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Building High-value Data Solutions in Silicon Valley

Posted By Richard Gold, Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Silicon Valley Regional Data Trust (SVRDT) was founded with the intent of establishing a multi-county network of trust and ethical data sharing in the Silicon Valley region. SVRDT brings together data from numerous public agencies that serve children and families, including: education, child and family services, mental health, juvenile justice/probation, and technology; with adjacent interest in school safety.

The SVRDT mission is about stimulating change in the culture and practice of how data is responsibly used to develop actionable solutions to critical educational and social problems that confront children and families. SVRDT involves multiple counties in the Silicon Valley region and is funded by a foundation grant to the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

In partnership with the Santa Clara County Office of Education, the IJIS Institute is bringing its experience in justice and public safety information sharing to the development of an integrated policy and technology architecture for the SVRDT. IJIS is leveraging our expertise in the design and development of a data management and data integration framework for SVRDT, including expertise to define access security and data protection requirements, that can be confidently replicated for other regions.

Recognizing the sensitivity of the data, the SVRDT architecture inherently integrates extensive Rules of Use as developed in accordance with legal, regulatory, and local requirements with data management and technology services. These Rules of Use for data are required for each participating organization and are expressed in a series of common agreements: an Enterprise Memorandum of Understanding, a Multi-Agency Sharing Agreement, and a Universal Consent. IJIS is providing ongoing consultation and development of these policy/legal agreements.

The IJIS Institute is applying this legal, policy and technical expertise to create the SVRDT Secure Data Environment (SDE). The SDE automates the multi-agency coordination of services for children and families. For case workers, this will clarify the myriad factors influencing the lives of the children being served, thus improving the effectiveness of services and academic outcomes for all children, especially for those children from underserved communities.

The SDE platform and web services infrastructure will connect and make data available across the SVRDT participating agencies. Access to SVRDT data and services is controlled by the agencies responsible for the stewardship of the data that is made available by SVRDT. SVRDT data protection embraces three major design principles that are inherent in the SDE services architecture: 1) Minimize exposures of data, 2) Enforce Rules of Use, as defined by agreement, through Codes of Conduct administered by the operational authority in each participating organization, and 3) Monitoring of use via active transaction logging.

The value of SVRDT is further enhanced through a research partnership with the University of California at Santa Cruz. The research team uses data to perform longitudinal analysis of the efficient, effective, and ethical use of SVRDT data. The research agenda will be coupled with the SVRDT Change Integration Working Group for monitoring and measuring of SVRDT operational adaptation. The initial implementation of SVRDT will be in San Mateo County, in cooperation with the Santa Clara County Office of Education, providing education data for all the participating counties and administering the MS Azure-based hosted services platform.

Governance of SVRDT is provided by executives and the elected Boards of Education and Supervisors from the participating counties. Program direction is provided by an appointed Leadership Working Group that is comprised of the agency and department heads. Specialized working groups have been assembled and will continue providing guidance across the policy/legal, practice, research, and technological dimensions of the program.

In summary, the success potential for SVRDT will change the culture of public services in the Silicon Valley. For this reason, the IJIS Institute is working to ensure that this type of solution is replicable across the United States for other organizations that are working toward solving similar challenges. If you are interested in learning more about SVRDT, and/or how this solution might benefit your organization, please see or contact us at

Tags:  data integration  data management  information sharing  secure data environment  svrdt 

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