Data Services

MPC members have access to several data services to help research projects.

Data Enclaves: Two physical data enclave rooms provide a controlled, secure environment in which members can perform analyses using restricted-use data sets. Examples of data sources that require data enclaves are NCES, NCHS, Eurostat and NLSY. We help guide members through the request process for restricted-use data licenses and set up the project within our enclave or in other suitable environments. Contact Rachel Magennis at for more information.

Data Use Contracts: We help guide members through the request process for restricted-use data licenses. Some data sources that require special documentation or require data to be used in certain virtual environments are WLS, PSID, Uber, HUD, NORC and NHATS. Contact Rachel Magennis at for more information.

Minnesota Research Data Center (MnRDC): All University members have access to MnRDC, part of the Federal Statistical Research Data Center network. This specialized data enclave provides access to non-public data from several federal agencies, including the Census Bureau, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Center for Health Statistics, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. See MnRDC for more information.

Data Discovery and Archive Specialist: Wendy Thomas, our data curator, can help you locate datasets and provide advice on metadata and data archiving. Wendy has expertise with U.S. small area data, but she also has broad networks that can help locate even the most obscure data sources. She is a key contributor to the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) standard, and she is available for consultation on metadata for your research data. She can also provide advice on archiving your research data for preservation and replicability. Contact Wendy at

Data Capture: We can also provide advice on several different methods of data capture for handwritten or print material. We have experts on data entry, citizen science (crowd-sourcing), and optical character recognition (OCR) projects. For structured tabular data, we have projects successfully using ABBYY FineReader software, and we can provide advice and access to a workstation with the software. Contact Cathy Fitch at for more information.