APDU Election Candidate Statements

The APDU election is underway and two candidates are up for election for Secretary and At-Large positions on the Board of Directors: Sarah Burgoyne of Claritas and Ron Nakao of Stanford University. See below their candidate statements:

Sarah Burgoyne
Director of Data Science
Claritas

As the Director of Data Science at Claritas, I lead our demographic and cartographic team in the use of data from the Decennial Census and the American Community Survey to produce small area population estimates. Prior to working at Claritas, I received my Master’s Degree in Sociology with a specialization in Applied Demography from Bowling Green State University. Currently, I am pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Sociology with a specialization in Family Demography, also at BGSU.

Being in the early stages of my career, I believe I bring a unique perspective to APDU, which allows me to work with other board members to form the next generation of public data users. As a member of the board, I will continue to represent the private sector as a champion for public data. Specifically related to the role of Secretary, I seek to continue serving APDU by providing minutes for meetings and helping chair sessions at the annual conference.

Ron Nakao
Economics, Data and Computational Social Science Librarian
Stanford Libraries

At Stanford, my duties include building the economics collection (data, books, journals, online resources), and consulting with faculty, research staff, and students on our collections and the use of statistical software. i serve as Stanford’s representative to ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research), the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, and the DDI (Data Documentation Initiative) Alliance. I am a long-time member of IASSIST (International Association for Social Science Information, Service, and Technology), and have previously served on the ICPSR Council and DDI Alliance Board.

APDU is a unique resource and advocate for federal statistical data. I was particularly impressed with the networking and cross-fertilization of ideas and work by attendees (including myself) at our last conference. I hope to bring my experience and connections in the academic/library world to the APDU Board and am particularly interested in helping to expand the connections and participation by the academic/library community with APDU.

APDU Annual Business Meeting

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, and webinars have kept us busy during 2017. Want to know what’s in store for 2018?

APDU is excited to announce our Annual Business Meeting on December 12, 2017, 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. 

Intermediate Application of Data Sets: Data Linkage & Uses of Administrative Records at the U.S. Census Bureau

The Census Bureau makes extensive use of administrative data to produce statistics about the U.S. population and economy. The use of external data depends on our ability to link and integrate across sources including census and survey data. By integrating external data, we can reduce respondent burden and increase the scope and depth of statistics and analyses. Researchers in the Census Bureau’s Center for Administrative Records Research and Applications (CARRA) conduct innovative research to investigate how administrative records may improve decennial census and survey operations and to answer important social scientific questions. This webinar will provide an overview the Census Bureau’s data linkage infrastructure, examples of CARRA research using linked data, and how external researchers may request access to Census Bureau data.

Presenter:
Mark Leach, PhD., Chief, Demographic and Decennial Research Group, Center for Administrative Records Research and Applications, U.S. Census Bureau

Telling Your Story Through Data Visualization

Register:  Online or PDF

Download Preliminary Agenda

Translating and analyzing big data using charts, graphics, and images is becoming more and more necessary for decision-making. The art of making compelling visuals is something that all professionals should learn. The purpose of this workshop is to introduce some basic concepts to help guide the selection of the right visualization to represent your data and to make those graphics impactful. You will also learn the mechanics of making the best graphics using two powerful and widely available software tools: Excel and Tableau. Receive hands-on help in learning how to use basic charts and graphs more effectively and learn powerful ways to present data that will forever change how you will present data to your audience.

Training pre-requisites
Skills: Familiarity with creating workbooks, worksheets, basic menus & toolbars
Tools: Laptop, wired mouse, Microsoft Excel 2013, Tableau Desktop (personal or professional)

Pricing Early Bird Pricing
Through January 29, 2018)
After January 29, 2018
APDU, C2ER, LMI Institute Premium Organizational Members $ 630 $ 680
APDU, C2ER, LMI Institute Individual & Organizational Members $ 715 $ 765
Non-Members $ 895 $ 945

Trump Administration Indicates Support of 2020 Census

The Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on October 12 provided some reasons for optimism regarding the Trump Administration’s support of the Census Bureau. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross testified before the committee and voiced support for appropriate funding of the 2020 Census. Further, the Administration plans to hire a comparable number of enumerators to the 2010 Census, which will be much more efficient due to the use of technology.  If you’d like to learn more about planning for the 2020 Census, consider attending the 2020 Census Quarterly Program Management Review on October 27 at 12:30 pm.

TAKEAWAYS:
  • The Census Bureau must focus on modernizing data collection and delivering necessary IT infrastructure in the most cost-effective manner.
  • The Census Bureau must ensure delivery of critical IT systems for 2018 end-to-end testing. Delays for delivery of critical IT systems pose significant risk for the security and the success of the census.
  • Secretary Ross provided a new life-cycle cost estimate of $15.6 billion dollars, an increase of $3.3 billion from the 2015 cost estimate.
  • Increasing costs are a concern. The Committee will monitor the Census Bureau’s management of the 2020 Census.

APDU Elections Committee Asks for Nominations

The Elections Committee is governed by the APDU By-Laws, Article 5.  The Committee is preparing a slate of candidates for Secretary  and an At-Large Board Member. Incumbent Secretary Sarah Burgoyne has decided to seek a 2nd term. Erin Holve, currently an At-Large Board Member, is not seeking a 2nd term.  The Elections Committee welcomes your suggestions as we prepare a slate of candidates. The deadline for suggestions to the Election Committee is October 31. Please send your nominations to Warren Brown at warren.brown@cornell.edu.

