Federal Data and Advanced Statistics Hub Grant!

Friday, September 13, 2019 - 14:30

The Ethics Center is enormously pleased to be a part of a recently awarded $1 million NSF grant to build a "Federal Advanced Data and Statistics Hub" (F-DASH)!

F-DASH aims to solve a problem in the availability of information about government.  Much of the public policy U.S. citizens encounter every day regarding their health, welfare, education, jobs, and security are state and local level policies. At the same time, the diversity of sub-national governments provides researchers with an ideal venue in which to analyze the effects of a wide range of institutions, cultures, economies, and demographics on policy outcomes and subsequent societal impacts. However, the decentralized nature of the United States' federal system often necessitates individual data collection efforts depending on the unit of analysis. Consequently, researchers, scholars, and government agencies commonly collect only the minimum of what they need to address a particular question or charge. Moreover, researchers often do not share these data, and those agencies and individuals who do make data publicly available, have no obvious way to connect their data to data collected by others. This project addresses these problems by developing the F-DASH (Federalism Data and Advanced Statistics Hub). The F-DASH will build the largest and most comprehensive database related politics, policy, and socio-economic outcomes at the state, local, and national levels. The F-DASH will include three layers: 1) a Data Warehouse Layer to ingest, tag, and combine heterogeneous data types into a common database with keys that link actors and objects across data types, 2) a Data Analytics Layer to generate widely-used derivative measures from the raw data and conduct unique analyses of both the raw data and those derivative measures, and 3) a Data Access Layer to share raw data, derivative measures, computer code, and instructional materials and videos with other scholars, policy makers, teachers, and the general public.

The project is led by Jason Windett (Political Science and Public Policy).  Co-PI's are Isaac Cho (Computer Science), Gordon Hull (Philosophy, Ethics Center), Samira Shaikh (Computer Science) and Stephanie Moller (Sociology and Public Policy).