Using data created through the routine running of programs allows us to generate evidence, advance research, and inform policy at minimal cost to the public, with big impact for society.

Located in the College of Health and Human Development’s Prevention Research Center, and supported by the Social Science Research Institute, The Penn State Administrative Data Accelerator collaborates with interdisciplinary teams to acquire and securely store administrative data to inform policy and improve lives.

What is Administrative 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 intelligence 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.

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 & Storage Enclave

The Data Accelerator has developed a standardized Data Use Agreement (DUA) and Business Associates Agreement (BAA) process that allows for the intake of data into our secure environment for use in research projects. Researchers can partner with the Data Accelerator experts on funded research to use our data holdings, securely store data, acquire administrative data, and/or for data linkages. Researchers are welcome to submit applications to to partner with the Data Accelerator for their sponsored research.

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, requirements for storage of data protected by HIPAA.