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.


From Projects to Products to Impact
2023 National Convening Synopsis
Multi-State Postsecondary Report
Joint Presentation on the Multi-State Data Collaboratives


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 respond to labor market needs, improve programs and services, and address racial and geographic disparities.

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Questions Critical to Society

Multi-state data collaboratives are a network for developing data projects and products that answer questions critical to state and local needs and will impact policy or practice. 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.



For state agency program and data leaders, the benefits of multi-state data collaboratives are many and depend on your agency’s individual needs:

  • The network effect of the collaboratives allows your agency to access and share ideas, practices, and products with more states.
  • The network prioritizes the creation of timely data projects and products that can directly influence state and local programs, strategies, practices, or policies.
  • Cross-state data access enables deeper insights into labor markets that cross state boundaries and individuals who commute across state lines for work or move to another state.
  • The network supports data partnerships, including with trusted university partners.
  • State teams from different agencies and functions means improved in-state relationships and supports the use and enhancement of the state longitudinal data system.
  • Professional development opportunities, such as advanced data analytics training classes, can build staff capacity and enhance analytical skills.
  • The collaboratives enable a unified national voice on issues and an opportunity to inform policy development.
  • Through the network, funding opportunities are available on occasion to support the development and implementation of data projects and products.
  • The network supports agencies where you are – it recognizes state agencies are at different places in terms of cultural readiness, resource readiness, technology, and data access readiness.


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