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Overview

LifeTracks, Mississippi’s state longitudinal data system (SLDS), aligns data across agency walls so the state can move quickly and meet the needs of business and industry, local government and the people of Mississippi.

LifeTracks sets Mississippi apart by helping partners make data-driven decisions as a result of aligning public K-12, higher education, and workforce data to answer questions about areas such as educational achievement, employment outcomes, human services, and workforce development.

The purpose of this report is to inform readers of LifeTracks updates and relevant activities that have taken place between July 2019 and June 2020. This report also demonstrates the value of LifeTracks and how the system continues to be vital to the state. LifeTracks helps the state to understand how policies, initiatives, and programs are effectively moving the state toward higher standards and greater competitiveness.

Since SLDS’s inception, the state of Mississippi has been making strides in improving policies and programs in workforce development, economic development, and education. The information gained from LifeTracks has been helping lawmakers to effectively make decisions that affect the lives of millions of Mississippians. Key attributes to the system’s success are the strong partnerships between agencies and educational institutions across the state. The trust, cooperation, and transparency among these groups have opened the door for many more entities to become involved, utilize LifeTracks data, and make significant improvements to the services and programs they provide to the people of Mississippi.

Mississippi State University’s National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center (NSPARC) serves as the State Data Clearinghouse and provides managerial and technical services for LifeTracks.

Activities include:

• data transfers

• data management

• data storage and security

• reporting

• online system support and maintenance

• hosting the online system at the Mississippi Departmentof Information Technology Services (MDITS)

LifeTracks Highlights:

• LifeTracks data is accessible online by visiting lifetracks.ms.gov. Users can access reports derived from longitudinal education and workforce data that span from kindergarten through the workforce.

• LifeTracks data also drive and supplement many other projects that benefit the state’s education and workforce systems.

• Mississippi’s data system and its resulting cooperative interagency atmosphere have been instrumental in securing a number of competitive grants for the state.

• LifeTracks has also enabled copious amounts of education and workforce research. In light of this success, Mississippi has gained substantial attention from other states looking to replicate what the state has achieved through LifeTracks.