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Florida Taps Education Analytics Platform to Boost Employment

Information communication. Finger presses one of virtual screens. Mirror reflection

A cloud-hosted data and analytics platform will aggregate data in real-time from multiple sources in a web services cloud. It will include data from job boards, Florida school districts and colleges and the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity, Education and the Children and Family Services Department.

Then the platform will analyse the data so state agency officials can see what occupations are in the highest demand and how effective educational programs are at credentialing people to get jobs in those areas. It will also help officials understand how long it will take once someone gets a job to achieve economic self-sufficiency. To put residents on pathways to prosperity, Florida needs the intelligence tools that can aggregate and analyse sufficient and right data.

Currently, Florida collects data on course completion, placement and wage earnings and applies descriptive analyses, but officials don’t make inferential conclusions such as how much someone’s training in a given program contributed to their job attainment, retention and pay rate. With the new platform, officials will be able to determine what educational program will make someone self-sufficient.

Visualisation requires the integration of so much data that must be analysed in a very sophisticated fashion. For instance, the state needs to understand what programs are being offered where and how well they produce hirable graduates.

Additionally, the data the state currently gets comes in multiple forms and requires significant time and effort to convert into standardised, usable formats. The new platform will automatically collect data in real-time, saving time in addition to providing more current and useful information.

Those insights will let officials identify whether the state’s education resources are sufficient to fill the market demand for a specific certification and identify whether the skills being developed through credentialing programs are meeting the employer’s needs.

By integrating data from different agencies — such as graduation data, program outcome data, skills mapping for programs and credentials for occupations — and tying it to current and projected labour market information, the platform will help the state determine whether it will reach employment goals. For instance, if the state has had 8,000 cybersecurity positions open for more than 120 days, then even if all the cyber programs are fully attended and everyone graduates with honours, openings will remain.

The Florida platform is in the first phase of development, which is the backend business intelligence and data analytics platform for use by state officials. The system is slated to go live in May 2022, when the focus will shift to a public-facing component that lets individuals create accounts to look for, apply to and track jobs.

This project came about in response to the Florida government’s Executive Order, which charged the departments of Education and Economic Opportunity and the workforce development agency CareerSource Florida with figuring out ways to make the state first in the country for workforce education and training by 2030.

To move the Florida economy from the 17th largest economy in the world to the 10th, Florida needs to have a very robust strategy around how they are educating and training residents to meet not only critical occupations that are in demand but to anticipate emerging occupations and understand what programs are out there that can do a great job of training residents with the kind of essential 21st-century skills they need.

Using data and analytics are important to make informed decision making As reported by OpenGov Asia, A new report found that four out of five local government officials in the U.S. say they have improved their use of data in the past six years to drive better outcomes for residents. Two key areas that have seen improvement are performance management and taking action, according to “Closing the Data Gap: How Cities Are Delivering Better Results for Residents. The report is based on a survey of 44 officials in the What Works Cities (WWC) network, an initiative to increase cities’ use of data.

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