CSBG Data Corner: Database Diagnostics

— By Tabitha Beck, Research Director, CSBG, NASCSP —

Every State CSBG staff person who works with the FY2012 CSBG IS Survey Access Database should be familiar with several new review tools that have been incorporated into the system. These tools will enable you to submit a more complete, accurate survey and hopefully shorten your follow-up memo as well. The new reports incorporate part of the cleaning process into the database to identify common reporting errors before the database is turned in to NASCSP. These tools aren’t a complete replacement for the post-submission data cleaning process, but they should reduce the time needed to finalize the data.

One of the new tools is the Diagnostic Report. This report will help identify errors or anomalies in your database. To view the Diagnostic Report in the CSBG IS Survey Access Database, click on Data Diagnostic Tools from the Main Menu. The information in the Diagnostic Report is displayed in two separate sections: Section A-C for State issues, and Sections E-G and the NPIs for agency issues. Please also review the Diagnostics Report Information Sheet during this process to better understand the types of issues being flagged in the report. You can view this document online via a link on the Data Diagnostic Tools menu and additionally in the Resources menu (accessible from the Main Menu).

We encourage everyone to run these three diagnostic reports and address the issues that are noted, before you submit your database to NASCSP. If you do not do this before sending your database to NASCSP, we will include the outstanding issues in your data cleaning memo. We also recommend that you wait to run these reports until the database is completely filled out, so you can make sure the issues noted are not simply referencing incomplete or unfilled data to be entered later. The diagnostic reports can be sorted by agency and printed, so you can easily pass them on to the CAA for feedback before you submit the database.

Once again, running a clean diagnostic report doesn’t mean that you won’t get a cleaning memo from NASCSP, but it does ensure that your post-submission review time will be as brief as possible.

More detailed information and visuals can be found in the slides and recording of the CSBG IS Survey Database Webinar on the NASCSP Website, under CSBG IS 2012 Information.