Last Updated December 2018.
Integrated Data Systems (IDS) link administrative data at the person-level from multiple government sources such as the education, juvenile justice, and human services, and might also include data from non-governmental service providers. The systems are used for research, evaluation, policymaking, program monitoring, or case management. The system managers put privacy protections in place to govern access to the data. For more information, review the suggested reading materials and videos.
NNIP Partners focus on the use of administrative data to create neighborhood indicators that can help local community groups, government agencies, and foundations improve decisionmaking and address inequities across neighborhoods and communities of color. Since 2013 with the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, NNIP and its partners have explored the use of IDS and generated new insights about the importance of using data about both people and place in local program development and policymaking. NNIP continues to promote the expansion of access to information in IDS and the inclusion of data on place in IDS. In collaboration with national stakeholders, NNIP provides resources and technical assistance to NNIP partners and the IDS field.
From 2013 to 2016, six NNIP partners participated in the cross-site project, “Connecting People and Place: Improving Communities through Integrated Data Systems.” The project successfully demonstrated:
- program planning and monitoring can be improved through enhanced access to IDS;
- place and neighborhood matter;
- NNIP partners’ position in the community and perspectives can add valuable contributions to policy discussions; and
- relationships between NNIP partners and those hosting IDS should continue to be developed.
In 2018, NNIP released NNIP’s Resource Guide to Data Governance and Security, a curated set of resources to help organizations develop robust data governance programs to protect privacy and human subjects, increase data security, and improve data management. The guide is geared to assist organizations acquiring and managing confidential data, such as data used in IDS.
- The Integrated Data System Approach: A Vehicle to More Effective and Efficient Data-Driven Solutions in Government: (Fantuzzo et al. 2017) articulates how IDS power data-driven solutions in government.
- For a primer on IDS, see Connecting the Dots: The Promise of Integrated Data Systems for Policy Analysis and Systems Reform by Dennis Culhane and John Fantuzzo (2010).
- For examples of IDS for local policy and programs, see the NNIP collection and the website for Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (AISP).
- NNIP partnered with the MetroLab Network and AISP to co-develop a report "Technology for Civic Data Integration" to provide guidance on information architecture and technical approaches for data integration.
- For a detailed example of the steps it takes to link additional data to an existing IDS and prepare a data file for research, see the paper from Carlson et al. 2015.
- Videos from the Children’ Data Network, the Virginia Longitudinal Data System and the Annie E. Casey Foundation help explain IDS.
Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (AISP): AISP is an initiative funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation that aims to improve the quality of social policies and practices through the use of IDS. AISP operates a network of individuals within county organizations, state agencies, and universities that operate IDS. They are also building a learning community to expand the number of communities with a fully-functioning IDS. The AISP web site has many resources for those interested in developing IDS or strengthening existing ones, including their 2017 expert panel report series.
Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF): The Foundation is devoted to developing a brighter futures for millions of children at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes and supports a focus on data and result to make a measurable difference for the largest number of children and family possible. The Foundation is interested in increasing the availability, access and utilization of IDS in order to improve child and family well-being and support place-based policy reforms and programs. Visit www.aecf.org/ids to learn more.
The Data Quality Campaign serves as a good resource for communications materials related to privacy and confidentiality.
MetroLab Network’s Data Science and Human Services Lab brings together academics, city and county practitioners, and non-profit leaders to consider the issues at the intersection of technology, analytics solutions, and human services deployment.
NNIP collaborated with the National League of Cities, AISP, and the Data Quality Campaign in 2013 to compile a list of established and emergent Integrated Data Systems across the United States, last updated in June 2015. In late 2019, AISP conducted a survey of Idata integration efforts to understand how it had changed since 2013. View those results here.