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At the Michigan Education Data Center, we know your goal as a researcher is to crunch the numbers and offer insights that will improve lives. We strive to support researchers throughout the life of their research project. Below are just some of the ways we strive to serve.

Research Proposal Development

Record Matching

Record Matching Overview

Understanding Data

Data Security Guidelines

Data made available through the Michigan Education Research Institute describe Michigan's children. It is critical that researchers keep data security at the forefront during every stage. Before submitting a research application, researchers should review these guidelines and work with their institution's IT and data security experts to make sure best practices are followed.

Authentication and authorization are two major components of data security. Authentication is the act of ensuring the person accessing the data is who they say they are. User IDs, passwords and two-factor authentication are all part of the authentication process. A strong research application may look something like this:

All project team members will access data with a University of Florin user account. The University of Florin (U of F) uses Windows Active Directory to track and manage user accounts and requires a two-factor authentication step when logging onto U of F servers. When off-campus, users will the U of F virtual private network (VPN) to access data.

One of the reasons we discourage the use of cloud storage solutions such as Box and Dropbox for storing and accessing MERI data is anyone with an email can create an account. Institutions of higher education and non-profit research institutions have higher standards to meet before accounts are issued which ensures each person has one (and only one) account. Without this, account-sharing becomes a concern because it defeats the purpose of authentication!