With its state-of-the-art Data Core, the USC Schaeffer Center provides access to more than 70 databases covering tens of millions of lives, and maintains exacting standards of excellence in data security. The data library maintained at the Schaeffer Center includes survey data, public and private claims, contextual data, and electronic health network data feeds.
This advanced information resource and computing environment is overseen by an expert team that provides skills, training and support for the Schaeffer Center’s research projects. The Data Core’s security measures include an air-gapped workstation (physically isolated from the Internet) and HIPAA-compliant systems with 24/7 monitoring to ensure protection of private health data.
The Data Core also develops data packages to help researchers. Available on GitHub, the set of programs identifies the presence of chronic conditions in administrative health data using validated and standardized algorithms. A video and paper about the data package are available here.
Data Core and Microsimulation Teams
The dedicated data core and microsimulation teams within the Schaeffer Center are experts in the methods and programming necessary to rigorously analyze big data. The team includes programmers, microsimulation modelers, analysts, and a data resource administrator who each bring unique backgrounds in a variety of fields including statistics and microeconometric theory. These researchers also provide support to faculty, students, and fellows on specific projects.
The Data Core acquires, processes, maintains, and makes available key data sets for Center projects. The Data Core is responsible for all data management and oversight activities, including data acquisition and updating, preparation, integration, management, quality control, security, and archiving. Data Core staff provide expertise, including in specification of key variables and in interpretation and comparability across projects.
In addition to the Data Core, the Schaeffer Center has developed an economic demographic microsimulation model to effectively model future trends in health and longevity and answer salient questions in health policy. Learn more about the Schaeffer Center microsimulation models here.