Leveraging External Data Sources to Enhance Official Statistics and Products

Authors:Keller, Sallie, PV-Biocomplexity InitiativeUniversity of Virginia Shipp, Stephanie, PV-Biocomplexity InitiativeUniversity of Virginia ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0002-2142-2136Orr, Mark, PV-Biocomplexity InitiativeUniversity of Virginia Higdon, David , StatisticsVirginia Tech Korkmaz, Gizem, PV-Biocomplexity InitiativeUniversity of Virginia Schroeder, Aaron, PV-Biocomplexity InitiativeUniversity of Virginia ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0003-4372-2241Molfino, Emily US Housing and Urban Development Pires, BianicaMitre Corp Ziemer, KathrynWeinberg, Daniel H.

The Census Bureau wants to understand how to leverage external data sources with traditional survey data and understand the effects on statistical data quality and standards of use resulting from incorporating external data. The Census Bureau tasked the Social and Decision Analytics Division, part of the Biocomplexity Institute of the University of Virginia, to address the question: how can we know if external data are useful for federal statistical needs? Today, the broad expansion of data collection across state and local governments, nonprofits, and commercial entities has created many opportunities to leverage external data sources to complement and even improve federal statistics. In the context of this report, external data are those collected by organizations outside of the federal statistical system, including city, county, and state governments, and the commercial sector.

To conduct this study, the team developed an initial data framework that encompasses the theory and methods capable of capturing, repurposing, and integrating sources of data. This framework cannot be developed in isolation; rather it must be deeply grounded in real problems. Two specific case studies were chosen to ground the data framework development. The first case study considered measuring housing information directly based on locally available data. The second case study explored the use of state longitudinal education and workforce data. For both case studies, analyses were conducted to determine statistical properties, quality, accuracy, availability, and timeliness for each data source. Alternative estimates of housing and education information were created and recommendations were developed for external data sources, methodologies to produce estimates for the 2009-2013 American Community Survey (ACS) and selected uses of the ACS data.

Repurposing data, Administrative data, Data framework
Source Citation:

Keller, S., Shipp, S., Orr, M., Higdon, D., Korkmaz, G., Schroeder A., Molfino, E., Pires, B., Ziemer, K., Weinberg, D. “Leveraging External Data Sources to Enhance Official Statistics and Products.” Proceedings of the Biocomplexity Institute, Technical Report. TR# 2021-060. University of Virginia

University of Virginia
Published Date:
January 5, 2016
Sponsoring Agency:
US Census Bureau under Contract to Mitre Corp.

Citation for the related wiki: S. Keller, S. Shipp, M. Orr, D. Higdon, G. Korkmaz, A. Schroeder, E. Molfino, B. Pires, K. Ziemer, and D. Weinberg. (2016). Dynamic Report Appendix – Collaborative Wiki, prepared for U.S. Census Bureau for Leveraging External Data Sources to Enhance Official Statistics and Products. Proceedings of the Biocomplexity Institute, Wiki for Technical Report. TR# 2021-065. University of Virginia.