NSF-Census Research Network

Research Project

NCRN logo on blue grey background

NISS and Duke University are collaborating on the Triangle Census Research Network (TCRN), one of eight research nodes that are working on the National Census Research Network (NCRN). NISS and Duke are looking at ways to improve how federal statistical (“FedStats”) agencies disseminate data to the public and to researchers. TCRN will enhance FedStats agencies’ capabilities by developing broadly-applicable methodologies in three interrelated areas: (i) disseminating public use data with high utility and acceptable disclosure risk, (ii) handling missing data and correcting faulty data in large complex surveys, and (iii) integrating information from multiple data sources. TCRN is also offering educational opportunities to postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and statisticians at federal agencies, helping to train future leaders in data dissemination research and practice.

The FedStats agencies collect data of all kinds that affect many people, including the decennial census, unemployment numbers and the Consumer Price Index.  NISS has been and is in collaboration with many of these agencies, including (in addition to the Census Bureau) the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Energy Information Administration, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the National Center for Education Statistics and the National Center for Health Statistics. Among NISS’ achievements are methods used nationally to produce high school graduation rates and crop forecasts, as well as a plethora of techniques and tools that support dissemination of high quality information derived from confidential data.

 By building on these achievements as well as creating new theory and methodology applicable to major Census Bureau data products, the TCRN’s research will improve the hundreds of secondary analyses of these datasets. The interdisciplinary team of the TCRN, which consists of statisticians, economists, political scientists and operations researchers, will use these data products to answer questions in aging, economics, and social welfare that have important implications for policy making.

NISS and Duke are also working with Cornell University as the coordination office for the National Census Research Network (NCRN-CO). NISS hosts the NCRN.Info website.

(Image above is from 1940 Census processing information. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau)

Project Goal: 

Develop broadly applicable methodologies that will transform and improve data dissemination practice in the federal statistical system

Research Team: 

Co-Pis: Alan Karr, NISS and RTI; Jerry Reiter, Duke

Researchers: Saki Kinney, NISS;

Postdoctoral Fellows: Hang Kim, Neung Soo Ha, Mauricio Sadinie

Funding Sponsors:

Research Presentations: 
Neung Soo Ha, "A Bayesian Semiparametric Area-Level Model for Small-Area Estimation", JSM 2015"Bayesian learning of joint distributions of objects” (2013) A. Banerjee, J. Murray, D. B. Dunson “NCRN Meeting Spring 2015: A Vision for the Future of Data Access” (2015) J.P. Reiter “NCRN Meeting Fall 2014: Bayesian Marked Point Process Modeling for Generating Fully Synthetic Public Use Data with Point-Referenced Geography” (2014) Harrison Quick, Scott Holan, Christopher Wikle, Jerry Reiter “NCRN Meeting Spring 2014: Imputation of multivariate continuous data with non-ignorable missingness” (2014) Thais Paiva, Jerry Reiter