Association of Public Data Users 2012 Annual Conference

The Future of the Federal Statistical System in an Era of Open Government Data

George Washington University
800 21st Street NW | Continental Ballroom, 3rd floor | Washington, DC
September 12-13, 2012

Speaker List   •   Agenda (PDF)   •   Conference Information Kit (PDF)

Open Data includes operational and administrative data used by public agencies for statistical purposes. It’s changing the world of data users and producers alike. This conference focuses on understanding this phenomenon and how it will impact data programs and uses.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

8:00-8:45 am – Continental Breakfast
8:45-9:00 am – Welcome Speakers
Bob Scardamalia, CEO, RLS Demographics, Inc., President, APDU
Garry Young, Interim Director, George Washington Institute of Public Policy
9:00-10:15 am – An Evolving Federal Statistical System: Preparing For the Future by Learning from the Past
This session provides an overview of the major pieces of the federal statistical system and its evolution from our basic civic principles. What does the system tells us about ourselves? How are these data critical for job creation, poverty alleviation, and policy making?
Andrew Reamer, Research Professor, George Washington Institute of Public Policy, George Washington University
Connie Citro, Director of the Committee on National Statistics, National Academies of Science – Presentation: The Federal Statistical System
Robert Groves, Director, US Census Bureau – Presentation: An Evolving Federal Statistical System
Shirin A. Ahmed, Assistant Director for Economic Programs, US Census Bureau – Presentation: Challenges with Data Sharing Economic Programs
10:15-10:45 am – Networking Break
10:45-12:00 pm – Open Data: Basic Principles for Federal Data Users
This session will provide an overview of new developments in the federal government’s commitment to “open data” – what is open data, how is it being released, and why? What are the goals for federal open data and its platforms?
Virginia Carlson, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Department of Urban Planning
Tom Lee, Director, Sunlight Labs – Presentation: The Sunlight Foundation
Alex Howard, Open Gov Blogger, O’Reilly
Bryan Sivak, Chief Technology Officer, US Department of Health & Human Services
Jeanne Holm, Evangelist,
12:00-12:45 pm – Networking Lunch
12:45-1:30 pm – Haven’t We Been Here Before?
How is our situation now different? Or, is it? The federal statistical system has periodically attempted to integrate administrative and operational records into the statistical system. How are open data proposals before us now different from the past?
Keynote Presenter:
Margo Anderson, Census Historian; Co-author of Encyclopedia of the US Census – Presentation: Haven’t We Been Here Before? Historical Perspectives on the Federal Statistical System
Bob Scardamalia, CEO, RLS Demographics, Inc., President, APDU
1:30-2:45 pm – Statistical Data vs. Open Government Data: Issues
This session will cover salient issues in thinking about the nature of statistical data vs. open data sources. We’ll examine topics such as statistical rigor, issues of confidentiality, democratic access, and commercialization.
Cavan Capps, Senior IT Technical Advisor to the Research and Methodology Directorate, US Census Bureau
Jules Polonetsky, Director, Future of Privacy Forum
Meta Brown, General Manager – Analytics Division, LinguaSys
Becky Sweger, Data Scientist and Software Developer, National Priorities Project – Presentation: Transitioning to Open Government Data: What Are the Trade-Offs? A federal spending data case study
Ian White, Founder and CEO, Urban Mapping Incorporated
2:45-3:15 pm – Networking Break
3:15-4:45 pm – New Data in an Open Data World
In this session, we will talk nuts and bolts about new data sources, including new open data (, the Billion Prices project, and data being used and created for the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. What new information do they offer? What are we learning from the effort to create the new data from alternative sources?
Warren Brown, Senior Research Associate, Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER)
Ron Borzekowski, Section Chief in the Office of Research at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Roberto Rigobon, Billion Prices Project, MIT – Presentation: Economic Indicators From Alternative Sources of Data: New Data in an Open Data World
Mike Horrigan, Associate Commissioner for Prices and Living Conditions – Presentation: BIG Data and OFFICIAL Statistics
5:00-6:30 pm – Networking Happy Hour
Tonic, 2036 G Street NW, Washington, DC


Thursday, September 13, 2012

8:00-9:00 am – Continental Breakfast
9:00-10:00 am – Plenary Presentation: Federal Data from the Ground Up:
Smaller units of government are also beginning to publish open data. The federal government is investing in a platform to enable these data to be normalized and standardized across jurisdictions. Will the future of micro-geographic data look like this? What implications does this have for the American Community Survey and other data sets?
Joan Naymark, Consultant, JG Naymark Demographics
Chris Vein, Deputy United States Chief Technology Officer for Government Innovation, Executive Office of the President
10:00-10:30 am – Networking Break
10:30-11:45 am – Gaining a Better Understanding of this Rocky Recovery
Job creation is at the top of every political candidate’s agenda in 2012. Increasingly, political concerns are being raised about the quality of data that are available and whether the data are truly reflective of economic and employment trends. Several emerging data sets will improve our understanding of employment by helping us to better understand the roles that educational attainment, job training and credentials, and business dynamics play in job creation at the national, state and local level.
Brian Maisano, Economist, US Bureau of Economic Analysis
Sharon Boivin, Acting Associate Commissioner, Postsecondary, Adult, and Career Education Division, National Center for Education Statistics – Presentation: Developing New Federal Survey Data on Credentials for Work
Dixie Sommers, Assistant Commissioner for Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, US Bureau of Labor Statistics – Presentation: A New Look at Education Requirements and Jobs
Javier Miranda, Principal Economist, Business Dynamics Statistics Program, Center for Economic Studies, US Census Bureau – Presentation: Business Start-Ups, Survival, and Growth: Data Resources and Research Findings from the Bureau of Census Business Dynamics Statistics Program
11:45-12:15 pm – APDU Business Meeting
12:15-1:00 pm – Networking Lunch
1:00-2:15 pm – Health Care Data in a Whole New World
As the health care industry adapts in light of the Supreme Court ruling, how will continued improvement in electronic health information transform the data available about individuals and communities? What new datasets are available? How do they relate to other policy areas such as economic growth, development, and education? What initiatives are underway to expand use of health statistics to influence state and federal policies as well as health care industry practices?
Susan Ockert, Consultant, SO Consulting
Wesley Basel, Chief, Small Area Estimates Branch – Presentation: Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE) Tracking Trends and Differences
Rachel Licata, Senior Policy Analyst, Kaiser Family Foundation – Presentation: State Health Facts and Federal Data
Bill Wiatrowski, Associate Commissioner Compensation and Working Conditions, US Bureau of Labor Statistics – Presentation: Employment-Based Health Benefits: Data From BLS Today and Tomorrow
2:15-2:45 pm – Networking Break
2:45-4:00 pm – An Uncertain Future for the American Community Survey
The Census Bureau has been caught in the cross-fire of a fundamental political rift in Washington. Data advocates have expressed concern about Congressional proposals to eliminate the ACS or to make the survey voluntary. What will these proposals mean for the ACS and what might data users do if the ACS were not available?
Ken Hodges, Chief Demographer, Nielsen Claritas
James Treat, Chief, American Community Survey Office, US Census Bureau – Presentation: The Uncertain Future of the American Community Survey
Rachel Kelley, International Council of Shopping Centers
Andrew Reamer, Research Professor, George Washington Institute of Public Policy, George Washington University – Presentations: The American Community Survey after 2012: Dead, Crippled, or Alive & Well? 
and “The Very Picture of What’s Wrong in D.C.”: Daniel Webster and the American Community Survey (Revised 9/19/2012)
4:00 pm – Conference Adjourns