Getting started with data

Questions to guide your initial conversations on identifying your data needs – how data relates to your program goals, what data to collect, how to collect and store it, and data maintenance.
As state workforce agencies embark on modernizing their UI systems, collecting and storing the right data will ensure administrators have the information they need to determine whether or not their unemployment insurance systems are working effectively and where to allocate resources in order to maximize impact.
Here are ten questions that will align your team on what data is needed to help the department achieve its goals, improve the claimant experience, and measure equitable access (e.g. demographic data, recipiency rates, call center load, most commonly reported issues, performance analytics).
  1. 1.
    What are the key questions you have that you are hoping data can help answer?
  2. 2.
    What decisions will be made based on this data? How are those decisions made?
  3. 3.
    What data is currently available, and how is it collected?
  4. 4.
    How current is the data?
  5. 5.
    How is existing data being used, and by which teams?
  6. 6.
    What data do you wish you had that you don't have?
  7. 7.
    Where is data stored?
  8. 8.
    How is data accessed?
  9. 9.
    Who owns or will own the management of data?
  10. 10.
    What is the long-term plan for maintenance?
Answering these questions is the first step in developing a data strategy that will help agencies better serve claimants and employers.