Scientific Issues

Integrated data systems require attention to scientific issues (such as data quality and data integration methods) in order to produce reliable results. Therefore, research questions must be able to be tested and answered using appropriate methods with integrated data. Scientific expertise frequently aids in the interpretation of results and plays a part in the translation of findings into policy and practice change. There are also established procedures for data integration and record linkage based on probabilities for records identified with incomplete or inaccurate information. Sites with integrated data systems should have robust scientific and analytic capabilities to support their work and produce actionable intelligence of high scientific rigor. An IDS site may want to have a scientific advisory board or research advisory board in place to provide counsel to the IDS’ governing body and operations staff on effective use of the data for research.