Why are integrated administrative data so important?

People’s day-to-day experiences and interactions don’t exist in siloed spaces. However, the data collected by different government agencies and service providers are typically not connected. This means that it’s difficult to understand how policy or program changes in one agency affect a group’s outcomes in another agency. Integrating administrative data across government agencies changes this. For example, because of IDS, we know that permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless individuals reduces their rate of incarceration and hospitalization, while also decreasing government costs and increasing well-being.

IDS allow counties, states, and cities to evaluate the programs and policies that serve their constituents so decision-makers can implement strategies that best address their community’s needs. Furthermore, integrated administrative data can also be used in the development of new, innovative responses to societal problems. Through social policy experimentation, IDS can more quickly determine whether this newly implemented program has the intended effect.