Human services data is seldom harnessed to their fullest potential to improve programs and participant outcomes.

Sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families, the TANF Data Collaborative (TDC), an initiative of the TANF Data Innovation project launched in late 2017, brings together staff at federal and state agencies with top national experts from nonprofits and academic institutions to improve TANF programs and participant outcomes.

Informed by a comprehensive, national needs assessment, the TDC is enhancing the capacity of TANF agencies to use data to inform policy, program management, and front-line practice in order to improve employment and well-being outcomes for individuals and families. Our aim is to support routine use of TANF and other administrative data so that agencies can make more informed decisions about how to best serve their clients.


What to Expect

  • Agency-focused, contextualized technical assistance, training, and tools so that states can continuously apply learning targeted to their needs, concerns, and interests.
  • Accessible learning materials, such as code notebooks, templates, and training opportunities, for TANF agencies to drive progress around data culture and use for all states.
  • A peer learning collaborative for TANF agency staff and other stakeholders to learn from each other’s challenges and successes.
  • Investment in state-led pilots so that their agencies can build and sustainably use replicable new TANF data models, analytic tools, program evidence, and policy insights to improve employment outcomes.

Engage with TDC

Sign up for our email list to find out when our in-person and virtual events are happening and how you can join. We’ll also let you know when our web-based training materials (webinar recordings, microlearnings, tools, code notebooks, etc.) are available for easy access on your schedule.

Apply for one of our intensive hands-on training courses (Applied Data Analytics, Managing Data-Driven Organizations) when registration opens.

Apply for the pilot
(application available in July, 2019)

Answer our needs assessment survey (if contacted) to share your thoughts on what kinds of support we should offer.

Not in the survey but still want to weigh in on ideas for training? We want to hear your thoughts -- email us directly at!


Caseload Dynamics

Are you wondering about who is on your caseload and for how long? Or what happens after people leave your TANF caseload? We know that one size does not fit all for TANF recipients. Caseload dynamics analysis can help you understand changes in caseload size and characteristics. It can also provide key details about rates of entry, exit, recidivism, and length of stay by time, place, and for different groups. Such analyses can help you match people with the right services at the right time, provide more actionable information for decision-makers and customize services for TANF clients.

Visualizing Data

Already bored to tears at the thought of looking at another mind-numbing 20-pages of tables filled with numbers? We can walk you through the process of turning those endless numbers into a friendlier format that can offer immediate answers. Better yet, we will go even further and teach you how to build a dashboard that allows you to access that information regularly and with ease. Let’s move past presenting data in a way that doesn’t tell the true story. It’s time to look at data in a format that can help generate insights.

Data Governance

Do you want to keep your data accurate and safe while maximizing its use for program improvement? Wouldn’t it be great to have a true and holistic picture of your clients’ backgrounds and outcomes by integrating data? We provide technical assistance on how to create a defined, ethical governance structure that includes clear policies and procedures to support decision-making and documentation so that data is managed responsibly and effectively. We also promote integration of TANF data with other relevant data sources so that TANF agencies can better understand their clients’ backgrounds and cross-domain outcomes.

Data Driven Targeting

Do you know who on your caseload is most at risk of negative outcomes such as job loss, homelessness, or reaching the TANF time limit? Would your agency like to be able to target services based on clients’ levels of need? Or to refine services based on a better understanding of who could benefit most? We can provide guidance on when and how to target services based on clients’ profiles and teach you about some techniques for doing so.

Federal Reporting

On a quarterly basis, states submit data on TANF applicants and families to the Office of Family Assistance (OFA). This data can be used to answer questions such as: What are the characteristics of TANF recipients? Are states meeting their federal work participation rate targets? States’ data must be “complete and accurate”. The TDC is creating a centralized access point for resources aimed at easing states’ effort and improving the quality of their federal reporting.


Presented by

CDI - MDRC Center for Data Insights

Office Address
200 Vesey St
23rd Floor
New York, NY 10281


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