Multi-State Data Collaboratives

State agency leaders across the country are driving the emergence and sustainability of multi-state data collaboratives, beginning with the Midwest Collaborative, the Southern Regional Data Collaborative, and the Eastern States Longitudinal Data Collaborative. This work is being supported by NASWA as the administering organization, the Coleridge Initiative as the platform organization, the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), and other partners and funders. This webpage is directed by state agency leaders to provide public information about the collaboratives, including their activities and products.


Projects and Products
2023 National Convening
Multi-State Postsecondary Report
Value-Driven Data Infrastructures


Across the country, state workforce, higher education, human services, and other agencies are responding to the needs and desire of policymakers and practitioners to leverage timely administrative data to better understand local labor markets, labor market outcomes, racial and geographic disparities, and interventions that work. They are partnering to support the emergence and sustainability of multi-state data collaboratives, with support from an administering organization (NASWA), the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), the Coleridge Initiative, and other partners and funders.

Multi-state data collaboratives are coalitions of state agencies working in partnership with each other and regional university partners to expand access to data and produce data products that policymakers, practitioners, and citizens can use to answer questions critical to society.

Questions Critical to Society

Multi-state data collaboratives are an ecosystem for answering questions critical to society. Some of the priority topics collaboratives are interested in exploring are:

Expand to view questions
  1. What are the employment and earnings outcomes associated with post-secondary completers?
  2. Who are post-secondary non-completers and what are the completion, employment, and earnings outcomes associated with alternative strategies to engage and support them in post-secondary programs?
  3. What are the employment and earnings outcomes of alternative registered apprenticeship and work-based learning strategies?
  4. What are the employment and earnings outcomes for public school students who enroll in alternative post-secondary programs?
  5. How can we use data to support and improve connections and access to post-secondary education and training for UI claimants and what are the associated employment and earnings outcomes?
  6. How can we refine the Unemployment to Reemployment Portal to create additional timely measures of UI program participation and claimant and employer labor market activity?
  7. Can we build new measures of leaver wage progression for TANF recipients that are more effective for policy and practice decisions?
  8. What are the nature and dynamics of the essential workforce (child care, teachers, etc) at the regional labor market level, including employment trajectories, and how do labor market, public policy, and economic factors influence the workforce?
  9. How can the collaborative data sharing ecosystem leverage cross-program and interstate social determinants of health (SDOH) data to support better service and outcomes for Medicaid customers?
  10. What is the value of post-secondary credential attainment for specific credentials aligned with occupations or industry sectors?
  11. Can we collaborate to develop a publicly available data model for state K-12 data submissions to the ADRF, outline use cases, describe existing data models, and create technical documentation detailing tables, elements, options set, and entity relationships?
  12. What are effective frameworks for defining, understanding, and improving equity in the context of the Unemployment Insurance or other programs?




Over 25 states have been active in at least one collaborative ecosystem, with levels of engagement ranging from informing founding discussions up to leading development of shared data products.

Data Collaboratives Map

For state agency program and data leaders, the benefits of multi-state data collaboratives include:

  • Access to ideas, practices, and relationships from more states;
  • Streamlined data access across sectors and state boundaries through more common agreements to enable both regional and national project partnerships;

  • Access to funding streams;

  • Better, more effective engagement with federal agencies and policymakers; and

  • Most importantly, more frequent and rapid data product development leading to more informed policymaking and practice.

Multi-state data collaboratives rely on a governing framework and a common data sharing agreement to support data access regionally and nationally. Together, state partners establish shared priorities and an agenda for research and data products, supported by NASWA as the administering organization. All work is conducted with de-identified microdata stored in a common data platform operated by the Coleridge Initiative. Individual state agencies approve and oversee access to their data for approved projects—state autonomy and agency oversight are paramount principles—and can separately pursue their own projects relying on the shared infrastructure.

The governance frameworks for each collaborative are under development and will include a policymaking body (Council), an advisory body (Data Representatives Board), and a coordinating body (Executive Committee). The graphic illustrates the basic elements of the governance structure for the Midwest Collaborative. There will be some variability in approaches , across collaboratives, with a goal to maintain a standard approach in areas material for cross-collaborative innovation .

Governance Chart

Administering Organization Leadership Team

The Administering Organization advises, supports, and coordinates the work of the collaboratives; issues requests for solicitations for information or proposals from external researchers to address priority topics as directed by the collaboratives; assists in coordination and oversight of project approval process(es); serves as an essential point of engagement for external constituents including federal agencies, funders, and such advisory experts as deemed necessary by collaborative governing bodies; provides business and financial support, scheduling and coordination, and administrative support including preparation of meeting minutes; communicates and conducts outreach on behalf of the collaboratives and their governing bodies to outside organizations, project leads, and other stakeholders.

Yvette Chocolaad

Yvette Chocolaad

Managing Director/Principal Investigator


Erin Joyce

Erin Joyce

Director, Programs

Ohio State University

Cynthia Forland

Cynthia Forland

Director, State Engagement and Special Projects

Forland Consulting LLC