Rhode Island's Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS), the RI DataHUB, is housed at the University of Rhode Island. The RI SLDS is a persistent, holistic, integrated, longitudinal data system designed to continually take in administrative data from partner state agencies, link data across disparate sources, and provide de-identified request-ready data to approved researchers. The RI SLDS centralizes more than 50 datasets from eleven sources over three decades.
The RI SLDS is maintained by DataSpark, a program unit at the University of Rhode Island (URI). Day-to-day operation of the RI SLDS, including data preparation, import, linkage, and quality reporting, is managed by the DataSpark team.
However, data in the RI SLDS belongs to the partner agencies, not to DataSpark or URI. Therefore, the oversight of the RI SLDS and decisions around data use and access falls to a governance board made up of representatives of these partner agencies.
A modern, robust statewide longitudinal data system, like the RI SLDS:
There are three main users of the RI SLDS:
Under data sharing agreements that the University of Rhode Island and its program unit, DataSpark, have established with partner agencies and organizations, we integrate individual-level data on early childhood, K-12 and higher education, wages, unemployment, and health and human services into the system. These administrative records are collected on an ongoing basis by our partners and are updated by DataSpark at regular intervals.
Data are currently integrated from partnering agencies and organizations across Rhode Island including:
We are regularly integrating and linking new sources, so please review our Data Holdings for the latest information.
DataSpark funding comes from federal, state, local, and foundation grants and contracts.
Current funding comes from participating state agencies, community partners and researchers. Recent funders of DataSpark include: University of Rhode Island, RI Department of Education, RI Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner, RI Department of Health, and RI Department of Labor and Training.
Yes. DataSpark, which manages the RI SLDS, operates on a fee for service model. DataSpark is a Service Center per the University of Rhode Island Office of the Controller Policy 97-03.
Requests for aggregate or individual-level data are subject to DataSpark's standard hourly rate (cost-recovery fees) due to the time and effort required to obtain appropriate legal review, data use and release approvals; fulfill the request; and provide technical assistance to the requestor after the transfer of data.
Under the right conditions, DataSpark can match researcher-collected data with RI SLDS administrative data to measure program outcomes or examine other research questions. The data must be collected with an identifier that is common to our system, participants must have consented to this use of the data or the data must have been collected under a FERPA exception, and the data must be returned to the researcher completely de-identified.
Data preparation is usually a straightforward process, but obtaining approvals and importing new or updated datasets where required can be time-consuming and unpredictable. Once Data Use Agreements have been executed, contracts established and data imports completed, DataSpark can begin preparing your data. These agreements may take months to execute, depending on the complexity of the request. DataSpark strives to fill requests in the order in which they were received and in time for requestors’ grant proposal or publication deadlines.