Budget Blog

New Resource: Statewide Initiatives to Use Data and Evidence

By Kathryn White posted 09-27-2018 09:21 AM


Interest in how state governments use data and evidence to inform decisions continues to grow. States have made tremendous progress in this arena in recent years, leveraging performance management systems, administrative data, greater access to research clearinghouses, partnerships with universities and foundations, and other tools and new technologies to advance these efforts.

NASBO recently developed a new resource, Statewide Initiatives to Advance the Use of Data & Evidence for Decision-Making: A Working Inventory, to catalog these efforts – particularly those overseen by budget offices. NASBO collaborated with state budget offices to compile this inventory, which is intended to help budget office staff – and other interested parties – learn more about what other states are doing to leverage data and evidence in budgeting, management and planning.

The inventory attempts to categorize each initiative into one of five types, as defined on the first tab of the file:

  1. Data Analytics
  2. Evidence-Based Policymaking
  3. Performance Budgeting
  4. Performance Management
  5. Process Improvement

In some cases, an initiative may have characteristics of multiple types, and is therefore classified as the one perceived to be most dominant. The inventory also identifies the primary office location of the initiative, whether the initiative is statewide or specific to certain program areas, when the initiative started (and ended, if applicable), a link to applicable legislation, and a website address for more information.

The scope of this inventory is mainly intended to cover statewide initiatives (that involve all or most executive branch agencies). However, the inventory may also include initiatives that are specific to certain program areas or agencies if they are primarily overseen by the state budget office or another statewide entity (such as the governor’s office, legislature or another central agency).

For those interested in learning more about exciting efforts to apply data- and evidence-informed decision-making, including those led by a particular state agency (such as a department of corrections or human services), the following resources provide examples across a variety of areas of state government:

This resource will be a “living document,” which NASBO will work with state budget offices to update on a regular basis. If you have any questions or comments on the inventory, please contact Kathryn White at kwhite@nasbo.org.