Questions and Discussions, Session 2 and General Discussion    (2OXZ)

Q: (To Blodgett) Are there charges for accessing your data? A: No, we do not charge for data, but there is a one-year subscription fee to cover the cost of the data provider.    (2OY0)

Q: (To Traynham) Are you using electronic based approaches to data collection or are you using paper? A: (Traynham) About 8 years ago, Maryland made investment in digitizing property data and trying to make it available through the web. It used to be available just on CD    (2OY1)

A: (Blodgett) We use interns for data gathering use.    (2OY2)

Q: (To panel) Do you see a demand for real time data? A: Yes, CSERC will have a multi state data tool that will be real time.    (2OY3)

Q: So the most expensive activity for your organization is trying to gather and clean data? A: Yes    (2OY4)

Q: Could you talk about the state datacenter network in terms of best practices?    (2OY5)

A: (Traynham) We do have some best practices with regard to training, such as working with Census for training and training materials. A: Also, one of the most important things we did was the subpopulation profile. This was an enormous undertaking.    (2OY6)

Q: (To panel) I’m struck by the different roles each intermediary is playing, would anyone like to talk about how their data initiative got started? And In VA, to what extent is reconciling data to the same base happening with demographic, employment, and other data.    (2OY7)

A: (Boersma) GIS started in MI a few years ago. All the GIS responsibility was given to one individual, and all GIS resources were put under his agency.    (2OY8)

A: (Shinar) In VA, we’ve seen a lot of activities with GIS partly because we have seamless data that is coming online. We are working with Census to make sure our stuff lines up with theirs. We are able to deliver information tools to the public that are run by GIS. We are trying to produce data and data tools, which enable individuals to bring their own expertise to it. Currently, we are working to develop a web system with other states (right now about 4 or 5) to see if these states can work across boundaries. W.VA has already moved to same base map as VA.    (2OY9)

Q: (panel) How do you come fund these activities (feds, state, etc)?    (2OYA)

A: Funding is the toughest thing A: In VA, there is a 75 cent monthly cell phone charge which goes to the local governments to develop their 411 system, and part of that funding goes to VA data system. It is difficult to figure out how much money to set aside for to statistics because it is hard to measure their benefit? A: Data champions in high up ranks helps make a huge difference. A: In MI, the whole statewide strategy on 211 (Health and Human Services equivalent of 911) is built around GIS.    (2OYB)

Q: Efficiencies increase as databases become easier to manipulate. Up until now local governments did not need a lot of local capacity, but we now may be approaching a time where localities need capacity. How might we build local capacity?    (2OYC)

A: Consolidation process in VA and the spread of broadband helped local governments. One exciting thing that Virginia Tech does is they provide a geospatial tech person who goes around to assist local governments. If we can develop the data that is important for local decision makers and then have an expert that come to help them with the data tools, this would be really helpful.    (2OYD)

Q: We talked about Census’ ability to develop synthetic estimates, is education for states and localities a function for NICS? And Is synthetic estimates real a possibility for overcoming confidentiality issues?    (2OYE)

     Q:  (follow up) Do synthetic estimate provide a partial answer to HIPAA ? Can we increase geographic precision?    (2OYF)

A: Yes, synthetic estimates would be a vehicle for deepening and broadening coverage. A: It is important to keep in mind that there is some value to seams because seamless implies big brother. In terms of this issue of synthetic estimates, no number is a real number and that can be scary for data users.    (2OYG)

Q: (panel) Could the speakers address the following: 1) how NICS might make work easier, effective, and what you need to be part of NICS? And 2) How might NICS help in filling in gaps, encouraging standards    (2OYH)

1.Leveling the playing field: Contextual information is available on a consistent basis for all areas. This allows for the development of performance measures and standards to compare areas. 2.Increase efficiency: cut out the process of acquiring and maintaining data, which would allow for more analysis. 3.Protection: state agencies disclose data more than they use data, NICS could provide some protection because states are political beasts.    (2OYI)

Q: Who is the audience? A: Data Intermediaries - the notion is that NICS is essentially a backend to data intermediaries of all sorts, so they can make data available to the constituencies that they deal with. The users of NICS are data intermediaries.    (2OYJ)

Q: How do we develop a manageable plan for NICS? A: Identify two or three places where groups see natural merger with gubernatorial interests or commonality at local level that will help us drive it.    (2OYK)

Commnet: Who is going to benefit from this? This is an important question to be asking. In the local arena in MI, we have the haves and have-nots: some agencies have great technologies others don’t. Those 29 percent of local governments that have websites cover the majority of the population but not the majority of the landmass. We need to address some of the technology gaps that exist between local governments.    (2OYL)

Q: What is the particular and unique role states can play in NICS? 1.Partners – Need states as partner for state administrative records. If they don’t want to play, this will be a big hurdle to over come. 2.More emphasis on “best practice” states 3.Data intermediaries b/w feds and locals 4.States can be a networking message 5.States are providers of unique data, an important constituency for federal data, and important intermediaries between fed and locals.    (2OYM)

Q: What are some of the obstacles for states?    (2OYN)

1. The hardest part of sharing data amongst agencies is not technologies, but, instead, it is the governance issue, ownership issue, and privacy issue. The reality is that we need leadership on the business side to make this happen. We cannot expect the technology people to do this. And we need a good sales pitch because states don’t have any money. Governor need a good story to tell like 211.    (2OYO)

2. VA went for low hanging fruit – it was about 911, economic development, not data. People respond to data if it will solve problems for them.    (2OYP)

3. Cannot have a one size fits all model. Local jurisdictions have different interests and needs, which is important to keep in mind.    (2OYQ)

4. In CO, Denver county has more resources than the state, and often Denver is driving the state. County goes ahead with what they want to do.    (2OYR)

5. NICS needs to be able to reflect the enormous complexities of the constituencies at varying levels and differing capacities.    (2OYS)