Participants get lunch and go to a breakout session. The aim of each session is to suggest possible NICS tools and methods to overcome challenges regarding small area (i.e., neighborhood) data access and use. (Examples of such tools and methods might include metadata standards, synthetic data sets, and larger sample sizes.)    (2J3J)

Saul Room, The Brookings Institution    (2J3N)

February 16, 2005    (2J3L)

Key Challenges to accessing small area data?    (2J4T)

What is small area data?    (2J4U)

1) Geography -    (2JMW)

At some point one way to approach is to try and think of the most inclusive system, we need to think of tools that allow us to get down to that level as well as higher geographies.    (2J4Z)

Not all the data you are going to be able to get will be available at the lowest levels of geography (parcel level, tract level), but not an either/or proposition - need data at all levels so you are able to access data at the appropriate level but it may not be useful to start with one definition of what "small" geography is because it will vary from topic, but a tool that can access data at the appropriate level given these limitations on the data would be most useful.    (2J50)

Key Challenges - Problem - real issues - there are real complications related to various geographic baoundaries - (i.e. county boundaries do correspond to congressional subdivisions, etc.). If you are going to solve the problem, need to figure out level.    (2J51)

Fedstats for example had to make the decision to go to the county level b/c the data gets flaky subcounty. Need to work with individuals at the local level to get data.    (2J52)

1) what's in it for me at the local level 2) How do you deal with geographic changes over time? 3) Geographic comparability? 4) Temporaral comparability - data collected at one time vs. another 5) Also selfdefined geographical boundaries - for ex, no political jurisidication for zipcodes but there are heated debated about zipcodes. 5) how do you maintain currency of data    (2J53)

Geography - Zipcode data are less useful b/c they cahnge frequently overtime. But this is what people use.    (2J5E)

Boundaries need to be boundaries of consequence so they are able to act on it - need to match units of government.    (2J5F)

Parcel data related to street address is close but not the same so need to work from ---    (2J5G)

==Concern== is that there are some basic things you need to --    (2J5H)

1) time series data for trend analysis 2) context 3) benchmarking    (2J5I)

We are now in a situation where the regional context is very important. We need standard geography (political) and time series data is often the weakest point.    (2J5J)

Standards -    (2J5K)

1) How are data being collected? 2) People behind the data? If NICS is developing a plumbing system, are we going to let people in who can't support the data? 3) the gamesmanship of wanting to inflate/alter numbers    (2J5L)

A lot of people do not like comparable data; also, may not be beneficial to wait until data is perfect to report it.    (2J5N)

Statistical Literacy - putting out data to people to understand their communities, neighborhoods, etc. more data available but less availability to use it.    (2J5O)

1) Enforcement    (2J6S)

Are we talking about indicators or information rather than data?    (2J6T)

Talking about systems that can take admin data, census data, etc. to produce indicators that end users are using to act, make decisions.    (2J6U)

At what geo level, is the raw data available? If you have data from local administrative records and want to make it available on NICS, how do you make it available/useable?    (2J6V)

2) Standards -    (2J6W)

two processes - data collection and analyses. What are people going to do with the data. What questions are you asking? We collect data for a reason, but not all the reasons.    (2J6Y)

competition - context of people using info to make positive change may take away the excuse not to particpate? a lot of people get criticized for making/using data - if the intention of nics and give them tools to use it to make decisions upon -----    (2J6Z)

Data Support - Needs, Understanding, and Analysis of the Data. For example, the law changes and impacts data collection and therefore consistency. Not going to be more investment in data than there are demand from the public.    (2J70)

Challenges -    (2JKA)

 1) aren't able to get the detailed geography needed for analysis.
 2) changes in geography boundaries    (2JKB)

Other challeneges - Private Sector Data - 1) Marketing Data - Is it possible to make these data available? Marketing data provide psychological profile data that are very specific to neighborhoods.    (2JKC)

2) Is there a way to create synthetic data sets so you can use info and still leave some proprietary info with companies.    (2JKD)

The key is not to wait for perfect data but how do you communicate information about the data?    (2JKE)

The marketing data may bring a dimension to the Census data.    (2JKF)

Expose what can be exposed and take the next step - seems to work well for public companies. It is going ot be a hard, long process.    (2JKG)

What is the real demand for data at their local areas? 1) Crime 2) Meghan's law 3) homebuying 4) property sales in their neighborhood    (2JKH)

If you want to engage public in data, how do you engage them, how do you teach them to use the data, understand the data?    (2JKI)

NICS users are data intermediaries - 1) church 2) community groups 3) researchers    (2JKJ)

data intermediaries know the demand but can't get the data.    (2JKK)

Assuming intermediaries    (2JKL)

1) can i get a tool to get below county level? 2) analytical tools    (2JKM)

Confidentiality    (2JKN)

Possible strategies or Methodologies for Small Area Data    (2JKO)

Do we have strategies or tools to produce small area data?    (2JKP)

1) Allocation methodologies 2) How do you develop a tool that allows    (2JKQ)

Descriptors of the lowest common denominator - income definition - there are least comm denominators across each definition - useful for NICS to come up with this basic metadata.    (2JKR)

Creating Demand - bring data in a basic format to verify other data. Edgar is a good example of how difficult for bringing this type of data online. if you make data available, tools will come.    (2JKS)

Vision for NICS is abstract - determine things that NICS is not going to do?    (2JKT)

Data are time consuming to collect so the expectations of the communtiy are high? A major source of data now are transaction data. how do you use existing data?    (2JKU)

Nics could choose whether or not to tackle issue of types of data to include until the plumbing in place and see what the user demands are? can't do it as you design the plumbing, users will discover problems and then have a discussion about quality of inputs.    (2JKV)

Are we overly concerned about the quality or interpretation of data? FOr the vast majority of the users that we are talking about, if we give users data with some documentation this will be a great help.    (2JKW)

What kind of decisions are we looking to influence? --we want to help them make better decisions on the ground than they are now? If people are just looking at a --- an easier thing to do would be to convince claritas    (2JKX)

=NICS Plumbing=    (2JMF)

 1) integrate data coming from diff sources, diff geographies, and temporal sources    (2JMG)

2) create graphs, maps, etc. to effectively display information.    (2JMH)

What does this system look like - what are some of the delivery systems that are effective in addressing small area issues -    (2JMI)

1) need to have the user to have the flexibility to answer the questions they are interestd in. a system that gives them a number of results, and allows the use to refine their search as they go.    (2JMJ)

 --if we make the data anlayst, the users, job easier than it is    (2JMK)

Problems - for 3 different numbers of homeownership rate, if the system could pullup all the numbers and explain the differences.    (2JML)

Should there be a focus on states that have very good state data systems. Homeland sec/justice has driven a lot of the data to the state level and look at these systems as models for NICS.    (2JMM)

Data come from a lot of different places so there should be documentation or resources available about the data. Imagine a future where there are organizations that support the data. Distributing funding to all the organizations that helped collect the data.    (2JMN)

Think about scalability - need to demonstrate the benefits of a system like this.    (2JMU)