Data Systems

Collage of data systems screenshots

Harnessing Big Data for Social Good

Efforts to tackle society’s most persistent problems often are ineffective or slow, in part because of the difficulty of accessing social data with which needs and solutions can be analyzed.

However, advances in information technology and access to social service administrative data have made it possible to develop data systems to help devise and evaluate social policy.

Integrated data systems leverage administrative records from agencies across the community to evaluate outcomes, drive decision making, target resources, and gain an understanding of service impact. Administrative records constitute a rich source of information that help communities understand collective need, outcomes, and change over time.

All administrative data have the potential for bias due to the proven history of over- surveillance and unequal treatment of underprivileged and disenfranchised communities, particularly communities of color.

We acknowledge that these biases could impact the administrative data that we receive. Our Center is guided by these considerations and we endeavor to identify and address potential bias, so as to provide an ethical and accurate reflection of the communities with which we work.

The Poverty Center continuously maintains two integrated data systems for its research:

The NEOCANDO (Northeast Ohio Community and Neighborhood Data for Organizing) system is a free and publicly accessible data system that integrates social and economic data from the census and local agencies into a tract-level longitudinal system.

The CHILD (Child Household Integrated Longitudinal Data) system is a secure, confidential database composed of linked administrative records on individuals in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, beginning with people born in 1989, to the present.  CHILD contains data from over 35 different administrative systems.