Developing an Integrated Administrative Database
Mairead Reidy, Robert M. Goerge, Bong Joo Lee1999
Planning for the integration of human services can be supported by analysis of data from the administrative records of agencies that provide services. The power of these data becomes available to researchers and policy planners when the individual records of services delivered to children and families are integrated longitudinally and across service programs and settings. In this report, the authors focus on the methods used to integrate records. They review some of the advantages that administrative data have over sample surveys and other data sources in examining multiple service use by children and families. They outline the steps involved in accessing, integrating, and using administrative data--such as acquiring agency data, maintaining confidentiality, analyzing and documenting data, database design, record linking, creating summary records, and distinguishing patterns of service use--and discuss the key concerns in these processes.