Illinois Longitudinal Data System

The Illinois Longitudinal Data System (ILDS) provides the governance and technical systems that support the integration of longitudinal data across participating Illinois state agencies. It helps to bring together data from across the education and workforce spectrum, including early childhood programs such as home visiting and the child care assistance program, to and through K-12 and higher education, and into the workforce, including job training programs and wage records gathered to support unemployment insurance. Using these combined data sets allows Illinois to better understand the programs and supports that help our citizens succeed.

ILDS 2.0 Initiative

In 2020, the Governor’s office and eight state agencies launched the ILDS 2.0 initiative. This initiative is designed to re-invent the technical approach to accessing data and streamline the processes for sharing data. Working with the Department of Innovation and Technology and other technical partners, the agencies have worked to re-engineer the approach to data management and analytics.

Accomplishments of this effort include:

  • A centralized technology platform that allows agencies to control access to their data using standardized processes;
  • The development of a “standing dataset” – these are datasets ready to be used for analysis. The first dataset developed is a dataset that integrates participation data across early education programming in the state (including Head Start, which is a federal program run locally);
  • The establishment of a data request process so that internal and external entities can request data from the ILDS;
  • The oversight and management of a variety of legal documents, including data agreements between agencies and their data partners, the creation of a Data Access and Use template, and the development of a variety of vendor agreements; and
  • Coordinating various project development and governance activities, including managing vendors to share data with the state, partnering with the Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map and a design firm to support an inclusive design process for a refreshed IECAM, and leading the ILDS governance process.

Our Role

Edsystems staffs the ILDS and leads the ILDS 2.0 initiative. Activities associated with these efforts include:

  • Supporting the governance committees that determine how and when data can be used.
  • Aligning agency data and research priorities.
  • Working with agencies to get access to data.
  • Supporting processes for requesting data and giving access to data.
  • Designing the policy and procedures for combining data and ensuring it is safe and secure.

Project Resources

Blog Posts

Why Do We Need a Longitudinal Data System?

Why does the State of Illinois need a longitudinal data system? Or to put it more precisely, how does longitudinal data help answer key policy questions? We address these questions in this third post of our Making the Case for the ILDS blog series.

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What Is in the ILDS? What Questions Can It Answer?

Understanding the potential of Illinois’ Longitudinal Data System (ILDS) to answer complex policy questions can help improve Illinois’ early childhood, education, and workforce systems and outcomes. This is the second post of our Making the Case for the ILDS blog series.

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  • Northern Illinois University
  • Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology
  • Health and Human Services Innovation Incubator
  • Illinois Head Start Association

Governing Board:

  • Office of the Governor
  • Illinois Board of Higher Education
  • Illinois Community College Board
  • Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
  • Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
  • Illinois Department of Employment Security
  • Illinois Department of Human Services
  • Illinois State Board of Education
  • Illinois Student Assistance Commission
Senior Director of Data
Analyst of Data and Outcomes  

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