Frequently Asked Questions
The Data Management and Analytics Center (DMAC) provides customized data management support at the University at Albany. The DMAC is staffed by a dedicated Computer Specialist and Data Scientist within the Center for Human Services Research (CHSR). CHSR employs a team of IT experts and researchers across many disciplines including sociology, public health, neuroscience, psychology, criminal justice, and education. DMAC services that will be provided free of charge include:
I have a project that I think DMAC could help me with. What is the process for this?
The best way to see how we can assist you is by reaching out to schedule a preliminary meeting to explain your research and data needs. We can discuss what support we are able to offer; if we aren’t able to meet your needs, we will try to connect you with someone at the University who can. If this project will be a funded research partnership, we will put together a preliminary scope of work and budget estimate for your review.
Do you charge for your services? How do you determine what you charge?
DMAC provides limited technical assistance and support as part of our core services supported through the University. Please see our Consulting page to learn about which services and limitations apply.
For more involved assistance, we can partner with your research team on funded projects. This would typically involves including our services in your grant proposal. (We will assist with the proposal process on projects in which we are included as funded partners.) We price our services to the specifics of each individual project, depending upon the mix of staff and the amount of staff time estimated to best suit the needs of that project. Please see our Research Partnerships page to learn more about which services we can offer in partnership with your research team.
What is the relationship between DMAC and CHSR?
The Center for Human Services Research (CHSR) has provided evaluation support to human services programs since 1991. CHSR projects are focused on supporting human services providers in practice, often in the form of program evaluation, performance indicators, and continuous quality measurement.
Much of the expertise developed and honed by CHSR over many years of experience has applications to projects beyond the field of human services delivery. In 2019, we determined that there was significant demand for the types of skills and expertise that CHSR has developed from researchers in departments throughout the University, particularly in regard to the collection, management, and analysis of research data. DMAC was created to fill this need.
DMAC is able to draw on the skills and knowledge of CHSR researchers to provide technical assistance and support to the broader UAlbany community on a wide variety of research projects that use quantitative or qualitative data and methods across a variety of disciplines.
What are the backgrounds of DMAC staff?
DMAC has a primary core of staff, including a senior research scientist, a data scientist, and a certified Qualtrics research expert.
Additionally, DMAC can also draw from the larger pool of CHSR staff, who have years of experience in quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and backgrounds in fields as diverse as sociology, psychology, neuroscience, political science, economics, social work, community health, demography, epidemiology, and criminal justice.
DMAC also has access to the CHSR IT staff, who design customized computer information solutions for research and evaluation data.
Can DMAC partner with entities outside the University?
DMAC does not provide any of our core services at no charge to researchers outside the UAlbany community. As part of CHSR, we can, however, enter into funded research partnerships with organizations external to the University. In this case, the typical Research Foundation indirect rate will be charged in addition to the direct costs associated with our services.
What statistical software packages are your staff conversant in?
Our staff typically use SPSS, but we do have staff who use SAS or R to varying degrees.
We also have a certified Qualtrics research expert on staff who can offer support in the use of Qualtrics for survey data collection.
Can DMAC provide me with tutoring/coursework help?
DMAC does not provide tutoring or help with coursework.
Can you help me with statistical programming?
DMAC will not write programs for your project (except as part of a funded
research partnership where this is included our scope of work), but we may be able to assist with you
trouble-shooting your code and making recommendations. We have staff with expertise in SPSS and SAS, and
some familiarity with R.
We can also provide guidance in accessing databases using MS Access, SQL, or Python.
Can you help me write an IRB protocol?
DMAC staff are available for consultation on issues related to human subjects’ protections, including protecting participant confidentiality during data collection, writing effective informed consent documents, de-identifying data, and storing protected data
Can you help me recruit research participants?
DMAC staff are experienced at identifying and recruiting research participants. We may be able to offer advice and suggest strategies for effective participant recruitment. As part of a funded research partnership, we can manage and coordinate participant outreach and recruitment for you.