IRIS Data Summit

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Event Summary

Date: October 15-16, 2018

Location: University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research, 426 Thompson Street, Room 1430, Ann Arbor, MI

Cost: FREE (but registration is required)

Join the Conversation!

Please join us for the annual IRIS Data Summit! It’s an opportunity for IRIS data providers and stakeholders to provide input and guidance as we continue to build the data infrastructure to a national scale. The IRIS community is essential in helping us develop and share best practices.

Sessions during this 2-day event will focus on what IRIS has achieved over the past year and new enhancements and directions as we look to the future. We’re looking forward to seeing you this fall!



Click the button to register for this event. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Questions? Contact Evalyn Yanna at

Event Details

A tentative agenda for the 2018 IRIS Data Summit is as follows:

Day 1: Monday, October 15, 2018

10:00 AM     Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meeting

This is a pre-Summit meeting for members of the TAG group, but is open to anyone with an interest in technical matters.

11:30 AM     Summit Check-in

Lunch & Networking

12:30 PM     Welcome & State of IRIS

IRIS Executive Director Jason Owen-Smith opens the Summit by welcoming the group and sharing some of the achievements of the past year, highlighting opportunities as we look to the future.

1:00 PM     IRIS Team Reports

IRIS Technical Director Kevin Bjorne provides a brief overview of the Tech Team. The leads of each division provide more details about their work. Amy Butchart heads up the Data Production Team, while Najla August leads the Development Team, and Natsuko Nicholls leads the Research Team.

2:00 PM      Research Findings with IRIS Data

IRIS Co-PI and faculty at The Ohio State University Bruce Weinberg highlights key findings from IRIS research and discusses upcoming projects.

2:45 PM      Break

3:00 PM      Enhanced Vendor Report

Jason Owen-Smith and Kevin Bjorne display pilot version enhancements to the Vendor Profile Report that have been under development this year, utilizing additional data from the Orbis dataset. We look forward to your comments and feedback.

4:00 PM      New Reporting Under Development

Jason Owen-Smith and Nancy Calvin-Naylor (IRIS Managing Director) present three new projects of particular focus this year: (1) the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) KL2 Impact project and report, (2) the XSEDE/High Performance Computing work, and (3) the Student Data Pilot Project work with the U.S. Census Bureau.

5:00 PM      Wrap up and happy hour

Details forthcoming!

Day 2: Tuesday, October 16, 2018

8:30 AM     Continental Breakfast & Networking

Breakfast and networking time to begin the second day of sessions.

9:00 AM     Welcome: Summary of Day 1 and Introduction to Day 2

Jason Owen-Smith welcomes the group and summarizes conversations from the previous day, setting the stage for the remainder of the Summit.

9:15 AM     Federal Government Data Strategy

IRIS Co-PI and faculty at New York University Julia Lane discusses the emerging federal government data strategy focusing on the implications for IRIS and the role we might play.

10:00 AM     Break & Networking

10:30 AM     Concurrent sessions:

Option A: Enhancing Data Quality
Led by Kevin Bjorne, this session will focus on ways to enhance data quality, including tracking of subawards and institutional spending, the use of standardized award IDs, collecting and reporting non-federal data, and the like.

Option B: Policy & Outreach Committee Formation
This session will focus on drafting a charge for a committee and suggesting committee membership for approval by the IRIS Board of Directors.

11:15 AM     Technical Improvements

IRIS has made significant technical improvements in the past year. A new portal interface will be demonstrated to the group that is ready for deployment. We will highlight data security techniques and procedures. We summarize improvements in the automation of data validation and quality assurance.

12:15 PM     Working Lunch: Next Steps to Improve IRIS Data and Reporting

This session will be open for discussion, so come prepared with ideas and suggestions! We hope to collect your thoughts about how best to expand our communication strategies to address member needs and questions and to propose data enhancements for consideration. We will set aside time for topics raised by members and allow opportunities for networking.

1:45 PM     IRIS Member Panel Discussion

A call for proposals went out in mid-summer to the IRIS membership, seeking a member-driven panel discussion on a relevant topic of choice. The topic and panelists will be announced soon.

2:45 PM     Closing Session

Jason Owen-Smith will summarize the key points raised during the Summit and will discuss future directions for IRIS.

3:15 PM     Data Summit concludes

All events will be held at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research (ISR) at 426 Thompson Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Arrival by plane

Ann Arbor is about 25 miles from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) so it is a fairly short cab or Uber/Lyft ride from the airport. There are also ground transportation options, including the AirRide that offer frequent service between DTW and the Blake Transit Center (in downtown Ann Arbor, 5-10 minutes walking distance from the ISR) for $12 each way.

Arrival by train

The Amtrak station is located at 325 Depot Street, which is just less than 1 mile from the ISR.

Arrival by bus

Both Greyhound and Megabus offer service to Ann Arbor. The Greyhound stops at 325 Depot Street (the Amtrak station), less than a mile from the ISR. The Megabus station is located about three miles from the ISR at the Briarwood Mall, 900 Briarwood Circle, near the Sears Auto Center. The stop is at parking lot pole #15.

Arrival by car

If you drive to the event, there is a University of Michigan visitor parking lot located at 400 Thompson Street, directly across the street from the main entrance to the ISR, but this has a limited number of spaces. There are some coin-metered parking spots ($1.60/hour) along Division Street, but note that these spaces are limited to 4 hours. If the Thompson Street lot is full when you arrive, we recommend one of the city parking structures ($1.20/hour, cash or credit) of which there are three options about equal distance to the ISR (5-10 minutes walking) at 115 E. William, 319 S. Fifth Ave, and 324 Maynard.


We’ve made room blocks at the two closest hotels for your convenience. Be sure to make your reservations by August 22 in order to take advantage of the group rate.

Other Lodging Options

You can find other hotels, B&B and more at Visit Ann Arbor.

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