Indiana Increases Transparency for Data Access

By Jenna Leventoff, June 07, 2018

Indiana has intensified efforts to ensure that all stakeholders have a transparent process by which to request access to data they need to make better decisions about education and the workforce. The Indiana Network of Knowledge (INK) is Indiana’s longitudinal data system, legislatively created to link data from the state’s Department of Education, the Commission for Higher Education, the Family Social Service Administration, and the Department of Workforce Development, over a period of time. The data in INK not only benefits policymakers, but also educators, researchers, and the public.

In order to promote the availability of INK data for use by all of its stakeholders, INK recently hosted a “Data Day” to provide an overview of INK, explain which data is available, and outline how to request it. In addition, Data Day featured a panel of data requesters from a variety of entities to discuss how the data request process has worked for them. This included frank discussion of how the data request system has and hasn’t met the requestors’ needs, in order to help INK improve its process for data sharing.

In addition, INK has published a list of its completed data requests online so that other users can better understand the types of data they can request, and how the request will be handled. The page shows requests that were fulfilled, requests that were forwarded to a single state agency, requests that were denied, and requests that were canceled by the requestor.

The webpage shows that INK data has been used by the Commission for Higher Education to complete a Return on Investment report, by the Department of Workforce Development to determine starting salaries for recent high school graduates, and by Indiana University – Perdue University Indianapolis to find the outcomes of its graduates to review its program offerings.

INK’s website also has a page devoted to outlining the data request process.

WDQC supports INK’s efforts to ensure that all stakeholders have a transparent process by which they can obtain the data they need to make better decisions. If your state is interested in making data available to more stakeholders, please reach out to our staff, who can provide technical assistance.