In early December,—a statewide initiative that aims to use technology to make state government more efficient and effective— the launch of the new DataOhio Portal. It is the culmination of a year’s worth of work by InnovateOhio and various state agencies to provide the general public with access to over 200 datasets and more than 100 interactive tools.
The datasets cover a wide range of issues. For example, there are ten linked to data compiled by the Department of Higher Education. They include measurements such as the number of degrees and certifications awarded each year by Ohio institutions, outcomes for graduates who remain in the state after graduation, and earnings and educational attainment data disaggregated by county.
But that’s not all. DataOhio highlights several education-relatedthat centralize data in specific virtual locations. Three of these projects should prove enormously helpful to education advocates and researchers now that they’re so easily accessible.
Ohio labor market information
Thisand its associated are the result of a partnership between the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Market Information within the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The bureau analyzes industry, occupational, and employment statistics, , and publishes data like the employment projection reports used to identify in-demand jobs. Such information is crucial for schools and CTE providers as they design programs and counsel students about their future career paths.
Workforce success measures
The Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and the Ohio Education Research Center partnered on thisto produce an that uses a common set of metrics to display the success rates of Ohio’s largest workforce development programs. Like labor market information, analyzing the outcomes of workforce programs is a vital part of ensuring that students have access to quality programs.
The database offers two lenses through which to view the data. The “spotlight” option provides an overall summary of program characteristics, participant demographics, and outcomes during the most recent year at the state and county level. The “program outcomes” option, meanwhile, reports more detailed information about outcomes over time. That includes the number of completers, median earnings, postsecondary enrollment, and credential attainment at the state, county, and program levels.
Educational attainment dashboard
As part of its efforts toward meeting, the Ohio Department of Higher Education publishes the . This dataset includes a wide range of indicators that impact postsecondary attainment, such as ACT scores, FAFSA completion rates, graduation and retention statistics, scores on state assessments administered during eighth grade, postsecondary enrollment, and certificate completion numbers. These data, which are updated annually and can be disaggregated in a variety of ways, are crucial for educators, advocates, and policymakers who are responsible for crafting policies and initiatives that improve K–12 schooling and, as a result, postsecondary attainment.
What does this influx of easily accessible data mean for Ohio? Well for starters, it’s a giant step in the right direction in terms of transparency. Ohio agencies have been collecting much of this data for years now, but most of it hasn’t been easy for the general public to navigate. By creating a single data portal that houses the information—and links to other, related informational sources—Ohio leaders have demonstrated their openness to public feedback and their commitment to using data to improve the lives of their constituents.
It also means that it’s far easier for researchers, advocates, and lawmakers to access data that can help them shape the education policies that affect thousands of Ohio students and families. Rather than throwing a dozen different initiatives at schools and hoping one sticks, leaders from the education, business, and public policy sectors can analyze the same datasets and collaborate to create data-driven solutions. These solutions could help close achievement gaps, increase attainment numbers, and improve the average Ohioan’s experience with K–12 and postsecondary education institutions.
Despite all this good news, though, it’s important that Ohio leaders don’t rest on their laurels. Now that the state has a strong foundation for data transparency, the next logical step is to get even more detailed about the data that education institutions track and report. This is especially true when it comes to the industry recognized credentials earned by secondary students., but we don’t have clear information about which credentials they’re earning or in the workplace. Linking individual credentials to workforce outcomes—or, better yet, —would be a wise next move, particularly since we now have a workable blueprint for how to make it happen.