commission’s public hearings are open opportunities for any interested stakeholders to submit a written statement and provide a 5-minute oral statement to members of the Commission, along with Q&A. There are two upcoming public hearings scheduled, one on January 5, 2017 in Chicago, IL and February 9, 2017 in San Francisco, CA. To sign up for a speaking slot at either hearing, please email us at Input@cep.gov with your name, affiliation, written statement and 2-3 sentence abstract. If you have a written statement you’d like to submit, but cannot make it to the hearing in person, you are welcome to submit that statement to regardless to Input@cep.gov.

To learn more about the Commission, please visit www.cep.gov and to sign up for the Commission’s email list, please contact them at events@cep.gov.

APDU Annual Business Meeting and State of the Association

In a time of change in the federal statistical system and the federal government generally, APDU has been keeping you informed and prepared. Our Weekly Updates, annual conference, webinars, and even a new training course have kept us busy during 2016. Want to know what’s in store for 2017?

APDU is excited to announce our Annual Business Meeting on December 6, 2016, at 3 pm EST. The meeting will be convened by webinar and open to all APDU members.

The APDU Board of Directors will report on the state of the association, present this year’s accomplishments and goals for the coming year, and answer your questions.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

AGENDA

Call to Order & Welcome
• Key Accomplishments
• Annual Conference Report
• Webinars
• Data Viz Made Simple Training
• Advocacy Activities

Fall 2016 Election

Financial Report

Looking Ahead
• Public Data University
• Annual Conference
• Training
• Get Involved With APDU

Q&A

Job Board November 2016

Welcome to the monthly APDU Job Board. Members are invited to submit job postings at their organization; the Board also includes a collection of public data-related positions (research, projections, etc.) from a variety of Federal, nonprofit, and private sources. You can submit your job postings to info@apdu.org.

Addressing Under-Reporting of Young Children in Federal Statistical Programs

Federal statistical agencies such as the Census Bureau must continuously improve survey methodologies to accurately reflect the U.S. population. For example, in recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the under-reporting of young children in several federal statistical system activities. There is clear evidence that young children (age 0-4) have a higher net undercount rate than any other age group in the 2010 Census. There is also evidence that young children are under-reported in three major Census Bureau surveys (the American Community Survey, the Current Population Survey and the Survey of Income and Program Participation) and in administrative records matched to the 2010 Census.

This webinar will first cover the data, or lack thereof, reflected in the statements above. Further, a representative from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget will discuss the implications of this data issue including activities underway to learn more about the issue and possible remedies for this problem. We expect to have ample time for questions and comments from the webinar participants.

Presenters:
Bill O’Hare, President, O’Hare Data and Demographic Services, LLC

Jennifer Park, Policy Analyst, Statistical and Science Policy Branch, Office of Management and Budget

A Closer Look at New Federal Survey Items on Certifications and Licenses

This APDU Public Data University Webinar will focus on federal surveys that now include new items on certifications and licenses. Over a 7-year period, the Interagency Working Group on Expanded Measures of Enrollment and Attainment (GEMEnA) developed and validated survey items on the prevalence and key characteristics of these non-degree credentials. Now a number of federal surveys of households and individuals have begun to collect data using the validated items, including the Current Population Survey and the National Survey of College Graduates. Taken together, these survey sources provide a comprehensive national picture of certifications and licenses.

Dr. Sharon Boivin, Chair of GEMEnA, will give an overview of the GEMEnA development process and then provide an in-depth look at item wording and analysis nuances for each survey. Dr. Jeff Strohl, Director of Research at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, will discuss the research questions that each survey is best poised to answer.

Presenters:
Sharon Boivin, Chair, Interagency Working Group on Expanded Measures of Enrollment and Attainment
Jeff Strohl, Director of Research, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

Job Board September 2016

Welcome to the monthly APDU Job Board. Members are invited to submit job postings at their organization; the Board also includes a collection of public data-related positions (research, projections, etc.) from a variety of Federal, nonprofit, and private sources. You can submit your job postings to info@apdu.org.

APDU Conference: Data Viz Awards Winners Announced

The 2016 APDU Data Viz Awards winners have been selected by the APDU nominating committee!

The Association of Public Data Users proudly present a selection of 2016’s top visualizations using publicly available data. Submissions were received from across the country, from researchers and students to public-agency and private-sector staff. Visualizations were developed using various tools, but with a common purpose: to use public data to convey meaningful information in a compelling manner. Award recipients will present on their research questions, data sources, and design tactics. Join us for a more informal session to close our conference.

We would like to congratulate the following individuals/organizations:

Federal Public Agencies

Private Firms

Researchers and Students

State/Local Public Agencies

Attendees of the 2016 APDU Annual Conference will be able to learn more about the development of these data visualizations in the closing session of the conference on September 14 at 2:45 P.M. Register today!

APDU Conference: Building Demand for Open Data

by Cliff Cook, APDU Board Member and Planning Information Manager, City of Cambridge, Massaschusetts

Recent years have seen an explosion in the interest in open data at all levels of government.  Open data can serve as a game changer when comes to the relationship between the public, the business community and government.  A variety of actors can pose and readily answer questions that, at best, previously required a deep dive into paper files or unstructured electronic documents.

This ideal picture of open data both ignores some realities and raises questions.  Creating and maintaining open data can prove a challenge for agencies without sufficient staffing or a culture of openness.  Structuring data in a manner that is useful to actors outside the agency can take a significant amount of staff time.  Updating open data sets is not always as easy as a ”click of the button”.  The data made available are often the “low hanging fruit” and may or may not match up with demand.

What strategies do governments use to match open data they are able and willing to supply with demand from the public, from the business sector and from hacktivists? What steps can governments proactively take to match the supply of data provided with user demand?  How do we maintain interest to ensure that we can support the civic infrastructure needed to sustain open data efforts over the long haul?

The 2016 APDU conference will be visiting these questions during the session on “Building Demand for Open Data”.  Panelists will include Anthony Curio from Summit Consulting, a firm with deep experience in federal data topics, Stefaan Verhulst from the GovLab at New York University, author of the recent report on Open Data Impact, and Rebecca Williams from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Government Excellence, who works with cities across the US to more promote the use of data.  The panel will be moderated by Cliff Cook, a planner with the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts and a member of the community’s Open Data Review Board.