IDS Organizational Models

Examples of Mature IDS Sites

Mature IDS sites generally seek to meet the following criteria:

  • Securing and Maintaining Legal Agreements – includes approved data sharing agreements and/or memoranda of understanding that comply with federal mandates around data sharing, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Privacy Act ratified.
  • Establish Governance Processes – Set up an organizational structure for governance of the IDS, describing the nature of the governance process, procedures for setting research priorities and approvals, and the steps to move a study from a proposal to a publication
  • Integrating data from three or more agencies on an ongoing basis
  • Implementing Data Analytics Management and Processes – create outlined policies for data retrieval, record linkage, cleaning, sharing, and protecting data
  • Developing Political and Economic Sustainability – Building processes for securing executive support in their organizations to sustain their efforts across different administrations and budget cycles

The “mature” IDS descriptions were developed from the results of a qualitative study of 10 AISP Network sites. Results from this study revealed three distinct IDS organizational models of a mature site:

  • Executive Based Model –  entities with strong state or county executive support or leadership that have existed over several administrations. These systems often have reliable revenue streams for operating expenses and routinely reside in secure, non-partisan government offices. This arrangement safeguards these systems against sudden political or economic changes. Example: Center for Innovation Through Data Intelligence (CIDI), NYC
  • Agency Based Model – typically originate and reside in departments of health and human services (HHS). Most agency-based models were originally built to help caseworkers manage their workload by providing a clearer picture of clients that utilize services from multiple government systems and programs. Over time, these sites initiate further data sharing agreements with other agencies, like school districts or state education departments, streamline legal processes, and promote the use of integrated data for policy analysis more broadly.  Example: Department of Human Services (DHS), Allegheny County, PA
  • University-based Model – do not typically have formal governing boards. Instead, they develop a research agenda that is based on their funding revenues, research interests, and partner-agency needs.  Example: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

Each model developed a unique set of practices and procedures for building, using, and sustaining their IDS. While the models share many of the same elements, careful examination reveals variation among the three organizational approaches.  Click on the images below to read more about Securing and Maintaining a Legal Agreement, Implementing Data Analytics Management and Processes, Establishing Governance Processes, and Creating Political & Economic Factors to Sustain IDS.