APDU Conference 2017: Exploring Data Resources for Addressing Policy Issues

By Elizabeth Nash, APDU Board Member

One of the many benefits of serving as the co-chair of this year’s APDU Conference was having the opportunity to review submissions for panels and presentations in our first-ever call for entries for the conference.  There were so many excellent submissions that it was very difficult to choose, but the conference committee did a wonderfully disciplined job of selecting the entries that aligned closely with our theme of communicating data around data innovation, integration and communication.  The conference committee had the enviable task of determining keynotes and assembling panels for the breakout sessions.  The breakout sessions are often one of the most useful aspects of the conference for me as the manager of data at PolicyMap, due to the fruitful discussions about using public data to understand public policy issues.

Which is why I chose to moderate and helped to design the breakout session, “Innovative Approaches to Understanding Our Most Pressing Public Policy Issues: Lessons in Education and Opportunity.”  The panel explored the use of public data in policy topics such as the opioid epidemic, homelessness and education and opportunity disparities.  Our panel consisted of three prominent professionals from progressive national think tanks and foundations. They discussed their research and recommendations for addressing issues faced by communities across the US.  They also discussed their methodologies that rely on publicly accessible data, as well as the materials produced by these initiatives that help policy practitioners, state and local governments, and advocates to address issues related to opportunity, well-being, education and public health.

 

Jennifer Thornton, Manager of Data as a Strategic Asset at Pew Charitable Trusts, discussed solving public policy problems with administrative data using five action steps that state governments can employ to address large-scale challenges. Jennifer explained that as states increasingly share their data across programs and agencies, and perform advanced analytics, they can attain a more accurate understanding of their resources, a more comprehensive picture of how services are used, and a greater understanding of the root cause of issues. Jennifer described the findings from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ 50-state study (forthcoming, will be available here) that focuses on the productive and creative ways states have used administrative data to address problems and inform decision-making. Jennifer shared compelling data success stories and data-driven strategies that a few states have used that others can adopt to solve public problems.

 

Laura Speer, Associate Director Policy Reform and Advocacy at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, discussed their perennially successful Kids Count Data Center and Data Book, and she described the annual media uptake of their resources around child well-being that her group packages and provides.  Laura talked about Annie E. Casey’s Race for Results project that focuses on children’s opportunity and success milestones across racial and ethnic groups.  Laura illuminated the necessity of public data in her work, as Kids Count relies on sources including the National Survey of Children’s Health, the National Vital Statistics System, the U.S. Census and the U.S. Census’s American Community Survey.

 

Courtney Brown, Vice President of Strategic Impact at Lumina Foundation, talked about Lumina Foundation’s dedication to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60% by 2025, their “Goal 2025.”  She explained that for Lumina Foundation to achieve this goal, they need to be able to understand the current education levels and certifications of Americans, and they need to track those data over time.  She discussed the pivotal role of the American Community Survey’s postsecondary attainment data in their new online data tool, A Stronger Nation.  She also discussed the challenge with finding data related to high-quality certificates and other credentials because those achievements are not included in the standard Census ACS categories.

The panel wrapped up with an engaging exchange around each of the panelists’ topic areas, as well as a conversation about the growing appetite for data and data visualization and packaging, as researchers increasingly rely on publicly available tools to address public policy issues.

This blog post also appears in the PolicyMap Mapchats blog.  Check out Mapchats for another view of the conference.

Reflections on APDU 2017

By Cliff Cook, President, Association of Public Data Users

This past week APDU held a very successful 40th annual conference in Arlington, VA.  With the meeting fresh in mind, this is a good moment for reflections on themes that emerged across the various speakers and sessions. First though, I want to thank all our sponsors, speakers and our staff from CREC who ably handled the many logistical challenges.

What I found most striking as both a participant and sometimes moderator is the relentless focus on the need to change governance and policy arrangements around data.  The interest, demand for and sheer quantity of data generated today is leaving behind policies often dating to an era of mainframe computing and strictly siloed data sets, where data was considered a minor part of IT.  Yet, these institutional holdovers may confound efforts to develop innovative policies and, in particular, link data sets both within and between producers to fully tap their potential. The flip side of this problem is that we have begun to recognize this as a fundamental impediment to progress.

Keynote speakers, panels and sponsors addressed data governance from different vantage points.  Nancy Potok, eight months into her tenure as Chief Statistician of United States, focused her keynote on the priorities for the federal statistical system.  The panel discussion on the Commission on Evidence Based Policymaking emphasized that asking  public data to serve the public interest in the 21st century requires new federal programming and legislation to give agencies and researchers unhindered access to data. Chief among their concerns is how to accomplish this goal while respecting Americans’ concerns about privacy.

Echoing one of the recommendations of the Commission’s recently released report, George Aiken and Gary Yakimov discussed the need to separate management of data resources from IT.  They called for the creation of a new type of organizational role centered around data and headed by a senior-level manager, a Chief Data Officer in Aiken’s words, who will take charge of developing data governance and policy setting, while managing an agency’s overall data program.

The need for new governance arrangements extends to the private sector as well. Stefaan Verlhurst, from the GovLab at NYU, cited how the emerging market for both public and private data will drive the creation of a suite of new data sharing arrangements, in particular data collaboratives. Data.world, a conference sponsor, gave an Ignite lighting presentation on their use of the linked open data concept, pioneered by Tim Berners-Lee, as way to connecting a wide range of desperate data across topics and organizations into a single seamless “data web”.

My flight is just approaching now Boston so this is a good point at which to wrap up this post.  Be sure to join us at APDU in 2018!

Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking Report Release

On Thursday, September 7, the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking released their mandatory report. The report includes over 20 recommendations to facilitate the sharing of data across agencies and the evaluation of federal programs. Click here to read the report.

APDU is in the process of developing a response to the report’s release, and we would like your input. If you have any thoughts on how you’d like APDU to represent your interests as a data user, please contact Brendan Buff at bbuff@crec.net.