Data sharing has the potential to change the way states manage incentive program compliance and evaluation efforts. Data sharing “is a formal process by which state agencies that collect and manage administrative records, such as corporate income tax and unemployment insurance records, may grant other government agencies and outside researchers access to microdata within those records to support authorized activities.”

The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) has created the State Data Sharing Initiative to identify ways that economic and workforce development programs can safely and securely access administrative data to support rigorous policy analysis and program evaluation.

Sharing administrative data for policy analysis and program evaluation purposes can improve evidence available to state leaders as they determine which economic and workforce development programs are likely to produce the greatest benefits for the state’s economy, workers, and communities.

CREC recently convened 5 teams that are seeking to improve the data sharing environment in their own states of Iowa, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin. The CREC team is coordinating a technical assistance effort to help each state design and implement action plans to address state-specific data challenges. Smart Incentives is pleased to be part of the CREC team for this important initiative.

These individual state efforts include:

  • creating data inventories within and across state agencies
  • establishing systems for efficient data management
  • standardizing data access or data sharing agreements
  • streamlining economic development and workforce analysis and reporting 

The CREC team is sharing good practices in these areas and identifying steps to overcome commonly-encountered barriers.

You can learn more at We will continue to provide updates on the State Data Sharing Initiative on this blog. Please also check out our previous post on the report Improved State Administrative Data Sharing: A Strategy to Promote Evidence-Based Economic and Workforce Development Policymaking.