Category Archives: 301

Special Topics & Emerging Issues in Public Data: Improving Data Discoverability & Interoperability with DDI Metadata

The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) is an international standard for describing survey and other social science data. Documenting research data with DDI facilitates interpretation and understanding — both by humans and computers. Learn how DDI improves the ability of researchers and organizations to Document, Discover, and Interoperate in this APDU Webinar on March 7.

Barry Radler, Distinguished Researcher, University of Wisconsin
Institute on Aging Jon Johnson, Data Management and Metadata specialist working, UK Data
Jared Lyle, Archivist, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)

Special Topics and Emerging Issues in Public Data: 2020 Census Mapping Tools

With the 2020 Census fact approaching, both the Census Bureau and outside stakeholders are working to ensure that the Census is fair and accurate. In turn, both groups are developing mapping tools to identify areas that are difficult to count.

The low response score (LRS) is a metric developed by the US Census Bureau to classify geographic areas according to their propensity to self-respond to surveys and Censuses. Nancy Bates of the Census Bureau will showcase a new publicly-available tool that greatly simplifies the use of the LRS using a web-based mapping platform. The platform known as the Response Outreach Area Mapper, or ROAM, allows users to select a geography of interest to display tract-based maps colored-coded according to LRS. In addition to quickly identifying hard-to-survey areas, the ROAM also informs users why a particular area may be hard-to-count.

The Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center, working with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and other census supporters, developed the “Census 2020 Hard to Count Map” at to provide community groups, the media, Census Full Count Committees, and others with an online tool to highlight the hardest to count tracts in the country. This presentation by Steven Romalewski will introduce this intuitive, easy-to-use tool and potential upcoming additions.

Nancy Bates, Senior Researcher for Survey Methodology, Research and Methodology Directorate, U.S. Census Bureau
Steven Romalewski, Director, Mapping Service at the Graduate Center / CUNY

Special Topics and Emerging Issues in Public Data: Unlocking Open Data’s Network Effect

18M open datasets exist today, and growth is accelerating. But these data sets live in data portals without common taxonomies or architectures, and must first be cleaned and prepared by data users. Human and computers normalize, extract meaning, and identify correlations, but this work is siloed: used for one project, then lost forever, only to be repeated from scratch by the next person to touch the data.

Open data can help us rise to humanity’s toughest challenges, but only if we maximize its network effect. To build the web of Linked Data, we have to start by connecting the people who are working with data.

Patrick McGarry of will answer the following questions (and more) in this webinar:

  1. How can we enhance open data that has already been published?
  2. How are leading open data publishers combining the power of linked data and open data?
  3. What is the role of public-private partnership today, and how should it evolve?

Patrick McGarry, Head of Community,

Improving Administrative Data Quality for Research and Analysis

Many organizations collect data to help manage and monitor the performance of their programs. This administrative data can also be used to improve program evaluation and management and produce original research. As a first step, organizations should ensure the data is of a high enough quality to support research and evaluation. The webinar will serve as a primer on how organizations can improve the quality of administrative data for research. The webinar will cover:

  1. The importance of administrative data quality,
  2. The major issues of data quality,
  3. Strategies for reviewing the quality of the data, and
  4. Strategies for cleaning the data.

The webinar will cover major issues of data quality, including: units of analysis, missing values, invalid values, incorrect formatting, and value inconsistencies both within and across variables. In addition, the webinar will provide specific and concrete strategies for reviewing and cleaning the data in preparation for research. The webinar will be particularly useful for organizations that are relatively new to using administrative data for research and evaluation.

China Layne, Ph.D., Manager, Data Analytics and Research at Summit Consulting

Measuring 100 Million Healthier Lives (301 Series)

Carley Riley and Brita Roy of 100M Lives will present the evolving measurement framework for 100 Million Healthier Lives, which attempts to give communities tools for measuring mental, physical, social and spiritual wellbeing and its drivers at the community level. They will then discuss key data and measurement opportunities and challenges and engage the audience in a discussion about how best to resolve these challenges to create a wellbeing measurement system for the country, as the National Center for Health & Vital Statistics has recently recommended.

Carley Riley, Assistant Professor, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Brita Roy, Assistant Professor, Yale University School of Medicine

Improving Census Bureau Data Dissemination

The Census Bureau is moving toward a seamless data user experience. Drawing on feedback from a wide variety of data users, this new approach to data dissemination will emphasize the consumer experience and will attempt to create a single platform for accessing all Census Bureau data.

An early technical preview of the tool was released in September 2016, and the second technical preview is expected on January 31, 2017 at

Key features for Release 2 include:

Unified Search: Including a single search bar that provides automatic, scrolling search suggestions and allows a user to search across multiple filters in a single search.
-Table ID Search. Allows users to search by entering the table ID into the search box.
-Integrated Search Results. Returns a consolidated list of results with multiple content types (e.g. webpages and tables).

User Interface Enhancements
-Selection Map Enhancements. Improves the integration and access to the selection map from the results page and highlights the geography filters being added to improve usability and incorporate feedback from user testing.
-Table View. Provides a persistent table preview that lets users find data faster and allows users to sort the table results by relevancy, table name, and table ID improving the experience.
-Filters. Redesigns the filter selection to improve usability and incorporate feedback from initial user testing.

This webinar demonstration will provide users with a walk-through of platform capabilities from our latest release, and will provide an overview of plans for upcoming features as releases continue throughout 2017.

Ally Burleson-Gibson, Communications, Center for Dissemination Services and Consumer Innovation (CEDSCI), U.S. Census Bureau

Robert Chestnut, Chief, Communications, Center for Enterprise Dissemination Services and Consumer Innovation (CEDSCI), U.S. Census Bureau

Testing Messages to Support the Decennial Census and American Community Survey

The Census Project, the Association of Public Data Users and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights are co-sponsoring a webinar to unveil the results of a new national opinion survey on the use of effective messages in support of the 2020 Census and the companion American Community Survey. The polling results are especially relevant in light of the challenging political environment.

Registrants for this webinar will receive advance materials and polling results, including a general population survey as well as samples of African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Latinos.


  • Phil Sparks, Co-Director, Census Project
  • Corrine Yu, Senior Counsel and Managing Policy Director, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Celinda Lake, President, Lake Research Partners

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.

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.

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

The Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking: The Commission and How You Can Get Involved

The Evidence-Based Policy Commission is the result of a bipartisan initiative authored by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). The commission brings together leading researchers and social scientists to conduct an inventory of the data the government collects and to determine the best methods for policymakers to make use of that information.

In this presentation, Deputy Executive Director Lucas Hitt will cover the who, what, and why of the Commission, providing an overview of how it will conduct its work and related timelines. He will also cover how the audience can provide input to the Commission.

Lucas Hitt, Deputy Executive Director, Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking, Bureau of Economic Analysis