Multi-State Data Collaboratives

State agency leaders across the country are driving the emergence and sustainability of multi-state data collaboratives. This work is being supported by NASWA, the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), the Coleridge Initiative, and other partners and funders. This webpage is a joint partner effort, led by state agency leaders, to provide public information about the collaboratives, including their activities and products.


Responding to state workforce agency need and desire to use timely data to better understand local labor markets, labor market outcomes, racial and geographic disparities, and interventions that work, NASWA, the State Higher Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), the Coleridge Initiative, and state agencies across the country are partnering to support the emergence and sustainability of multi-state data collaboratives.

Multi-state data collaboratives are coalitions of state workforce, education, human services, and other agencies working in partnership with each other and regional university partners to produce data products that policymakers, practitioners, and citizens can use to answer questions critical to society. Over twenty-five states are active in at least one collaborative in the Midwest, South, and East, with levels of engagement ranging from informing founding discussions up to leading development of shared products. 

Benefits of multi-state data collaboratives

  • Access to ideas, practices, and relationships from more states
  • Streamlined data access through common agreements to enable both regional and national project partnerships
  • Access to revenue streams
  • Better, more effective engagement with federal agencies and policymakers
  • Most importantly, more frequent and rapid data product development leading to better policymaking and practice!

Governing Framework

Collaboratives rely on a governing framework and a common data-sharing agreement to streamline data access regionally and nationally. Together, state partners establish shared priorities and an agenda for research and data products. All work is conducted with de-identified microdata stored in a common data platform. 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 framework for each collaborative facilitates these outcomes by formally establishing a policymaking body (Council), an advisory body (Data Representatives Board), and a coordinating body (Executive Committee).


Featured Work

Pending Projects

At the Multi-state Data Collaboratives: From Projects to Products to Practice convening, the first cohort of awarded teams from the Democratizing our Data Challenge will detail their projects and progress, and connect across states and agencies to share knowledge, models, and products.



View Pending Projects


Multi-state Data Collaboratives create the conditions for states to work together to develop collaborative data products that use state data to provide insights that are not evident within a single state’s data. Below are two examples of exploratory projects that have grown into collaborative data products that are informing practice among state, local and regional leaders. Two products that developed from collaborative projects are the Unemployment to Reemployment portal and the Multistate Postsecondary Report. 

View Products

Events and Opportunities

Three-Part Informational Series on the Potential of Multi-State Data Collaboratives – South and East Focus

This information series is designed for workforce and education leaders in southern and eastern states to learn more about emerging regional multi-state data collaboratives. Register for the sessions at the links below and save the meetings to your calendar.

March Convening: Multi-state Data Collaboratives: From Projects to Products to Practice

Join leaders from across the country for the Multi-state Data Collaboratives: From Projects to Products to Practice. This year’s convening is a response to the success of the First Annual National Convening in March 2021, the overwhelmingly positive response to the Democratizing our Data Challenge, and the rapid expansion of multi-state data collaboratives.

Why Data Collaboratives? There is an urgent need for timely, locally relevant, data and evidence that can be used to respond to the changes in the pandemic economy, particularly for low-income learners and workers, at-risk youth, underrepresented minorities, immigrants, and formerly incarcerated individuals. New information can inform policies about investments in education and training, student debt, as well as welfare and corrections programs.

Federal, philanthropic, and state partnerships have led to new projects, products, and practice for evidence building. The results are being used by many state Departments of Labor, Education and Human Services. At the National Convening, attendees will both learn about current and proposed projects and products and help set priorities for the future. 

Use the link below to learn more and register for the Convening.