Data sharing refers to formal arrangements between multiple organizations to share their program and participant data. Data sharing can allow local workforce system organizations to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of programs by analyzing participant outcomes they are unable to track themselves and are already gathered by other parts of the system, such as educational attainment, employment, job retention, wages, and use of public assistance programs.
For example, a state community college board may want to measure student employment outcomes to evaluate their occupational training programs. Gathering these data could be difficult and costly, especially after students leave school. Data sharing with the state agency responsible for collecting employment and wage data for the Unemployment Insurance Program makes this evaluation possible.
Some states have developed shared data systems, or “data warehouses,” to securely collect and store information from workforce system organizations and programs. Furthermore, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act encourages sharing administrative data among federally funded programs at the state level.