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Integrated Client Services

Integrated Client Services (ICS) 

Integrated Client Services (ICS) supports a group of researchers and forecasters in the Office of Forecasting, Research and Analysis (OFRA). ICS also maintains a Master Client Index (MCI) of individuals spanning across most all ODHS and OHA programs a swell as a few Oregon agencies. This allows ICS to create bespoke, integrated datasets used for research and program improvement projects around the state.

Oregon agencies collect and store data about the people they serve using systems and platforms that do not interact with one another. In 2005, in response to the need to integrate agency data, Oregon established the ICS data warehouse. 

ICS is a small unit within OFRA and is a shared services between ODHS and OHA. Our primary task is to connect individuals across multiple state agencies and programs. This individual-level link allows us to support forecasters and researchers who forecast ODHS and OHA caseloads used for program budgeting and to support statewide needs for integrated datasets for ongoing research projects, program improvements and data requests requiring integrated data.

​ICS is often requested to create custom datasets used for research and across Oregon agencies. During our monthly ETL process, ICS 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 agency and program data owners. The process to request a custom, integrated dataset generally follows this process:


  1. Requester (researcher or analyst) identifies need for custom dataset
  2. Requester contacts agencies to identify data location and learn more about needed variables
  3. Requester contacts ICS to specify need and develop data model

Data use requests

  1. Requester makes official request for data elements from source
    • This almost always requires a completed data use agreement (DUA)
  2. ICS requests copies of approved DUAs and the project Institutional Review Board (IRB) if applicable
    • Requester completes and returns ICS DUA
    • Provides detailed information on pages 2 and 4
    • Signs and has all individuals who will access dataset sign and acknowledge terms and conditions of DUA
    • ICS obtains approval from data sources
    • ICS executes agreement and provides final copy to requester

Data matching

A match usually begins with a researcher needing to connect additional information to a universe of individuals.

  1. ICS receives source identifiers for study universe
    • If individuals in study universe are not part of the ICS client index, full names​ and demographics of individuals are required​. Refer to ICS Record Linkage Standards for information about ad hoc linkages
  2. ICS creates a Study Identifier for everyone in the study universe
  3. ICS uses its client index to connect source identifiers of project data sources to everyone in the study universe
  4. Each source requested for the integrated data set receives a study crosswalk from ICS consisting of the Study Identifier and their Source Identifier
  5. Each source uses their Source Identifier in the crosswalk to attach the requested data elements
  6. Each source removes the identifiable Source Identifier and sends de-identified source dataset to requester with the Study Identifier attached
  7. Researcher receives source datasets and uses Study Identifier to connect dataset

​ICS brings data in monthly from most ODHS and OHA programs and several other state agencies (see ICS Key Partners​). We extract, transform and load (ETL) data elements needed to identify and link an individual across systems (i.e., name, demographics, etc.) and limited service-level data from ODHS and OHA programs. This data is processed into caseloads where changes over time are forecast and used in calculations to create program budgets. 

During the monthly client match, ICS uses a rigorous combination of probabilistic, deterministic and manual matching to create and maintain the best possible individual-level link across agencies and programs. Each individual in ICS receives a unique Master Identification number that allows identification of an individual across data sources. ICS maintains a master crosswalk of all key partners and provides the state with a better view of individuals utilizing services across state agencies.

​ICS provides ad hoc record linkage (aka matching, fuzzy matching or probabilistic matching) between person records when unique identifiers are not available. Names and dates of birth are not unique but can be used to link records of the same person between data systems or data files. Record linkage of administrative data is rarely 100% accurate but some data practices can increase both the accuracy and completeness of record linkage. Where possible ICS will report record linkage metrics (e.g., precision, recall, F-score) that can assist researches in assessing whether a record linkage project is of sufficient accuracy to support research needs. Researchers should recognize that high rates of false matches or missed matches (incomplete linkage) can result in incorrect or biased conclusions. Researches should also be aware of their responsibility to correctly interpret potential effects of inadequate or incorrect record linkage.

Minimal fields for record linkage:

  • Full first name
  • Full middle name (or initial if name is not available)
  • Full last name (hyphenated, compound or multiple last names should remain in same column)
    • First, middle and last names must be in separate columns
    • ​​Non-​​alphan​umeric ​characters (e.g., accent marks, symbols) should be removed/cleansed from data when possible
  • Date of birth
    • Dates can be in any standard format, including separate months, days and years in separate columns, but must be consistent for the entire field
  • Gender/sex​

Unique persons should be de-duplicated in program records. If programs are unable to deduplicate records, notify ICS.

Additional fields may increase the match rate including SSN, county of residence, zip code, race and ethnicity. Consult with ICS to determine whether program-specific fields may increase match rates. Record linkage projects will ideally include additional fields in order to improve linkage accuracy - particularly when a large number of records require linkage.

Issues to consider when determining whether to match to data sources or an external data source to ICS:

  • The proportion of records with missing identifiers
  • How data sources have been validated
  • Variables available for linkage
  • Previous match metrics or evaluation of match outcomes
  • How data owners and ICS will handle false matches or low rates of overall matches
  • How issues with linked data will be communicated to end users

​ICS was established in 2005 to support data integration across ODHS and OHA programs. ICS has since grown to support integrated data efforts with other agencies including Oregon Department of Education and the Department of Correction. ICS data is used by state agencies and other institutions for research and analysis.

ICS shares both identified and deidentified data which requires data governance policies and procedures and legal agreements for the protection of personally identifiable or sensitive data. The primary ICS governance structure was established in an MOU between ODHS and OHA. The MOU allows ICS to receive necessary program data to support statistical forecasting and to maintain and agency-wide client index. Additional agreements are also maintained between entities outside of ODHS and OHA that share data with ICS.

A governance committee with members representing the various data sources determines overall ICS data use and use of their own agency or program data.

ICS convenes special data use committees when requests to create integrated data products are received. Requests must include a complete DUA and must be approved by all committee members.

Learn more about ICS governance​.

​Our Data Project and Research Use Case Inventory​ includes research data requests, multiyear data projects, multiyear research data requests and ad hoc requests. 

Note: the inventory is updated annually and is not an exhaustive list of all requests ICS has processed.