REL Northeast and Islands will develop and deliver a menu of analytic technical services. While many of our research products will be useful to a wide range of audiences, our efforts will be tailored to the specific needs of our research alliances and their data use capacities to inform decision-making. Services we will provide may include:
Develop and Deliver Workshops
Workshops to meet the needs of multiple audiences, including researchers and analytic staff, policymakers, and practitioners on topics such as defining a coherent research agenda, aligning data elements across data sets, designing program/policy evaluations, creating a culture of data use, recognizing analytic considerations for using longitudinal data, and promoting practitioner use of data.
Catalogue Available Data
We may help develop data catalogues that document what data elements exist, where they are housed, what entity manages the collection and the quality audit process for those elements, and what common data elements might be used to merge data.
Prepare Long-Term Plans for Data Structure and Governance
We will provide analytic technical support on data governance and the creation of long-term plans to move toward more comprehensive data sets that can readily be used to examine policy questions.
Establish and Document the Process for Constructing Analytic Files Across Data Sets
Our research team will provide technical expertise on how to develop and document procedures for merging and cleaning data to create analytic files. In addition, we will help alliance participants create restricted-use files for external researchers that meet Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requirements for privacy, including guidance on de-identification, category collapsing, and data swapping.
Develop Documentation to Support Data Use
We will provide guidance on developing code books that explain the source, structure, and quality of each data element; training manuals that serve as “how-to” guides when using complex longitudinal data sets; and sample code and output for frequently requested analyses that illustrate proper file use.
Create a Process and Documentation for Managing External Data Use
We will help alliance participants develop internal processes to manage data requests from external researchers, including a process for vetting requests, an Internal Review Board process to protect human subjects, and a process for reporting requirements to bring research findings back to the agency.
Design Additional Data Collection Efforts
We will assist state and local agencies in designing instruments to collect additional data that will inform analyses on specific policy and program questions. We will also provide guidance on survey implementation, data cleaning, and storage.