The theme of the third conference focused on the question of whether Connecticut was falling behind in its efforts to develop and provide and serve data users. As with any other scarce commodity, the provision of data involves opportunity costs. Since we often have to give up other goods and services to produce data, we will (quite rationally) never produce the full quantity or quality of data we are technically capable of producing or using.
What’s more, this calculus is complicated by information’s often unpredictable value, a characteristic that makes it easy to underestimate information’s true worth.
Additionally, information users see data as a public good —- once produced, it becomes difficult to limit access to users capable of paying and who value the data. This perception reduces the incentive for providers to continue to offer data in sufficient quantity or quality.
Because of these challenges to the operation of markets, data collection and dissemination is often organized through quasi-public and government agencies, such as the U.S. Census bureau.
The first Data Conference concluded that a State's Data collaboration was not any single physical entity, but rather a framework of many data and research centers. The 2000 Data Conference discussed some of the elements needed to (a) identify, (b) organize and (c) disseminate data efficiently, for both public and private sectors.
Rather than the specific presentations for the 2000 conference, links to the
current website for each example is provided, from the principal topics in the
In addition to UConn's MAIC initiative and the UCCGIA from the Geography Department, the Census Bureau FERRET Project and the Center for Disease Control are developing data release programs to release population and demographic data available onine on-demand.
Data sources should be linked to one another, be easily searchable, and easily accessible. Noting the unavailability of reliable and complete business information, Jeff Blodgett recommends creating a master business registry and undertaking a longitudinal analysis of businesses in Connecticut to provide data for both public and private concerns.
Read the Executive Report, or see each presentor's perspective.
Most conference speakers noted the importance of focusing on the whole. That is, recognizing
that providing access to all of the available data, regardless of its type, should be the main focus of
a state data center in Connecticut. In addition, linking and providing access to existing data
sources should be the first undertaking of such a data center, while increasing the stock of
available data should be the second priority.
The data center does not need to be a single independent organization. It can and should be a collaborative effort between a variety of agencies. It is important to credit to the various supportive people and agencies. and agencies that provide the necessary data. Broad participation is vital.