2019 State Standard of Excellence
5. Data Use
Did the state or any of its agencies have data systems consistent with strong privacy protections that linked multiple administrative data sets across state agencies, and did it use those systems to improve federal, state, or local programs?
Why is this important?
The linking of agency data allows state governments to increase the effectiveness of state services and get better results for their residents.
The Indiana Management Performance Hub, overseen by the state’s Chief Data Officer, houses the integrated Education and Workforce Development database, which brings together data from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the Indiana Department of Education, the Department of Workforce Development, and the Family and Social Services Administration. In addition, the Hub has created integrated databases to address pressing policy issues related to opioids, vehicle crashes, medicaid, fiscal transparency, and other areas. According to a 2018 annual report, the Hub has generated an estimated return on investment of $40 million for the state.
A 2019 Arkansas law created the Data-Sharing and Data-Driven Decision-Making Task Force “to implement a shared services model for statewide data sharing in order to drive innovation and facilitate efficiency across state agencies, improve the delivery of services, and to better serve the citizens of this state.” State agencies also share criminal justice data and have an online portal to identify the utility, value, accountability, and governance requirements of state data sets so they can be leveraged to further improve state business decisions and outcomes.
The California Workforce Development Board’s Cross-Systems Analytics and Assessment for Learning and Skills Attainment (CAAL-Skills) program brings together over a dozen state agencies for a data sharing and program evaluation initiative to evaluate the outcomes associated with the $6 billion invested annually in California’s workforce development, training, education, and related supportive service programs. As outlined in the State’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) plan, CAAL-Skills utilizes common performance measures to examine the efficacy of participating programs based on participant outcomes, demographics of participants, and any service gaps.
In 2019, the Colorado Governor’s Office and the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab (CAEL) co-designed the Linked Information Network of Colorado (LINC) to facilitate data sharing for research and analytics purposes as a way to improve state policies and programs. Using this data, CAEL and state agencies have collaborated on projects to improve outcomes in areas such as child welfare, criminal justice, health, education, economic opportunity, and workforce.
Florida’s PK-20 Education Data Warehouse provides public access to data linked across elementary and secondary education, university, and workforce outcomes. This comprehensive longitudinal data system supports the State’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) plan’s commitments to evidence-based practices and continuous improvement.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security, Illinois Student Assistance Commission, Illinois Board of Higher Education, Illinois Community College Board, and Illinois State University have partnered to share data for the Illinois’s “College2Career” resource. The platform uses data sharing to integrate workforce, financial aid, and university data to highlight outcome metrics such as average earnings, earnings growth, and job stability for graduates of Illinois institutions of higher education. The program seeks to use these data to help Illinois students make informed education and workforce decisions.
A 2013 Kentucky law established the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS) which collects and links high-quality, actionable data from five state agencies to improve education and workforce programs in the state. By providing data sets, publishing reports, and fulfilling research requests, the Center provides state-specific insights with appropriate data privacy and data access controls. It has more than 40 staff members who are dedicated to “developing reports, responding to research requests, and providing statistical data about these efforts so policymakers, agencies, and the general public can make better informed decisions.” The Center is run by an executive director with oversight from a board composed of participating state agencies. The Center has developed a research agenda for 2017–2019.
A 2010 Maryland law established the Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center as an independent agency to bring together education and workforce data from the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the Maryland State Department of Education, and the Maryland Department of Labor. In partnership with the University of Maryland System and under the guidance of a governing board, the Center’s 12 staff members produce a variety of reports about student performance at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary level to improve the state’s education system and guide decision-makers at all levels.
Minnesota’s Statewide Longitudinal Education Data System and Early Childhood Education Data System match administrative education and employment data from five state agencies. Together, these two systems form a P-20 education data system, which captures, analyzes, and uses student data from preschool to high school, college, and the workforce.
Mississippi LifeTracks is an interoperable data system that supports research and analysis by providing linkages between early childhood, K-12 education, postsecondary education, and workforce data. The system, governed by an interagency board, increases the state’s ability to link, match, and share education and workforce data to improve career-readiness outcomes for students.
The Nevada state longitudinal data system integrates data from the state’s PK-12, higher education, and workforce agencies. The system leaves all private data behind agency firewalls and uses a matching algorithm that de-identifies data during the matching process. A wide variety of reports provide agency leaders greater insights into Nevada’s education and workforce programs, initiatives, and outcomes.
New Jersey partners with Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, to operate the New Jersey Education to Earnings Data System (NJEEDS), a statewide longitudinal data system designed to improve the performance of state education and workforce initiatives. The data contained within NJEEDS are diverse and overseen by an executive leadership council as well as a data stewards work group from relevant state agencies. Also, four state agencies partner with Rutgers to operate the Integrated Population Health Data project to promote population health research.
The Ohio Education Research Center brings together state education and workforce data through a series of dashboards designed to inform government policy and program decisions. The dashboards are responsive to the Ohio State Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Plan, which highlights the state’s efforts to share and link data, recognizing that “evaluation and research projects on activities under the WIOA core programs first requires access to relevant data.”
Rhode Island’s Data Ecosystem, managed by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, uses data from more than 15 sources, including health, child welfare, and human services. In 2018, the Data Ecosystem used health and child welfare information to examine child maltreatment and fatalities. Among other findings, this analysis identified a small group of families with particularly complex cases that were five times more likely to have a child welfare investigation within two years of birth than the general risk positive population. Based on these findings, the state is piloting enhanced outreach and support services to families with these characteristics in one region of the state, with plans to ultimately scale the new data-driven targeting strategy statewide.
The South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office maintains an integrated data system which stores data and is able to link individuals being served by more than 20 state agencies and other organizations. This system has facilitated program improvement efforts and numerous research studies, including a randomized controlled trial, as a part of the state’s Pay for Success initiative to improve outcomes for low-income mothers and their babies.
A 2017 Utah law created the Utah Data Research Center to integrate data from the Utah System of Higher Education, Utah System of Technical Colleges, Utah State Board of Education, Utah Department of Health, and the Utah Department of Workforce Services. The Center has a research agenda and provides both “data products” and “data-as-a-product.” The Center’s governance structure includes staff, an advisory board of agency designees, an institutional review board, and a peer review process.
The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services maintains an Integrated Client Database with data from 10 state agencies, 40 separate data systems, and 2.4 million individuals. This data is used for rapid-cycle policy analysis, program evaluation, predictive modeling, and performance measurement to help agencies understand how health and other factors are related to outcomes for persons served by public assistance programs. The database has been used by the state’s Health Home Program, which provides intensive care management services to high-risk Medicaid beneficiaries, to improve beneficiary health outcomes and lower costs. These lower costs have included over $20 million in savings to the state as well as tens of millions in dollars in shared savings payments from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which has evaluated the program and encouraged other states to consider developing similar programs.
The Wisconsin Early Childhood Integrated Data System integrates data from the state Departments of Children and Families, Health Services, and Public Instruction. The system links, collects, and monitors early childhood data from 11 state programs. The state engaged in an inclusive planning process to design the system which, although not an integrated data warehouse, provides for data sharing among relevant state agencies. The system also has strong privacy protections, including an overarching memorandum of understanding and individual data sharing agreements from the Departments of Children and Families, Health Services, and Public Instruction, which are used with each inter-agency data sharing project.