States stand to benefit from a longitudinal data system that connects educational information with labor market outcomes such as wage and employment rates. However, scarce funding and inter-agency collaboration often inhibit states’ abilities to create such a system.
This report from the Workforce Data Quality Campaign highlights best practices from Kentucky, Minnesota and New York, each of which has established linked systems that facilitate data sharing and evaluation to varying degrees. In Kentucky, for example, inter-agency data-sharing agreements allowed the state to evaluate outcomes for students taking college-level coursework through AdvanceKentucky, providing evidence to increase funding for the program. The paper profiles each state and provides recommendations for others aiming to connect data systems in a way that will support research and policymaking.