Planning to use American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to improve your data system? Wondering where to start with system upgrades and enhancements? Need to communicate data collection needs and timelines or federal requirements on use of the funds to diverse stakeholders? DaSy partnered with the Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting (CIFR) to host a 3-part Coffee Talk series for colleagues to discuss allowable data system-related uses of the funds and share ideas for data system improvements. The series set the stage for deeper dive conversations and presentations that will take place during upcoming technical assistance events (e.g., individualized TA meetings, IDEA Fiscal Forum, OSEP Leadership, and IDIO Conferences).
Talk 1 – Thinking Long-Term: Sustainable Data System Improvement Initiatives
Thurs., Jan. 20, 2022 (3:00-3:30 p.m. ET)
The first session focused on considerations for undertaking strategic and impactful data system improvement efforts, such as training, stakeholder engagement, securing ongoing political support and understanding funding streams and revenue sources for long-term budget planning. Technical assistance experts provided an overview of the use of ARP and other funds for data system improvements.
Talk 2 – Identifying What You Really Need: Data System Features and Functions for Improvement
Mon., Jan. 31, 2022 (3:00-3:30 pm. ET)
Participants explored the potential features and functions of data system changes to support program accountability, improvement, and operations requirements. Discussion included using new types of data to answer critical questions and enhancing reports/outputs (e.g., data visualizations).
Talk 3 – You Get What You Ask For: Articulating Requirements for Data System Improvements
Mon., Feb. 7, 2022 (3:00-3:30 p.m. ET)
The final session provided participants with insight and suggestions for developing and documenting detailed requirements for data system improvements, including using the information to develop a request for proposals (RFP) and understanding the impact of fiscal timelines for obligating and using funds. Tips for navigating the procurement process from start to finish were shared.