Governance, P-20W Data, State Advocacy

Legislative Update: Connecting Data Collection to Data Use

Legislative Update: Connecting Data Collection to Data Use

As a companion to our resource analyzing what happened in this year’s state legislative sessions across the country, we’re sharing a deeper dive into a new data law. The law addresses many of the critical decision points that connect data collection to data use: the purpose and value of data collection, how measures are defined, where data will be stored, how data will be protected, and what the access points will look like for intended audiences for this data.

In June 2022, Colorado signed into law HB22-1349, which directs the state to invest in a student success data system to support decisionmaking and improve school to workforce pathways. As part of this new law, Colorado leaders will invest $3 million to create a public-facing, interactive data system to track student progress from higher education into the workforce. This data system will create student workforce success metrics for all state higher education institutions and, notably, requires that data be made available to institutional decisionmakers—an often overlooked group.

In addition to proposing clear, effective legislation, the bill’s sponsors have communicated how investments in this data system and tools will support state goals. Representative Monica Duran noted, “This bipartisan legislation invests to create modern data systems that benchmark student success in numerous ways to better prepare Coloradans for the workforce. We want every student to feel prepared after graduation and with this bill, we can learn more about postsecondary education pathways that lead to great careers.”

Through this new effort, Colorado will leverage—and invest in—its statewide longitudinal data system to improve access to data and address education and workforce goals by examining outcomes for different groups of students and using those findings to inform new practices. By pairing a clear use for data with ensuring access, this law will create infrastructure to support Colorado’s decisionmaking over the long term.