René Bautista is associate director in the Methodology and Quantitative Social Sciences department at NORC. He is also the director and co-principal investigator of the General Social Survey (GSS), one of the most influential social science surveys monitoring societal change. His academic training in Survey Methodology and work on sources of measurement error in surveys provides him with a solid theoretical and scientific approach to conduct applied survey research. Bautista has substantial experience developing and implementing major surveys and conducting leading methodological. His research focuses on nonresponse, measurement error, interviewer effects, mixed modes, and data collection methods.
During his tenure at NORC, Bautista has worked on program evaluations including the Census Integrated Communications Program Evaluation in 2010, commissioned by the U.S. Census Bureau, to evaluate the success of the communication campaign implemented prior to the Decennial Census. In particular, the evaluation utilized a mixed survey design (longitudinal and cross-sectional) and aimed to collect information among minority groups. In this project, Bautista advised on strategies to establish statistical significance of key survey estimates. He was responsible for conducting significance testing and multivariate analysis using complex variance estimation techniques. Also, he has participated in other studies commissioned to NORC, such as the evaluation of the Survey of Crime Victimization (SCV) conducted on behalf of the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, where he conducted cognitive interviews and provided guidance on significance testing of experimental data.
Bautista has provided statistical consulting to the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE), a project conducted on behalf of the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE). As the first major study of child care and education in the U.S. in over 20 years and largest-ever data collection effort conducted by NORC, Bautista's work on this project highlights his commitment to generate data of the highest quality and an appreciation of the functions the survey data serve. He continues to contribute to the NSECE team on sampling methodologies for the 2019 NSECE.
Bautista has also provided senior survey methodology advice on questionnaire design and cognitive testing for the 2012 National Survey on Health Information Exchange in Clinical Laboratories, a project commissioned by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. This study evaluates capabilities of laboratories in the U.S. to exchange information using electronic means.
In 2014, Bautista was also a key contributor to the re-design of the National Survey of Children's Health and the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs by overseeing adaptation of survey instruments (English and Spanish) for the change in data collection strategy from a CATI instrument to a self-administered instrument (paper- and web-based).
In 2015, he was the lead methodologist for one the Task Orders through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services related to adding new questions to the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS). He led the effort to understand how limited English proficiency (LEP) may impede access to healthcare. This work has meant developing and testing new LEP items and measures that reach well beyond used historically by government agencies.
In 2017, Bautista served as director for the Worker Voice Study, a survey commissioned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, aiming to collect information among 4,000 workers across the country.
Previously, he worked at the Gallup Research Center at the University of Nebraska. Bautista has also consulted as Election Night Analyst with Edison Media Research --exclusive provider of exit polling data to ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, NBC News and the Associated Press.
Bautista has served as executive councilor of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), chairing the Standards Committee. Also, Bautista has served as associate editor of Public Opinion Quarterly —the premier scholarly publication of AAPOR. He is currently an executive committee member of the European Survey Research Association. He is also a member of other major organizations, including the World Association for Public Opinion and the American Statistical Association. Bautista serves as a reviewer for leading national and international journals in public opinion, survey statistics, research methodology, and teaches Survey Questionnaire Design courses at the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago. He holds a Ph.D. in Survey Research and Methodology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.