​​​​​​​Data Request and Matching Process​​​​

​​Since ICS maintains an individual level link across multiple programs and agencies, we are often leveraged to create bespoke datasets used for research, program improvement, and data requests.

During our monthly ETL process, ICS primarily receives data elements necessary for linking individuals across systems (i.e., name, DOB, gender, race, ethnicity, etc.) while the majority of source level attribute data about individuals (i.e., services received, diagnoses, test scores, offenses, etc.) remain with the data owners at the programs and agencies.  A request to leverage ICS for the creation of an integrated data set generally follow the same set of steps.


  1. Researcher or analyst (requestor) has a need for an integrated data set.
  2. Requestor reaches out to data sources (programs and/or agencies) to discover where the data reside and to learn more from the data owners (experts) about the needed variables.
  3. Requestor reaches out to ICS to work out details of how the requested data elements can be connected into an integrated data set.
    • ​This sometimes involves a meeting between requestors, ICS, and data sources to work out logistics of creating a dataset.
    • Data sources need to communicate limitations with requested data elements.
Data Use Requests

  1. Requestor officially requests data elements from sources; almost always requires requestor to complete data use agreements with each individual data source.
    • ICS requests copies of all approved data use agreements and project IRB where applicable.
  2. Requestor completes ICS Data Use Agreement, provided by ICS.
    • Complete page 2 and 4 with detailed information about project.
    • Sign as requestor and have all individuals who will have access to data set sign acknowledging they have read terms and conditions of agreement.
    • Return DUA to ICS.
    • ICS to obtain approval from all data sources contributing data to data set.
    • ICS to fully execute agreement and provide final copy of agreement to requestor.
Data Matching

  1. A match generally begins with a researcher wanting to connect additional information to a universe of individuals.
  2. ICS receives source identifiers for study universe
    • ​If individuals in study universe are not part of ICS's client index, full names and demographics of individuals are required. Please see ICS Record Linkage Standards​ for more information about ad hoc linkages.
  3. ICS creates a Study Identifier for everyone in the study universe.
  4. ICS uses its client index to connect source identifiers of data sources involved in project to everyone in the study universe.
  5. Each source requested to contribute data to the integrated data set receives a study crosswalk from ICS consisting of the Study Identifier and their Source Identifier.
  6. Each source uses their Source Identifier in the ICS provided crosswalk to attach the requested data elements.
  7. Each source removes the identifiable Source Identifier and sends de-i​dentified source dataset to requestor with the Study Identifier attached.
  8. Researcher receives source datasets and uses Study Identifier to connect datasets.