Data Analytics │Data Collection and Acquisition

Leveraging conventional and untraditional data sources

Graphic: Data Collection and AcquisitionAs one of the world's largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations, AIR has a sophisticated data collection and contact center in Reston, Virginia, to conduct primary survey data collection. We provide the full range of survey operational services and support novel techniques such as responsive/adaptive survey design. We execute all modes of data collection, surveying hard-to-reach and hard to survey populations, in a wide variety of contexts.

We also leverage conventional and unconventional data sources to gain more nuanced insights. We have the capability to identify, obtain, and transform data from surveys, administrative sources, websites, social media, sensors, and other sources. To maximize the value of “open data” initiatives, we work with different interfaces to automate the collection and sharing of information within and across organizational lines. At the same time, we maintain a keen understanding of the limitations of emerging data sources for research and evaluation. Our sampling statisticians are leaders in non-probability sampling and assessing the limitations of integrating data from diverse sources on results.

Featured AIR Projects

Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER). High-tech small firms are often considered the engine of economic growth. Under an NSF grant, AIR is evaluating the utility of information available on firm websites in industries that may potentially transform aspects of our economy and way of living. Following the capture of website data, AIR investigators will apply text analytics, clustering, and classification algorithms to operationalize key variables and to produce results showing differences in revealed firm capabilities and online customer-facing strategies. Our researchers will aggregate and then compare and contrast findings by industry.

Teacher and Leader Evaluation System (TLES). TLES is a randomized controlled trial focusing on a suite of teacher and leader evaluation system services. For this effort, AIR collected data from over 2,500 teachers and district leaders in 130 schools across eight districts in five states to determine their impact on key variables, including teacher practices, retention, and student achievement. AIR administered surveys, conducted in-depth interviews, collected extensive administrative record and extant data, and executed large-scale video capture of teaching practices. Learn more >>