UDRC Launches a New Product

Ari Fenn, Assistant Commissioner
February 1, 2024

A view of a mountian from below.
Photo by Fineas Anton on UnSplash

We are excited to announce the launch of our Analytics Product. Since our inception, UDRC has provided policy-relevant research using longitudinal data, and we have designed the Analytics Product to continue this tradition while allowing for a more responsive product. In this blog post, we introduce the Analytics Product, explain how it complements existing UDRC research, and explain how to request analyses from UDRC.

We designed the Analytics Product to fill a gap in the family of products that UDRC offers. Currently, UDRC offers our long-format research reports, as well as research data sets. Research reports are designed to introduce audiences to a research question, previous literature on the subject, and methods used to answer the question. These are high-quality, full-length reports similar to an academic article. UDRC research scientists use cutting-edge statistical methods to address the research question. The results of these reports are contextualized through the previous literature using Utah-specific results to expand understanding of an issue. But the strengths of UDRC’s research reports also contribute to an observed weakness: because of the depth and breadth of reports, it may be a challenge to find immediately actionable insights. Due to the size and scope of these reports, UDRC data partners request research once a year through a research agenda prioritization process. As each report takes roughly six months to complete; it is possible for a requested project’s final results to take a full year to be released.

UDRC also offers research data sets. These allow external researchers to design their own analyses, addressing research questions in a manner that is most suitable to their needs. Data is requested from UDRC on a rolling basis, and compiling data and checking to ensure privacy standards are upheld can take weeks or months. While the two current UDRC offerings provide a broad research report or linked and deidentified data, missing is a product for which UDRC completes the analysis with a fast turnaround.

The Analytics Product combines an expedited timeline with technically sophisticated analysis. To accomplish this, the scope of the Analytics Product is much more narrow than that of a research report. The narrow topic will allow our research scientists to address the questions without including an in-depth literature review or introduction. To aid in the expedited timeline, Analytics Product requesters should have well-defined outcomes and measures that are already available in the UDRC data warehouse, the data dictionary of which is found here. Analytics Products are one to four-page reports, potentially ready in a matter of weeks.

UDRC envisions a broad group of users having the ability to request analyses, with its ultimate goal to grant parties interested in Utah policy questions access to the subject matter expertise and longitudinal data of UDRC. Instructions for requesting analyses and a link to the request form may be found here. Analyses that are appropriate for UDRC link data from at least two of our data partners or from heavily siloed data sources which otherwise could not be linked. Analytics Product requesters should complete the request form with a well-defined research question and applicable measures, then return it by email to UDRC. We look forward to receiving your analytic requests!