About the Data Accelerator


Leadership in the acquisition, use, and secure storage of administrative data for the use in research.

What is Admin Data?

Administrative data is information collected through the routine running of programs and services. These include public and private programs, and institutional information. Admin data are often used as part of business intellegence to enhance operational procedures and to generate reports for executives. This data can also be used in research to supplement existing data, as stand-alone contextual information, examine trends over time, and evaluate impacts of intervention programs.


To create and support a passionate community that uses innovative methods, across disciplines, to use administrative and big data to positively impact the health and development of children and families. This includes:

٠ Strategic state and federal partnerships

٠ Leadership in the acquisition and use of administrative records

٠ Expertise in privacy & protection of data

Security & Privacy

The Data Accelerator operates a NIST 800-171 compliant enclave, has Authority to Operate (ATO) status at Penn State, and over 109 security controls in alignment with Penn State Policy AD95. The Data Accelerator meets, and exceeds, requirements for storage of data protected by HIPAA, FERPA, CAPTA, and CHRIA regulations.

Data Accelerator Components


The “accelerator” component of the Data Accelerator provides expedited access to resources, tools, and strategies for using administrative data for research. Data sets that may take several months, or years, of negotiations are accessible to researchers through collaboration with the Data Accelerator.

Repository & Enclave

The Data Accelerator maintains a secure enclave (NIST 800-171 compliant) and has Authority to Operate (ATO) status at Penn State University. The development and the design of the Data Accelerator have been informed by the need to meet or exceed requirements to hold identified, individual-level data in compliance with federal and state regulations (e.g., HIPAA, FERPA, CAPTA, CHRIA). Personally Identifiable Information (PII) at the record level allows for the linkage of multiple administrative datasets, survey data, or clinical trial data. Researchers are welcome to submit applications to use and/or store data within the Data Accelerator enclave.

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