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Our Vision

To lead in the field of data science by providing groundbreaking applied research and innovations that improve the human condition.

Our Mission

To solve real-world problems through cutting-edge research, data-driven solutions, and innovative strategies.

  • Innovation Through Data Science
    We use data science with a focus on data analytics, predictive analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, system of systems, data governance, cybersecurity, cloud technology, and high-performance computing to develop innovations that further human progress.
  • Experiential Learning
    We provide students from all academic backgrounds the opportunity to learn about the value of data in their fields of study.
  • Transdisciplinary Research
    We provide opportunities for transdisciplinary research to improve the use of data in multiple fields of study.
  • Nationwide Leadership in the Fields of Data Science
    We provide a model for public universities to become places where the public and private sectors come for data innovation.

Data Innovations

Improving Education

Education stakeholders across Mississippi have embraced a culture of data sharing and usage, where information is used to support and evaluate various programs. LifeTracks, a state longitudinal data system developed and maintained by NSPARC, allows educators—whether from the K-12 system, community colleges, or universities—to drill down into county-, district-, and school-level data to answer policy-related questions. Such research enables schools to learn about what works, what does not work, and what groups are affected. State leaders attribute various successes, such as Mississippi's recent nation-leading gains in fourth-grade reading and math, to the data culture around LifeTracks.

Data Innovations

Preparing the Workforce

Mississippi has become a national leader in workforce preparation. The federal Workforce Innovative and Opportunity Act called for every state to create a plan to help individuals get the services they need to become competitive in the labor market. With the help of NSPARC, Mississippi was the first state to submit its plan and to have it approved by the U.S. Department of Labor. The plan established a system that can place any job seeker on a customer-specific pathway to attain any education and training they might need to get a job. This system was possible thanks to an NSPARC-developed hub that collects and combines data from multiple state agencies.

Data Innovations

Helping People Find Jobs

Following Gov. Phil Bryant's vision that everyone who wants a job should be able to find a job, Mississippi has empowered job seekers with the latest in data-driven technology from NSPARC. Mississippi Works is a web and mobile application that matches users with available jobs in the state based on the user's educational and work background. The Mississippi Works system has received several honors, including a Digital Government Achievement Award, and has led to the creation of a similar system for Colorado.

Data Innovations

Growing the Economy

Mississippi has the ability to connect specific individuals to potential jobs through real-time education and workforce training generated by NSPARC. This model, called "Workforce on Demand," significantly reduces the uncertainty of prospective businesses and gives Mississippi a competitive advantage over states with larger populations. With this model, Mississippi has convinced several top manufacturers, including Nissan, Toyota, Yokohama, and Continental, to build plants in the state.

Data Innovations

Preserving Lives

As the opioid crisis continues to perplex the nation, NSPARC is working to find a data-driven solution to address the issue. With the use of machine-learning techniques, NSPARC is examining how data science can advance the use of Prescription Monitoring Program information to identify factors associated with overprescription of opioids. This effort will both inform public policy and lead to the development of a warning system for prevention of opioid abuse.

Data Innovations

Protecting Children

Mississippi has redefined how citizens can report suspected child abuse. The MDCPS Report Child Abuse app, developed by NSPARC, collects all the information needed to investigate child abuse in an intuitive and time-saving fashion. Before this app was released, reporting a suspected case of child abuse could take 15 minutes or longer. Now, a report can be sent in about five minutes, greatly increasing the likelihood that the reporting process will be completed and that children will get the protection they need.

Data Innovations

Investing in Early Childhood

Mississippi has garnered national spotlight for its all-encompassing approach to early childhood care and education. NSPARC has assisted the state with following an early childhood plan that accounts for the well-being of the whole family; this state plan has received attention from policymakers in Washington, D.C., as well as groups like Save the Children. As the Mississippi Superintendent of Education testified before the U.S. Congress, Mississippi meets all 10 quality standards for preschool, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. The state's many accomplishments in early childhood have been possible because of its focus on using data to align programs and services, an approach that NSPARC has fostered and continues to support.

Data Innovations

Advancing Low-Income Families

Mississippi takes pride in its ongoing efforts to streamline and improve its services to low-income families. A new NSPARC-developed app called MyMDHS allows those who receive assistance from the Mississippi Department of Human Services to access their benefits information instantly through their smartphones. MDHS, along with the state community college system, is also implementing an innovative $20.5 million pilot program for food-stamp recipients. This program, designed and supported by NSPARC, places individuals on tailored education and training pathways so that they can pursue the jobs of their dreams.

Data Innovations

Enhancing Public Safety

NSPARC is now working to identify how data science can assist local law-enforcement agencies with meeting the requirements of the National Incident-Based Reporting System. This effort will result in far more detailed information on incidents, suspects, and victims and will set the stage for a more fluid exchange of information between departments at the local, regional, and federal levels. This project will help advance a nationwide data-driven initiative that will increase public safety.

Our Expertise

Mississippi State University’s National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center (NSPARC) overcomes workforce, education, and economic development policy challenges through research-based data and technology solutions. A nationally-recognized research center, NSPARC innovates in areas such as data analytics, predictive analytics, machine learning, data governance, and cybersecurity to improve the human condition.

NSPARC has extensive experience in the application of data science in every major area of enterprise software development, data security, and IT infrastructure, including:

case management system design and coding
mobile development
reporting and regulatory requirements gathering
user experience and user interface design
electronic and digitized paper record handling
real-time consuption of third-party sources of information
interagency coodination systems
data security and monitoring