Martin Barron is a Senior Data Scientist in the Health Care Department. He is an expert in social science data analysis and survey research methodology. Barron has conducted research on a host of methodological issues including the use of social media in rigorous scientific research, address-based sampling, wireless-phone surveying, the effectiveness of advance letters and incentives, and survey participation refusals and conversion strategies.
From 2006 to 2011 Barron worked on the National Immunization Survey (NIS). The NIS—a nationwide, list-assisted random digit-dialing (RDD) survey conducted by the NORC for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—monitors the vaccination rates of children between the ages of 19 and 35 months. It is one of the largest telephone surveys ever conducted. Each year, the NIS screens more than 850,000 households in order to conduct approximately 24,000 interviews. Barron served as Director of Analysis for the NIS. In this capacity he conducted research aimed at increasing the accuracy, reliability, and efficiency of the NIS. He performs ongoing analysis of NIS production data and leads a team tasked with solving problems and improving processes. He also has conceived and implemented a number of methodological studies for the NIS. These include large-scale tests of the effectiveness of caller-id to improve study cooperation, a series of experiments on the design of the NIS advance letter, and a study of the cost effectiveness of repeated refusal conversion attempts.
Since 2011 Barron has expanded his methodological focus to a number additional projects. He has served as Director of Research for the National Children’s Study Field Support Project, Lead Research Analyst for the California Health Communication family of Projects and as Principle Investigator for the Twitter Data project. Since 2012, Barron has been a key member in NORCs social media, big data, and data science research initiative.