Visualizing the Pipeline: The Importance of Cross-Sector Data

Lessons and Recommendations from Statewide Cross-Sector Data Visualization Projects

Education and workforce systems do not exist in silos; yet for decades, their data systems did. Cross-sector data is essential for understanding the education to workforce pipeline. Bringing together early childhood, K-12, higher education, and workforce data helps policymakers determine the effectiveness of the education continuum by identifying how individuals perform from one sector to the next.

By leveraging cross-sector data, leaders can identify “leaks” in the education to workforce pipeline and understand where the system could use the most support. This brief explores lessons learned from states that have developed high-quality cross-sector data dashboards; questions for policymakers to consider when undertaking a data visualization project, and recommendations for how to effectively build out an early childhood to workforce data dashboard that can drive policy and inform the broader public about the state’s talent pipeline. 

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