July 12, 2018Op-ed

WorkingNation: Study: States are getting smarter about data-driven policy

by Matt Parke

State/ Economic/ 2018/

Data-driven and evidence-based policies could become the standard for states looking to allocate resources wisely and create better outcomes for residents. A new study from Results for America highlights the states which use data to evaluate and shape public policy.

The report, released by the Washington D.C. non-profit organization on Tuesday with the National Governors Association, is called a “north star” for state governments to refine or reform current programs, such as workforce development, through data collection and analysis. Improving the efficacy of states to address and solve problems is the goal.

“We believe standards of excellence encourage the spread of best practices, inspire a friendly competition between policymakers and challenge leaders of both parties to develop new data-driven innovations,” Results for America Co-Founders Michelle Jolin and David Medina said in a statement.

The 2018 Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence report identified five states which developed practices that exemplify these standards, including Colorado, Washington, Tennessee, Oregon and Minnesota.

They created publicly-searchable databases, implemented data sharing between departments and improved their research capabilities. Results for America said their solutions in creating a “statewide ecosystem” for better decision-making are a roadmap for other states to follow.