EconSys Blog

Three Step Process to Identify and Improve Data Collection Efforts in State Governments

Jun 05, 2018 | By: Drew Lessard | Category: Data Collection

Large-scale employment programs at the state level require a significant investment by State Governments, many of which have applied for technical assistance under Department of Labor, 

Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP).

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Reporting is a necessity for both EFSLMP and their own state Employment First Initiatives. Despite these requirements, however, existing software solutions are limited in scope and functionality, and often not configured for state government use or states used paper-based methods to collect data. These methods are inefficient and unscalable.

The following three step process is designed to improve the quality of data collection efforts by third party providers and State Government agencies that need better insights to make decisions about these programs.

Evaluation of Data Collection Needs

The first step is to fully understand the needs of the state agency in need of data collection support. This includes gathering information about the current data being collected, evaluating the future scale of data collection efforts along with short and long-term goals, and how current providers are calculating and reporting back to the state.

>>> Download the case study on Tracking Employment Outcomes for Individuals  with Disabilities.

Whether the state is still using strictly manual processes in Excel spreadsheets or they are using a data collection tool not originally designed for government use, it’s important to fully understand the gap between current capabilities and what is needed to achieve their goals.

Determining Questions and Collection Processes

Once the goals have been established and the needs of the government agency’s data collection efforts are clearly defined, it’s time to define what the collection process will look like. This includes the specific questions that will be asked by the state to third party providers, along with the exact wording of these questions, and what the response value options will be.

This is the best time to fully define and standardize the terminology that will be used, address common questions and concerns from internal stakeholders, and build a rollout plan for implementation with vendors.

Running an Initial Pilot Study

The third step of the process is to start the implementation process with a select number of data providers. This allows state agencies to evaluate the efficacy of the new program, accept feedback and make changes where needed to ensure the system will work at scale.

This is the time for taking and answering common questions, building more detailed process guidelines and fine-tuning how data is both collected and formatted by state agency employees.

Building a Better Data Collection Solution for State Government Agencies

Whether due to available resources or the lack of tools designed for the specific needs of state government, data collection is a common challenge, especially for state HR departments administering EFI programs. By following the three-step process above, EconSys has worked with several states to implement better data collection processes and improve not only their reporting but support a larger improvement in employee placement rates.

To learn more about how EconSys has helped configure and implement our Data Collection for states like Tennessee and Alabama, download our case study, Data Collection on Employment Outcomes for Individuals with Disabilities:

Download the State Agency Service Provider Case Study