Why broadening access to Federal administrative data is critical for improving government services and increasing taxpayer value: An interview with Maria Cancian, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison – Episode #134

Federal programs produce a lot of data — known as administrative data — and those data can be very useful for program administrators and researchers to answer important questions about policy and practice. That is especially true when data from multiple programs or datasets are linked, producing a broader view of program performance that spans organizational silos.

In short, access to administrative data is critical to making Federal programs and policies more effective and efficient. Today, however, access to data can be so restricted that conducting research and analysis can be very difficult.

Our guest today has a vision for how that could be different and why greater access to data is important. Maria Cancian is a Professor of Public Affairs and Social Work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the former Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty. From 2015 to 2016, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Additional resource: The White House Office of Management and Budget recently created a set of background briefs on using administrative data, prepared for the Commission on Evidence Based Policymaking [click here].