This website is designed to help people building longitudinal data systems, including
- Managers of current state longitudinal data systems
- Agency leads who provide information to state longitudinal data systems
- Policymakers working to expand available data
- Organizations seeking greater access to data to advance education and economic outcomes
This website will help you to
- Broaden the understanding of who benefits from increased access to data and supporting its interpretation
- Follow user-centered design principles to make information easily accessible to a range of different audiences
- Build a system that contextualizes education and workforce outcomes with other information such as social service data
- Adopt modernizing and streamlining technology to make improvements affordable
- Bridge Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements
How to use this website to support your planning efforts
There are many resource sites that provide invaluable information to support state longitudinal data planning and modernization efforts — here are some excellent options.
Instead, this site creates a customized roadmap of the most relevant resources for your state and your situation, based on a survey that pinpoints where you’re at, maps out where you should go next, and links you with the tools and resources to get you there.
You can also use the “Topics” section in the navigation bar at the top of this page to jump directly to the areas of greatest interest to you. Each of the topic areas includes tips gleaned from California’s experience and concrete examples and tools that you can use to support your planning efforts.
Re-envisioning state longitudinal data systems
Many states are rethinking the way they link data sets. Strengthening these links and opening access to data requires negotiating complex, interconnected questions of governance, technical architecture, security frameworks, data definitions, legal agreements, and stakeholder management. How can you tackle all of these things at once?
California recently completed an 18-month planned process that successfully re-envisioned what it means to link education and employment data, and this experience offers models and lessons other states can use in their own processes.
California’s planning process resulted in a plan that:
- Expands education data to include data on early childhood, social services, health, financial aid, and teacher and workforce training, to contextualize student outcomes across many areas and stages of life
- Aligns research questions with available data
- Bridges legal frameworks for education and health data
- Uses the cloud and identity resolution tools to improve technical infrastructure
- Includes community members in the governance structure and as co-interpreters of state data
- Codifies decisions in legislation to address long-standing roadblocks to shared goals
California’s data system also goes beyond analytical data sets to include tools that support access to postsecondary education, including college and career planning tools, streamlined application processes, and electronic transcripts that include skills gained outside of school.