Authored December 2013, Last Updated March 2018.
Integrated Data Systems (IDS) link data at the individual level from multiple government agencies such as schools, juvenile justice, and human services, and can also include data from non-governmental service providers. The systems can be used for case management and for program monitoring and evaluation, and have privacy protections governing access to the data. Although there are varying definitions of IDS, several national organizations have been working over the past months to identify common interests and share existing resources related to these systems. The groups are also coordinating on selected ongoing projects and developing new resources together, like the IDS catalog and the suggested reading list described below.
- The Integrated Data System Approach: A Vehicle to More Effective and Efficient Data-Driven Solutions in Government by John Fantuzzo, Cassandra Henderson, Kristen Coe, & Dennis Culhane
- 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.
- For examples of communications materials on privacy and confidentiality, visit the Data Quality Campaign website.
- For examples of IDS for local policy and programs, see the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership IDS page and the website for Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy.
- 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.
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 education, health and human service agencies’ policies and practices through the use of integrated data systems. The AISP Network is composed of 10 state and local partners that have mature integrated data systems capable of producing actionable intelligence to guide policy and practice decision-making. The AISP web site has many resources for those interested in developing new IDS or strengthening existing ones. They also host periodic conferences for people interested in the field.
Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF): AECF is a foundation dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States. Its primary mission is to foster public policies, human-service reforms, and community supports that more effectively meet the needs of today’s vulnerable children and families. 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 their website at www.aecf.org/ids to learn more.
Data Quality Campaign (DQC): DQC supports state policymakers and other key leaders to promote the effective use of data to ensure students graduate from high school prepared for success. The organization accomplishes this through demonstrating the value of data in education, positioning data priorities through policy lenses, and encouraging activities that will build the capacity of educational actors to use data effectively. DQC believes IDS can support these goals and has been partnering with other organizations to advocate that appropriate stakeholders—from parents to policymakers—are empowered with the information they need to make the best decisions for students, while upholding the moral and legal responsibility to ensure the privacy, security, and confidentiality of data. Their website offers success stories, profiles of state data use, and information on critical action issues.
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation: The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. The foundation’s interest in IDS crosses these issue areas, and helps support their work in linking housing to other outcomes for family and communities. To advance this work, the foundation provides support to the AISP network.
National League of Cities: NLC works in partnership with the 49 state municipal leagues, and serves as a resource to and an advocate for the more than 19,000 cities, villages and towns it represents. As part of the “Building Bridges” initiative, the National League of Cities Institute (NLCI) is engaging city leaders, state leaders and KIDS COUNT grantees in meetings around the country to align the integration of data related to children and families, including IDS, across levels of government and allow each of these players to leverage one another’s knowledge and resources.
National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP): NNIP is a collaboration of the Urban Institute and local partners in more than thirty cities to further the development and use of neighborhood-level information systems for community building and local decisionmaking . While NNIP has traditionally focused on unlinked administrative data, the network conducted IDS cross-site project titled “Connecting People and Place: Improving Communities through Integrated Data Systems” from 2013-2016 sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The project explored how Integrated Data Systems (IDS) combined with other local data could contribute to understanding neighborhoods and informing local policy in six partner sites.
The organizations listed above compiled in an Excel document listing both established and emergent Integrated Data Systems across the United States, last updated in June 2015.