Agenda – 2016 Annual Conference

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Using Public Data to Inform Better Decision Making

Learn. Engage. Collaborate.

DAY 1 – SEPTEMBER 13, 2016


8:00 am – 8:45 am Breakfast and Registration

Plenary Session
8:45 am – 9:00 am Welcome and Introduction


  • Warren Brown, President, Association of Public Data Users
  • Kevin McAvey, Associate Director of Analytics, Center for Health Information and Analysis

Plenary Session
9:00 am – 9:45 am Using Public Data to Inform Better Decision Making 

Federal and state officials, legislators, business executives, and non-profit leaders regularly depend upon public data and information to make critical operational, strategic, and policy decisions.  Informed by decades of work at both the state and federal levels, this opening panel will discuss emerging challenges confronting data users, and unique opportunities to leverage technology, evidence-based decision-making, and philanthropic support to make better decisions in an increasingly data-driven world.

Moderator: Kevin McAvey, Associate Director of Analytics, Center for Health Information and Analysis

• Daniel Goroff, Vice President and Program Director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
• Sharon McGroder, Program Director, National Governors Association
• Kathy Stack, Vice President of Evidence-Based Innovation, Laura and John Arnold Foundation

9:45 – 10:30 am Data Agency Headliners (An APDU Public Data University Presentation):

This session will feature brief (5 minute) presentations from several key statistical agencies on innovations that they are pursuing or have achieved during the past year. The innovations can be in the collection, analysis, production, or dissemination of their agency’s data or products.

Moderator: Adrienne Pilot, Director of Statistical Office, Council of Economic Advisors

• Brian Moyer, Director and Acting Deputy Director, Bureau of Economic Analysis
• Adam Sieminski, Administrator, Energy Information Administration
• Greg Pompelli, Associate Administrator, USDA Economic Research Service
• Jeri Mulrow, ‎ Acting Director, Bureau of Justice Statistics
• John Gawalt, Director, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

10:30 am – 11:00 am Exhibit Hall Break

11:00 am – 12:15 pm Breakout Sessions

1. Learn
Big Data and Official Statistics: Balancing Access, Security and Privacy

Statistical agencies are turning increasingly to administrative records and sources of “big data” to supplement traditional sources. Providing appropriate access to various audiences—internal government researchers, academics in research data centers, and the general public—requires a balancing of access, security and privacy. Recent security breaches in major international businesses and federal agencies have alarmed the public and raised significant concerns about the security of confidential and sensitive data collected on customers and citizens. This session will discuss innovations in federal data access and protection to preserve privacy.

Moderator: Warren Brown, President, Association of Public Data Users

• Micah Altman, Director of Research, MIT Libraries
• Cavan Capps, Chief DataWeb Systems, U.S. Census Bureau
• Robert Avery, Project Director National Mortgage Database, Federal Housing Finance Agency

2. Engage
What We Know About Public Data Customers, and What We Need to Find Out

Users of public data are a diverse group with varied needs. We know that they come from businesses, government agencies, think tanks, and universities, and that they are interested in accessible, reliable, and detailed data. However, that doesn’t paint the entire picture. This session aims to identify gaps in our knowledge about public data customers and what efforts are underway to fill that gap.

Moderator: Sarah Burgoyne, Senior Research Scientist, The Nielsen Company

• Maria Olmedo-Malagon, Assistant Division Chief, U.S. Census Bureau
• Mark Mather, Associate Vice President, Population Reference Bureau
• Jason Fields, Survey Director, U.S. Census Bureau

3. Collaborate
Public-Private Partnerships in Delivering Public Data; Private Funding for Public Data

In a time of budget cuts and political uncertainty, statistical agencies need to be creative in how they resource their products and how they leverage research and development dollars to improve their offerings. Public-private partnerships represent an emergin opportunity that some agencies are exploring to fill funding gaps and to engage more directly with customers.

Moderator: Steven Cohen, Vice President, Division of Statistical and Data Sciences, RTI International

• Bill Wiatrowski, Deputy Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics
• Ron Jarmin, Assistant Director for Research and Methodology, U.S. Census Bureau
• Edith Gummer, Research Director in Education, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

12:30 pm – 1:15 pm Lunch

Plenary Session
1:15 pm – 2:00 pm Keynote
Using Public Data to Inform Better Decision Making

Katherine K. Wallman, Chief Statistician, U.S. Office of Management and Budget

Introduction: Warren Brown, President, Association of Public Data Users

2:15 pm – 3:30 pm Breakout Sessions

1. Learn
Highlights of New Public Data Products

A steady stream of new data and data product releases from the federal government promise to add value to research and business activities. This panel will discuss how agencies’ product updates will impact users and partners.

Moderator: Elizabeth Nash, ‎Vice President, Data and Product Development, PolicyMap

• Jeffrey D. Sisson, Assistant Division Chief, American Community Survey Office, U.S. Census Bureau
• Chris Powers, Director, Information Products Group, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
• Erika McEntarfer, Principal Economist and LEHD Research Team Lead, U.S. Census Bureau

2. Engage
Broadening Audiences Through Collaborative Events With Tech Experts

Innovations in customer engagement have the potential to leverage access to private sector expertise, especially technology experts. For example, events such as hackathons or challenges provide an opportunity for public data agencies to lure creative data talent and encourage innovative new data applications. This session will explore the pros and cons of using these types of strategies and in what cases they have the greatest payoff.

Moderator: Daniel McClure, Research Associate, The Urban Institute

• Alan Marco, Chief Economist, US Patent and Trademark Office
• Mitchell Patterson, VP of Finance & Platform / Co-Founder, Odd Networks
• Drew Zachary, Presidential Management Fellow, US Department of Housing and Urban Development

3. Collaborate
Building Demand for Open Data

With an exploding interest in open data, governments at all levels are creating initiatives and portals to make their administrative records more widely available. But what have they done to stimulate user demand for these efforts? How do we attract user interest to ensure that we can support the civic infrastructure needed to sustain open data efforts over the long haul?

