About

The Indiana Workforce Intelligence System (IWIS) was one of the first systems in the nation to integrate student and worker data. Since 2007, it has been at the core of answering timely questions about the education, demographics and industry of workers.

In 2014, the Indiana Network of Knowledge replaced IWIS as the state’s education and workforce longitudinal data system.

The Consortium

The IWIS team integrated state administrative data, including higher education student enrollment and graduation records, employment and unemployment insurance (UI) wage records, UI benefit claims records, claimant demographics, additional geographic and demographic detail from the Indiana Department of Revenue, Trade Adjustment Assistance program data, Workforce Investment Act (WIA) participant data, Wagner-Peyser program data, plus adult education records.

Members of the consortium included:

Early support for this endeavor came from Lumina Foundation, with initial funding from Lilly Endowment.

Our Mission

A strategic goal of the State of Indiana is to empower Indiana workers to become part of a highly skilled and globally competitive workforce.

From the very beginning we devised effective methods to keep confidential information private.

The Technology

The IWIS team uses a distributed approach with multiple servers hosted at the Indiana Office of Technology and managed by the professional DBAs of the consortium. Using MS-SQL Server Enterprise (full encryption) and a variety of business analytics tools, we integrate and report out the information to help answer meaningful questions about our workforce and their education, moving from enrollment through completion to work.

Confidentiality Is Sacrosanct

  • Individual information is never identified in any report and confidentiality thresholds with aggregated data are adhered to.
  • Each agency member of the consortium maintains as confidential all data received from any other member.
  • Any information published in any form will not have the potential to identify individual students, workers or businesses.
  • Each member agency complies with provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and applicable federal and Indiana laws concerning the privacy of student and worker records.

Relevant Laws Governing Confidentiality of Individual Records

How IWIS Came to Be

The Indiana Workforce System (IWIS) began in 2007 with a data sharing agreement between two critical state agencies: the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (CHE).  These initial commitments enabled limited sharing of data between the agencies to make education and workforce data more readily amenable to research and analysis. However, no staffing or technical support was available to develop the technology and methods to integrate administrative records across the agencies.

Meanwhile, the Lilly Endowment had awarded a grant to the Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC) at Indiana University to expand the availability, dissemination and use of state agency data, key goals of what would become the Information for Indiana initiative. The IBRC joined the partnership, providing funding, staffing support and technical expertise to design and implement a data warehouse matching records across DWD and CHE.

The barriers to building new connections with existing data were eventually toppled, thanks to the dedication and early support of the consortium.

DWD provided hardware and access to IBRC, which then developed the architecture, design and deployment of the record-matching system and resulting databases. CHE, DWD and IBRC worked together to determine which records would be integrated and the first matches were successfully conducted in the fall of 2008. Later that year, DWD obtained additional funding via a Joyce Foundation grant to Ivy Tech to support an internal database administrator at DWD. Together with design and development staffing from IBRC, this allowed the expansion and ongoing maintenance of the IWIS warehouse.

With technology and staffing support from the IBRC came a state-of-the-art warehouse and dimensional modeling system, establishing a practical means of using cutting-edge research and development from the university and applying it within the state government campus (for which we owe a big thanks to the Indiana Office of Technology for working with us all on this endeavor). And of course, the seed money for all of this was provided by far-thinking and practical foundations, Lilly Endowment and Lumina Foundation for Education.

It was the dedication, imagination, hard work of many people across our multiple agencies (in alpha order): Molly Chamberlin, Hope Clark, Debbie Dailey, Tanya Hall, Peyman Heydarpour, Michael Hollingsworth, Bethany Holliday, Rochelle McCormack, Ken Sauer, Vicki Seegert, Michael Thompson, Jackie Turner, Julia Wang, Lori Wasson, and Tim Zimmer. These folk comprised the hard-working welders of what we call IWIS.

What Others Are Doing

Florida was arguably the first state to integrated education and workforce records with the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program (FETPIP). While the concept of integrating administrative records collected by state government isn't new, the actual creation of such integration projects has gathered great momentum in the past few years.

Nationally, the push to create preschool through higher education (so-called P20 systems) integrated systems has been enhanced by significant federal funding to state education departments (including Indiana's). Learn more about the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems Grant Program.

The Data Quality Campaign, which began as a nationwide campaign to improve student data, provides informative materials on their website regarding state initiatives and essential sources. View Indiana's progress on these measures.