Public Data University

The Public Data University webinar series develops the skills of a new generation of data users and inform current and future data users about innovations occurring in the Federal statistical system.

Because there is no one single source of training for all agency data sets, APDU is partnering with statistical agencies to develop up to 60 individual webinars as part of a continuing series which began in 2014.

There are three levels of webinars:

  • 101 – Introduction to Data Sets
  • 201 – Intermediate Application of Data Sets
  • 301 – Special Topics and Emerging Issues in Public Data

The webinars would be presented live as part of the regular APDU webinar program, and will also be recorded for later rebroadcast or use. Webinars will be available as a full set, by level, or in modules.

Four Modules of Education 

Packaged sets are organized in modules that represent 4 major statistical categories that would be viewed by users as most relevant to their academic field or career discipline:

Economic Statistics

Social and Demographic Statistics

Health and Safety Statistics

Natural Resources, Energy, and Environment Statistics

Other Data Sets

Three Levels of Education 

Each statistical agency would provide a senior level executive(s) to present a 30 to 60 minute webinar about their agency’s primary data products. As part of the webinar, the agency will also be asked to provide a brief demonstration designed to help users understand, access, and download the most frequently used data elements. Agencies also have the opportunity to produce supplemental materials.
101 – Introduction to Data Sets
The introductory-level webinars serve a baseline learning experience and systematic overview of data sets. Each agency would explore the following questions:

  • What data are collected? Who are the primary users?
  • What research questions are most frequently answered with the agency’s data set?
  • How are the data collected? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • How frequently are the data updated? At what level geography are they collected?
  • What is the delay between the reference period and publication?
  • How are the data disseminated? How is the agency’s web delivery system structured?
  • Who can the user contact if they want to know more about the data program?

201  Intermediate Application of Data Sets
The intermediate webinars target more seasoned users, designed to provide the most useful tips to accessing data beyond what might have been shown in the introductory webinar. Each agency would explore the following questions:

  • What research questions do the statistical agency’s most frequent customers seek to answer?
  • What tips would you provide to frequent data users to access and download data?
  • What partnerships/alliances has the agency created to improve data accessibility or quality?
  • What data are available for more advanced users that may not be readily available on the website?
  • How does the agency handle special customer requests? How can customers provide feedback?
  • What feedback would help improve the agency’s data products or services?
  • What are the most significant priorities of the statistical program and what changes are planned in the coming year or two (assuming resources are available)?

301 – Special Topics and Emerging Issues in Public Data
In addition to the introductory and intermediate data webinars, a third webinar series would feature “special topics” about key inter-agency collaborations and initiatives that have the potential to change the nature of public data. These would occur on a rolling basis. Topic examples include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Interagency Council on Statistical Policy
  • Statistical Community of Practice and Engagement
  • Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology
  • Statistical Confidentiality and Data Sharing
  • Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics
  • Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics
  • Measuring Relationships in Federal Household Surveys
  • Improving Data Systems on Health and Health Care
  • Supplemental Poverty Measure
  • 2020 Decennial Census
  • Advanced Use of the American Community Survey
  • Sample Redesign for Demographic Surveys
  • Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)
  • Annual Current Population Survey Supplement
  • Improving Foreign Trade Statistics
  • Measuring Consumer Spending in the 21st Century
  • Measuring the Service and Construction Sectors
  • Revising the Shelter Component of Consumer Price Index
  • Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area Delineations
  • Classification of Data on Race and Ethnicity