Moderator: Cliff Cook, Planning Information Manager, City of Cambridge, Massaschusetts

• Rebecca Williams, Senior Analyst, Johns Hopkins University Center for Government Excellence
• Stefaan Verhulst, Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer, NYU GovLab
• Anthony Curcio, Principal, Summit Consulting, LLC

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm Exhibit Hall Break

Plenary Session
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Keynote

Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics Are Remaking America

Bill Frey, Brookings Institution and the University of Michigan

Introduction: Warren Brown, President, Association of Public Data Users

DAY 2 – SEPTEMBER 14, 2016


8:30 am – 9:30 am Breakfast

Plenary Session
9:00 am – 9:45 am Washington Briefing

Moderator: Steve Pierson, ‎Director of Science Policy, American Statistical Association

• Brian Harris-Kojetin, Deputy Director, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
• Mary Jo Hoeksema, Director, Government and Public Affairs, Population Association of America/ Association of Population Centers

Plenary Session

9:45 am – 10:30 am #IgniteAPDU Talks (An APDU Public Data University Presentation)
Various speakers present 5-minute talks on hot trends and topics.

Moderator: Kevin McAvey, Associate Director of Analytics, Center for Health Information and Analysis

• Carey Anne Nadeau, Founder and CEO, Open Data Nation
• Bill O’Hare, O’Hare Data and Demographic Services, LLC
• Ashley Storms, Associate Analytic Reporting Manager, Center for Health Information and Analysis
• Lebaron Sims, Jr., Research Manager, Corporation for Enterprise Development
• Richard Landry, President/CEO, Conquest Systems
• Jennifer Thornton, Manager – Data as a Strategic Asset, The Pew Charitable Trusts
• Rishi Banerjee, Policy Manager, FiscalNote
• Shereef Elnahal, White House Fellow, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

10:30 am – 11:00 am Exhibit Hall Break

11:00 am – 12:15 pm Breakout Sessions

1. Learn
Data’s Essential Role in Effective Journalism

Publicly available data is the lifeblood of data journalists. Data reporting has become a major portion of the news industry, with publications like Vox and Fivethirtyeight adding rigor to analysis that previously relied on expert opinion. Journalists from local and national publications will describe how they used public data to find truths and craft stories.

Moderator: Elizabeth Nash

• Ben Casselman, Chief Economics Writer,
• Sarah Cohen, Reporter, The New York Times
• D’Vera Cohn, Senior Writer/Editor, Pew Research Center

2. Engage
Using Data to Drive Change at the Local Level

Local leaders oftentimes lack the resources of state or national organizations to effect change, such as advanced polling, advertising, or deep budgets. However, changemakers can leverage publicly available data to persuade stakeholders, build effective programs, and accurately evaluate them.

Moderator: Cliff Cook, Planning Information Manager, City of Cambridge, Massaschusetts

• Carter Hewgley, Director of Analytics & Performance at Johns Hopkins University, Center for Government Excellence
• Hilari Varnadore, Executive Director, STAR Communities
• Beth Jarosz, Senior Research Associate, Population Reference Bureau

3. Collaborate
Cross-Agency Collaborations

Statistical agencies are increasingly recognizing that their data collection efforts and products are most valuable when they are integrated with other resources. This session will focus on efforts by agencies to collaborate with one another to improve their products or to expand their offerings.

Moderator: Mauricio Ortiz, Chief of the Income Branch, Regional Income Division, Bureau of Economic Analysis

• Star Ying, Data Scientist, Commerce Data Service
• Sharon Boivin, Chair, Interagency Working Group on Expanded Measures of Enrollment and Attainment (GEMEnA)
• Sarah Veale, Assistant Director, U.S.Government Accountability Office
• Andrew Rogers, Senior Director of Workforce Information, Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness

12:15 pm – 1:00 pm Networking Lunch

Plenary Session
1:00 PM – 2:30 pm The Future of Innovation in Public Data (Panel on Federal Statistics)

This session will feature brief presentations about innovations underway within the statistical agencies’ largest organizations.

Moderator: Ken Poole, Executive Director, Association of Public Data Users

• Erica Groshen, Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics
• John Thompson, Director, U.S. Census Bureau
• Charles Rothwell, Director, National Center for Health Statistics

2:30 pm – 2:45 pm Exhibit Hall Break

Plenary Session
2:45 – 4:00 pm Public Data University Presents: The 2016 Data Viz Awards

The Association of Public Data Users proudly present a selection of 2016’s top visualizations using publicly available data. Submissions were received from across the country, from researchers and students to public-agency and private-sector staff. Visualizations were developed using various tools, but with a common purpose: to use public data to convey meaningful information in a compelling manner. Award recipients will present on their research questions, data sources, and design tactics. Join us for a more informal session to close our conference.

Moderator: Natalia Bronshtein, Interactives Editor, STAT, Boston Globe Media

• Anne Cahill, Manager, Fairfax County Economic, Demographic & Statistical Research
• Erika H. Becker-Medina, Chief of Data User Outreach, U.S. Census Bureau, Education Economy-Wide Statistics Division
• Emilia Istrate, Director of Research and Outreach, National Association of Counties
• Ian Flick, Associate, KPMG
• Valorie Rice, Senior Business Information Specialist, The University of Arizona Economic and Business Research Center (EBRC)
• Thomas Hertz, Economist, USDA Economic Research Service
• Thomas Beach, Senior Advisor, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

4:00 pm Conference adjourns