What is administrative data?
Administrative data is the data that organizations collect about their operations. It includes data for routine operations, and is frequently used to assess how well an organization is achieving its intended goals.
For Chapin Hall’s mission, administrative data is the data government and other service-providing organizations collect about the children and families they serve. This can include demographic, financial, and workforce information. The data is often related to receiving a service, such as education, foster care, food stamps, or Medicaid.
Although administrative data is routinely collected and stored, it is often used only for program operations, such as service delivery. This data, though, has enormous potential for evaluating the effectiveness of programs and interventions, and for conducting other analysis that can improve program management or inform evidence-based policymaking.
Chapin Hall research and policy staff partner with government agencies to organize, transform, and analyze data and to build organizational capacity to improve data quality and use. The following projects are examples of Chapin Hall’s work with administrative data:
- The Trauma Crossover Youth Project uses administrative data to explore how exposure to trauma affects a child’s likelihood to move from the child welfare to the juvenile justice system.
- Community members in a Chicago suburb are working with Chapin Hall to use administrative data to improve early childhood education.
- Chapin Hall’s Center for State Welfare Data works with more than 30 states across the country to effectively use administrative data to make evidence-based decisions to improve outcomes for children and families.
- Administrative Data for the Public Good, a project with the U.S. Census Bureau, involves six pilot projects to illustrate how data can be used to advance evidence-based policies.